Meditation: Calm, How to Meditate: Welcome to the Party Length: 10 minutes Where: Noho Park, Los Angeles How It Felt: Amaaaazing
After my frustrating Spectrum experience yesterday (which, I have to admit, ended triumphantly), I needed to get outside and breathe a little! It was a really nice day, mid 70s and sunny. I decided to pack up a little bag and head to the park.
I was in the middle of an inspiring book- “Rebel Chef: In Search of What Matters” by Dominique Crenn, one of my favorite chefs on the planet. Her story, her mindset, her outlook on life, her gratitude, her ethics- basically everything about her is amazing to me. Highly recommend if you get a chance!
So, I decided to park myself on a big, expansive, sunny patch of grass and spread out on my blanket to soak up the sun and Chef Crenn’s beautiful words for a couple of hours. It felt soooo good! I’m so excited for spring, for warm weather, for summer right around the corner! Yes, LA is warm year round, but I like it really, really warm. Swim in the Pacific Ocean warm (and that’s warm.) I was already practically a gooey, relaxed mess when I decided to meditate before getting up from my cozy spot to get a workout in.
This meditation was awesome. It was all about accepting things as they come, accepting everything, “good” or “bad” things, whatever, without discrimination. When we heard a sound, had a thought, felt a feeling, whatever it may be, we were supposed to acknowledge it, say “welcome” in our minds, and let it go. The idea was to not get caught up in the push and pull routine we all do in our normal lives- pushing away “bad” things and fighting against them, trying to hold onto “good” things and control them.
Acceptance. Pure acceptance.
One of my favorite moments was when Jeff explained that many people struggle with the idea of total acceptance, thinking acceptance equals total approval, or giving into all desires immediately. He was very clear about this, and I loved this quote:
“Acceptance does not mean approval… It does not mean indifference… Acceptance is realism. It means this is what’s going on, right now in the present moment, and I’m gonna acknowledge in a sane and mature way that it exists.”
Then, from that place of clarity, we can decide how to act. Accepting world hunger doesn’t mean we endorse it or can’t do anything to change it; it means we accept the reality that it exists, and really, only from that place will we do anything effective to help fight it anyway. If we stay in denial, we stay frozen.
The alternative is constant reactivity, always fighting to control everything, to make things how we want them, tormented over the things we hate that we can’t make disappear, bothered by stray noises and random encounters, constantly at war with the world around us.
And, by extension, ourselves.
I could not love this more. This concept really spoke to me. Obviously it’s a deeper dive into equanimity, which is, without a doubt, my goal. I want to be unflappable, always. I want to be nonplussed.
I’m generally a pretty chill person (some who know me may laugh at that, as I can also be quite dramatic, but not about things that truly matter). Really, I am pretty good at stepping back and taking in the big picture. I can find the positive in anything; I’ve just always been that way.
BUT- there is a moment when something or someone can really bother me, and that’s right away. I am reactive. I tend to freak out, then immediately calm down and get my head on straight. (Especially if I’m hungry!) I am working to eliminate that immediate reaction. I have already noticed a huge shift since I started meditating regularly. I’m getting to the conclusion much more quickly, skipping the fireworks. I’ve always had perspective, I think, but I’m finding it a lot faster now.
Honestly? Very little is stressing me out lately. I get overwhelmed sometimes, or a little chemically depressed, but not much actually gets to me. I’m loving it!
To that chill AF lifestyle! Cheers!