What is meditation really like? Am I doing it right? Two questions I frequently receive when I recommend a meditation practice to clients. Also questions I had when I first started. Below you’ll read exactly what went on in my mind during my 21-minute morning meditation. For anyone new to meditation, hopefully it provides a picture of what it’s really like. (No judging the crazy or shallow moments 😉 )
As I’ve said before, meditation is like a workout program for the mind. Just as you likely won’t be able to run six miles the first day you train, your meditation muscle will likely take some time to develop. Like working out, there are some days that are better than others.
People tend to have a preference between morning and evening meditations. I do both, but I readily admit that my evening meditations are much more relaxing than my morning meditations. My mind is ready to GO in the morning, so I find it harder to focus and the experience overall less enjoyable. In the evening they are more spiritual, insightful and relaxing.
Today didn’t start out great, and I was not looking forward to meditating. I slept poorly last night, and I thought my bad mood held more power than any meditation. I made myself do it.
As you’ll see, a few shifts happened. First, I became aware I was feeling anxious only after I started meditating. It provided a space for me to feel what was going on in my body. Second, my anxiety was gone by the end of the meditation. Third, not only was my anxiety gone, but also I felt great as I opened my eyes. That’s kind of miraculous given the crabby, anxious state I was in as I started AND the amount of thoughts that popped into my head during the meditation.
I take the time to mention that because if you’re just starting out meditating, it can feel scary at first. Some of the unwanted emotions you’ve been avoiding may surface. But as you can see from my experience, they will pass. And instead of them having a grip on my day, they were released. I can guarantee my day will be better now. The meditation didn’t have to be and wasn’t a totally relaxing experience to work.
You’ll notice that most of my thoughts are passing and quick, represented by one-liners. There are a few that I got hooked by – meaning many seconds went by before I caught myself. Today it’s much easier for me to become aware after a couple of seconds that my mind is wandering, but that has taken years to develop. When I started out meditating it would sometimes take minutes before I’d realize I was fighting in my head with someone who wasn’t in the room. 🙂 Regardless of how long the distraction lasts, I apply the same technique to return to my meditation. I become aware that I’m distracted, release the thought, and return attention to my breath.
To start, I sat in my usual chair and put on my favorite Pandora meditation channel. Here it went…
00:10 Noticing a pounding sensation in my stomach area. Anxiety. 🙁 Feels like a heart beating inside of my stomach. Didn’t notice it until I took the time to close my eyes and took a few deep breaths. Heart is beating a little bit faster than usual.
01:23 Focused on my breath. Breathing in and out. In and out. In and out.
02:55 Thought about my appointment at the Apple store in a few hours. Should I stop at Anthro and buy those shorts? I need to wear flats today so my feet don’t get sore like they did the last time I was at the mall. Oh I need to stop at Sephora to get the foot loofah I want…will they have it? Yikes! Stop shopping in your head.
03:41 Aware of my dog’s breathing and birds chirping outside.
04:04 Apple popped back into my mind.
04:33 Friend just popped into my head who I had brunch with the other day.
04:40 Hear cars passing in the background.
05:29 Psyched that cellulite busting oil trio is working.
05:49 Felt pit in my stomach thinking of dealing with my accountant this afternoon.
06:05 Noticed that the beating heart in my stomach significantly slowed down.
06:09 Car alarm is going off outside.
07:04 Wrestling with not getting annoyed that the car alarm is still going off.
07:58 Smiling. Car alarm is off.
09:14 Smiling. My dog’s breathing is adorable.
09:24 Shoot. I didn’t do my Chopra free meditation this morning, which I usually do.
10:11 My toes feel cold.
10:24 Huge inhale and exhale out of now where…just cleared something!
10:46 I haven’t done any PSYCH-K balances on myself in a week.
11:02 Smiling. The email I received from a client last night popped into my head.
11:36 Noticing I’m still feeling a little anxious inside. That’s usually cleared by now. Might have to do a little tapping after this meditation.
12:34 I have to get that email out.
13:10 My cat Macy is screaming at me. Better than last week when she just jumped on my lap and scared the crap out of me.
14:46 Should I wash my hair today when I shower or wait until tomorrow?
14:54 I wonder if I can change my hair appointment on the 16th.
15:40 Uhhhhh accounting appointment today.
15:56 Momentary feeling of sadness that my perfectionism is kicking in with a project I’m working on.
16:02 Wondering how my friend is doing who is sick.
16:36 Feeling tempted to open my eyes to see what time it is. Instead asked my guides to let me know when it’s time to open my eyes.
16:46 03/31 – Last day of the month.
16:58 A bunch of fun stuff planned next month. Training Reiki Level 1 & 2. Hawaii. Should I get another bikini? I wonder what the hike will be like that I booked? I have to order the Reiki books…oh wait I already did.
18:14 Wondered how my client is doing who is going through a break-up. And the other two who are also going through break ups.
18:44 Realized that the heart beat in my stomach is gone.
19:34 Feeling good 🙂
21:00 Opened eyes. 21 minutes. Guides let me go one minute over. Feeling happy.
Now your turn…