Meditation: Headspace, Basics #3 Length: 11 minutes Where: Home Office/Guest Room, Los Angeles How It Felt: Hard to Concentrate Who Joined Me: Tigre
Today’s biggest lesson? Meditating with a needy cat nearby doesn’t make concentration any easier.
I’m home! I arrived back in LA late last night and, while I miss Steve like crazy, it feels great to be back. I don’t know if you live (or have lived) somewhere where the energy just fits you, where your shoulders and jaw relax just being there, but that is Los Angeles for me. I already feel more energized, more creative, and- maybe most importantly in January- so much warmer!
You know what wasn’t easier today, however? Meditating.
I really didn’t want to do it today, guys. I didn’t. I kept putting it off. I had so much work to do today, and so much in general I just wanted to get done. It was awful to stop, like fighting against my own mental inertia.
But, what’s that old Zen proverb? “You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day. Unless you’re too busy, then you should sit for an hour.”
Well, I didn’t sit for an hour, or even 20 minutes. BUT- I did do it! And that would not have happened before I committed to this challenge.
It really hit me today that the big, huge difference between Daily Meditation Me and Every Once in a While I Meditate Me is pretty simple: it’s just that I decided to do it. That’s it. That’s it! (That’s IT?!) Kind of inspiring to think of all the things in my life I had excuses for in the past that maybe could have just….decided to do differently. Kind of overwhelming, too… but let’s focus on the positive, shall we?
The other challenge I had today was my big baby of a cat. Tigre, as all who know him can attest, is the best, cuddliest, sweetest, friendliest, most loving cat. He really is. I love cats, I’ve had lots of cats, but I’ve never had one like Tigre. He’s handsome and charming and a lover through and through. He snuggles all night, talks all day, and is always down for head kisses. I’ve had him for 14 years now. He’s lived with me in Chicago, Florida, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Michigan. He is spoiled rotten and he deserves every bit of it.
However, when you have a very loving cat, what you don’t have is a terribly independent cat. Tiegs was not at all happy that I left him for the holidays. (We have a two week rule- if I’m leaving for less than two weeks I don’t subject him to the stress of a flight, but instead he gets some time with his amazing pet sitters, two sisters and friends of mine who love him to pieces.)
Since I stepped foot in the door last night Tigre hasn’t let me out of his sight. He’s spent time in his KittyRoo while I worked, he was the little spoon all night, and don’t even think I’ve managed to pee alone today.
Basically, I have a toddler.
So, when I finally forced myself to stop and meditate, he wasn’t thrilled. Eleven minutes of sitting still while I was pawed, purred all over, and yowled at was definitely a test! I thought maybe he would give up and curl up in my lap, absorbing my awesome calming energy, but no. He just got madder, and louder, and madder, and louder.
I, however, maintained my stillness! Of body, anyway. Of mind? I’m not so sure…. but I kept listening to Andy’s voice, telling myself to notice the thoughts and let them pass. I didn’t get frustrated, though I laughed a few times. (Nothing like listening to a voice telling you to “breathe, scan, just be…” while a tiny paw taps your face over and over.) I stuck it out. My mind said “Here’s an idea! Here’s another one!” And I sat. I noted. I let it go.
By the end, I found myself alone, feeling proud of myself and somewhat calm. I did it! Day 3! I’m consistent! I’m dedicated! I…. smell something horrible….
Friends… I can’t prove cats save their stinkiest poos for when they want to take revenge. Cats can’t think that way. They can’t control the stink level of what happens in the litter box…. they can’t. It’s impossible.
I may not have achieved Enlightenment today… but I performed the humble work of scooping up a runny, smelly poo with a positive attitude. Is this progress?
I say it is.