It is said that confession is good for the soul, and I certainly hope that this is the case. I confess, I am a meditation drop-out, a zen failure, a new age flunkie, and so forth. Every few years, I try yoga and/or meditation, and I do so with the high hopes of becoming more spiritual, balanced, centered, and calm. Instead, I come away frustrated, frazzled, stressed, and discouraged. I absolutely do not fault these centuries old practices, as I know that the fault lies firmly with this four decades old person.
My latest foray into the serene world of meditation began three weeks ago, when I was watching an interview with Deepak Chopra, who announced a free twenty-one day meditation challenge being offered on-line. I usually am up for a challenge, and since meditation had been recommended to me a year ago as a way to tap into my intuition more and as a means of reducing my anxiety, I decided to give it a try, and try I did. Each meditation was a mere fifteen minutes in length, and I started off enthusiastically and optimistically. Straight away, I was reminded that being silent and still are great challenges for me, as I had difficulty focusing on the meditative phrase of the day. I would begin repeating the phrase to myself, but the phrase would quickly be replaced with a broad spectrum of thoughts that ranged from what was on my ‘Things to Do’ list to wondering why I could not clear my mind for even a brief period of time to everything in between. I would end up berating myself for not being able to do the meditation correctly and feeling worse than when I began the meditation. Leave it to yours truly to turn meditation into an anxiety producing experience. After a little over a week into the challenge, I threw in the proverbial towel, which is what led to tonight’s confession.
I have had similar experiences when I have ventured into a yoga studio. I am the one practicing yoga, silently screaming in my head, “Okay, okay, okay; let’s move on to the next pose, people!” The only time I ever embraced yoga was when I did pre-natal yoga when pregnant with my oldest daughter, and that is only because the yoga instructor would do a guided imagery exercise and cover us with a cozy blanket at the end of the class. One time, I fell asleep during it and had to be awakened by the instructor when I continued to sleep soundly as everyone else packed up to leave.
My friends who are yoga and meditation masters have tried to reassure me that everyone struggles with yoga and meditation sessions at first, and the fact that I struggle to be still is an indicator that I need yoga and/or meditation more than ever. I do not disagree with their observations at all, and I am definitely not ruling out a return to either practice in the future. I continue to hope that if I keep trying one or both practice that one of them will eventually resonate with me and become part of my daily routine. Until then, I find myself in somewhat of a meditative state when I trail run, do yard work, listen to music, and write, and I steal moments of stillness throughout the day as I wait in carpool, drive to and from work, shower, etc. So, rather than worrying about being still the “right” way, perhaps, I just need to focus on being still my way. Namaste.
That’s another story . . .
Categories: That's Another Story