Meditation: Headspace, Basics #4 Length: 11 minutes Where: Home Office/Guest Room, Los Angeles How It Felt: Uncomfortable
I decided to commit to meditating earlier today. I want to try to move closer to a morning routine (I am not a morning person, so this is a feat I’ve been attempting for years) and I would love meditation to be a part of that. Plus, I didn’t want to be distracted thinking about it all day and worrying I wouldn’t do it.
However, I hadn’t worked out yet, had yet to do yoga, hadn’t even really stretched much or moved around a lot. I didn’t think about it, but it really affected my comfort level! It was so hard to sit still. All I felt was the ache in my back, even though I was sitting on my fabulous meditation cushion (thanks Madie!), the tightness of my shoulders, my jaw, my neck. I kept fidgeting, wanting to move around, try to get more comfortable.
I felt like a little kid sitting through church. I could not focus!
I did what the voice told me, and tried to focus on my breath. It was a long eleven and a half minutes, honestly.
BUT- I showed up! And I sat. And I tried. And I learned.
Headspace has a lot of little extra features like motivational videos and such, and today, front and center, was an “Energy Shot” video featuring Kevin Hart. It was a short, one minute, mostly animated video featuring the word “didgeridoo” repeatedly, but it made a great point. So much of life is just showing up! (90% of life, actually, if you trust the statistical wisdom of my college Body Movement instructor, which I do.)
I was thinking about that as I writhed in toddler-like discomfort today. Was I doing it perfectly? Nope. But did I show up? Yes sir, I did. Just like I said I would. And I learned a lesson! My perfect morning routine probably includes some yoga or movement before I meditate. A simple fix, and something I hadn’t thought of as important before. Now I know.
I’ve not always been a consistent “show up” person. I tend to overbook, overcommit, then burn out. I say “yes” when I should say “no” to make room for the things that are more important. I have historically forgotten to schedule “introvert” time in between activities (although I have definitely gotten much better at this over the past few years) and so I end up canceling whole days just to rest my overly social brain. I get FOMO (are we still allowed to use that term in 2021?) just like every Millennial on the planet. I struggle with balance.
One of the blessings I can find in the difficult year of 2020 is that it sort of wiped the slate clean. Everything disappeared for a while, and I was able to really assess which things I missed and craved, and which activities (and people) I could really do without. There was, amidst the stress, fear, tragedy, and uncertainty, a restart, a clearing out, that gave many of us a lot of perspective.
Just like when I KonMari….d? (What is the past tense form of this word?) Let’s say…. when I purged my home of so many objects that didn’t “spark joy,” I realized which objects I valued and cherished. I feel the same about how I use my time now, and I really believe it’s allowing me to show up for those things I always felt were important but didn’t know how to make time for in my cluttered life.
It will be interesting to see how this year goes, especially at whatever point life gets back to “normal” (and oh, please, let it be a “new” normal, because we can definitely do better than how we were living before all this). We always hope all our lessons stay with us, but it’s very easy to backslide into old habits.
Hopefully, by then, I’ll have built enough steady habit loops to stick with the stuff I’ve deemed a priority! One hopes. But also, more importantly, one plans.