Just Breathe


One of the ways that I unwittingly sabotage myself is that I get so caught up in trying to do things “the right way” that I miss out on the experience itself and give up unnecessarily.  More often than not, “the right way” is not a reality or a fact, as it exists only in my mind.  Usually, once I cannot get something “right”, I remove it from my repertoire and do not allow myself to try it again.  That said, there is one thing that I have not gotten “right” in the past that keeps beckoning to me to return it, so, today, I did.

I signed up for a free three-week on-line meditation series, and I made the commitment to myself to spend 15 minutes/day for the duration of this series to practice meditation.  This is a similar course that I signed up for last November, only to throw in the towel midway through it.  I was so frustrated that my mind would wander during the meditation, that I couldn’t understand how to pronounce some of the mantras correctly, that at the end of the fifteen minutes I did not feel calm and at peace, and that I just couldn’t get it “right”.  I was a true Zen disaster, instead of the Zen master I desired to be.  So, I declared that meditation did not work for me and quit, but my several of my mentors reassured me that there really is no such thing as failing at meditating and encouraged me to find some time each day to still myself and simply listen.

So, when I came across this three-week meditation series, I took it as a sign that I was meant to try this again, only without the expectation and pressure to “get it right”.  In the early hours of the morning, I settled into a comfortable position, cleared my mind, and listened to the guided meditation, and within a few minutes, I felt my mind begin to wander and the feelings of failure creep into my sacred space.  It was a familiar experience, but I decided to react to it differently than I did the last time it happened.

This time, I just kept breathing slowly and reassuring myself that however I spent this 15 minute meditation was what was right for me at the time.  I would refocus on my breathing and the mantra and listen , only to have my mind wander off again, and I repeated this pattern throughout the meditation.  At the end of the allotted time, I inhaled and exhaled slowly one last time, repeated the mantra to myself, opened my eyes, and smiled.  I felt both relaxed and re-energized, and all felt right in the world.  I meditated my own way, and that proved to be the right way after all!

Not only was 15 minutes enough time to do something good for myself today, it ended up being enough time to do something positive for a friend of mine.  I put in a very long day at work, and all I could think of on my way home was how grateful I was to have an evening of solitude and no plans.  So, when a friend of mine asked if they could stop by to see me for 15 minutes on the way to a meeting, honestly, at first, I just wanted to say that I was not available, but there was something about my friend’s request that gave me pause, so, I agreed.

When my friend arrived, I immediately understood the reason for the request.  This evening’s meeting was an important one, and it came on the heels of having to deal with a difficult situation today.  So, all this person needed was some reassurance, encouragement, and support, and I was glad that I was able to provide these precious commodities for my friend.  It did not seem like very much on my part at all, but I knew that it meant a lot to my friend.  Fifteen minutes proved to be more than enough time to do something positive for someone else today, and it proved to me that no act of kindness is too small to make an impact.

Just one thing each day . . .

For more of my musings, please, visit “That’s Another Story” at www.kristijojedlicki.wordpress.com .



Categories: Just One Thing Each Day

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