Welcome to Day 6 of my challenge to try something new/creative for 30 days.
It’s not that meditating is new to me. I’ve tried many times throughout my life, and to my recollection (but don’t count on that) I’ve never been completely successful, even for five minutes.
But today, having a headache, I decided first to lie down. Of course, as I lay there, my mind raced with all the things I should be doing in the few hours of free time left to the afternoon. It reminded me of how my mind has been doing that lately, racing with thoughts, dreams, regrets, plans, worries, memories, lists of things to do, blah, blah, blah.
It’s a little disconcerting when it begins to affect my sleep.
That’s when I decided to try meditation again. Just five minutes, I told myself.
Do your best to empty your mind.
So, I got out of bed, sat on the floor in front of my bed, set my iPhone timer, closed my eyes and began to breathe deeply.
The first thought to belligerently enter my mind was about the last time I tried to meditate — over a year ago. Bear and Jubie figured the only reason their human would be sitting on the ground was to invite them to wrestle. They knocked me over, and that was the end of that attempt to meditate. But the resulting wrestle session was just as sweet.
The memory made me sad.
“Stop it,” I retorted. “Time to clear everything out. Breathe. Focus on your breath.”
A few breaths later, I was doing pretty well . . . until my iPhone chimed that I had a new email.
I checked it and decided I’d better start over with another five minutes. More deep breaths, but still, my mind wouldn’t quiet. Mostly, I was thinking about how I wanted to write this blog–how would I remember everything until I got back to my computer?
And, my headache wasn’t going away, either.
So, I decided to start moving my head in a circular motion to stretch out my neck and shoulders. I heard cartilage crackling in my ears and decided to focus on that sound, rather than on my breath. I also focused on how good it felt to stretch those muscles, which, because my mind is always “on to the next thing” are always fairly tense.
Before I knew it, my duck timer was quacking and my five minutes were up. And best of all, my headache was gone.
I’m going to try this more often — even if it’s only five minutes a day, and even if out of those five minutes, my mind is only empty for 45 seconds. That’s better than nothing.