Meditation: Headspace, Breathe Length: 3 minutes Where: Living Room Couch, Los Angeles How It Felt: Short!
I had a busy morning and afternoon today, then a lovely two hour phone date with the hubby, and tonight I have to go run some errands, so I was feeling a bit too antsy for a full, long meditation. I actually didn’t want to get too relaxed! I’m feeling really great overall, mentally balanced and peaceful (yay!), and while meditation is definitely not something you should save for when you’re feeling negative things, I simply was worried I would not have as much energy afterward to finish my day.
So- inspiration! I’ve been waiting for the right moment to try out one of the shorter meditations offered on my apps. I’ve seen them many times, some 5, 3, even 1 minute long, but I always assumed it wasn’t long enough to accomplish much in the way of “inner peace,” even in the moment.
Today I cued up a 3 minute session called, simply, breathe. It consisted of…well, breathing. Imagine that!
At first I was so jazzed I couldn’t even force my eyes to close. I started to regret meditating at all. “Maybe I should have waited until bedtime…” I thought. I really, really didn’t want to power down.
Still, amazingly, at the end I found myself wishing it wasn’t over! I do feel calmer, maybe like I’m buzzing a little less, but, on a day when I had perhaps slept a bit better, I think that would just translate into feeling more focused.
My sleepiness is getting the best of me, a bit. That was why I was worried about stopping at all before I finished my to-do list. But that’s not a problem caused by meditating- that’s just neglecting proper sleep habits.
So, my takeaways from this experiment? One, pausing to breathe in and out, even for a short while, is an effective practice. Two, I need to get better sleep. Three, I’ll bet these short meditations are great for getting out nervous energy quickly before, say, an audition or interview. Four, meditating for 180 seconds is better than not meditating at all!
Today I was reminded in a workshop how important consistency is for building my career. I was reminded that we don’t have to do something perfectly every time, as long as we keep showing up and doing it. The same is true for anything we want to integrate into our lives- working out, writing, reading more, keeping our house clean, whatever. So often, a quest for perfection is what stops us from starting at all.
Showing up for myself every single day for this meditation challenge, in a big or small way, is really giving me a ton of confidence. There are some things you do, partly or fully, just to prove to yourself you are capable of doing it. Every session may not leave me with huge, life-changing breakthroughs, but every day I go to bed knowing I did the thing I said I would do. I didn’t give up. That’s something I’m carrying over to the rest of my life already. I’ve done several things this year I’ve honestly never, ever done before.
So, even though the life-changing moments aren’t coming with every individual meditation, the sum of the daily practice is shifting my mindset, my habits, my confidence, my career, and my overall well-being.
Today, I showed up for just 3 minutes. But, most importantly, I showed up. And I will again tomorrow, and the next day, and now I truly believe I will show up every single day for the entire year. That’s something. Knowing I can do that… let’s just say I’m starting to feel the last of my self-imposed limitations slipping away.
Life might get in the way of my goals sometimes, but I plan on getting in my own way as little as possible from here on out.