As I mentioned a few days ago, on Monday I decided to commit to a daily meditation practice in an effort to move through the sadness I was feeling at the time (not so much right now) about the empty room upstairs, and to gain some clarity on how I want to proceed in this next chapter.
A wonderful friend suggested I just smoke some pot but since it's not really my thing (although I know it works for many), meditation it is!
I felt that adding some space into my moments, my mind, and my day, would help soften the edges and make my transition into an empty nester a much smoother one, so I registered for The Stillness Project by Tom Cronin and have enjoyed the 3 free videos he's posted this week (you can find them on his page or at www.stillnessproject.com).
On Monday and Tuesday I did 10 minutes of a guided meditation and fell asleep both days about halfway through.
Yesterday I ended up doing 40 minutes (the 10 minutes went so well that I just kept repeating them) and I felt so invigorated afterwards that I thought this will most likely become my new favourite thing.
This morning I tried for 20 minutes straight (20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes in the afternoon is my ultimate goal) and I did not fall asleep at all. I just kept counting 1 breath in, 2 out, up to 10 and then repeat. When my mind went to la la land I just began back at 1, which happened a lot.
By the end I felt so relaxed and ready for the day, and I noticed how different this experience was than the other times I had meditated in the past.
Many years ago when Paige was not yet in school, I registered for an 8 week Stress Reduction Clinic that was based on Jon Kabat-Zinn's work found in the book, Full Catastrophe Living, which focused on mindfulness as a means to face stress, pain and illness.
I remember hating meditation back then and although I finished the course, I don't recall enjoying much of it. Part of the reason was that my need to be perfect was at an all-time high and I would meditate daily for 90 minute stretches at home (it was not required, I just wanted to go beyond what was expected of me), without enjoying a moment of it, and only for the sake of feeling like I succeeded in meditation.
But I missed the message completely.
The process of meditating was about being with myself in the moment, whatever that presented me with at the time, but all I cared about was what I could tangibly achieve through it. I was more interested in the length of the practice than the depth of it. I hated myself too much to take a good, long look inside. I wanted to be anywhere but here, which made mediation quite uncomfortable, as you can imagine.
But this time around, I care very deeply about being connected to myself. I love looking within and seeing what comes up. And over the years I've grown more gentle with myself and am more able to handle not doing things "right" or perfectly all the time.
It is enough to just BE.
Yesterday I wrote an update on my personal account that said, "I honestly have no idea what I'm doing with my life at the moment", and it was just so liberating to acknowledge that truth. I wasn't upset about this fact; I just wanted to share my current reality.
Some days I feel completely on track, but most days I wonder what the hell I'm doing and can't figure out what I should be letting go of, or what to move towards, or if I'm fucking it all up. I do know I'm not fucking anything up, but it doesn't mean I don't wonder about that occasionally.
It was so fun and affirming to read other people's responses to my statement because I learned that I am certainly not the only one trying to figure things out, and the exchange served to humanize the whole experience since it's pretty universal.
The process of being alive is a different, and sometimes difficult, journey for each of us. And it's always nice to know that other people go through the same things that you do.
And while I believe we all have our own answers at every moment, it is not always easy to access them if the noise in our minds is just too loud.
That's why I want to create more space, even if it's just two times a day. I want two sacred blocks of time in my day where I don't attempt to figure anything out, where I'm free to not do a thing, where counting up to 10 (and sometimes only to 2) is achievement enough.
I might not know where I'm headed yet, but I'm headed there nonetheless. My future is wiiiiiiiide open and life will take me where I need to be.
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