Vacation is over and it's back to the daily grind. I didn't get in as much guided meditation as I would have liked, but I did have lots of calm, relaxing moments to focus on my breath and on how lucky I am to live the life I'm living. This hammock in the water in Bermuda was my favorite place of reflection. I hope I can carry the sense of calm I felt in that moment with me for a long time.
I think I have hit my stride with meditating. Finding my focus has become something I can do relatively easily, and I am able to concentrate for longer and longer stretches of time. The newest trick I learned is that when I find myself starting to get lost in thought, I simply think to myself “thinking” or “wandering” and that brings my awareness back to the meditation and my breath and I am able to let go of my thoughts. I’ve also learned that focusing on the feelings and sensations in different parts of my body makes me feel lighter and helps me concentrate. So I think I can safely say that the habit of meditating at least once a day as been formed. I really enjoy it and look forward to it every morning and night. The only thing I haven’t seen a huge shift in, is my ability to handle stressful situations or not become angry over petty things. I had hoped that the somewhat simple act of meditating once a day would help transform my mind, but I am beginning to see it might take more than that. My next goal is to use shorter guided meditations (3-5 minutes) when I am stressed, feeling anxious or feeling angry to help curb those feelings in the moment. Eventually, I hope, it will become second nature for my mind to steer itself away from those negative feelings.
During the last week, I explored guided meditation a bit more and at the moment it is my preferred method of meditating. I also added meditating into my nightly routine because I really see a difference in how quickly I fall asleep and how deeply I sleep when I have meditated before bed. I plan to keep up the guided meditations in the coming week and to try out ‘in the moment meditation’ when it is needed. I am in the final stretches of cramming for my CA real estate license exam, so ‘in the moment meditation’ might be tried out a lot. Wish me luck!
My sister came into town this past weekend which made the 4th of July holiday more special, but it meant that my daily meditation became less daily and more sporadic. I got a few minutes in when I could, mostly on subway rides around the city, but not as much as I would have liked and I found myself missing it. I finally got back into my routine at the beginning of this week and tried out a few guided meditations. I loved them and that surprised me. I was sure that having someone talking, no matter how soothing, would distract me too much, but it was actually the opposite. Having someone tell me what to do, what to focus on and saying it all in an ultra smooth voice really helped me find that concentration that I had been lacking while trying other techniques. I did the Breath, Sound, Body Meditation, and the Loving Kindness Meditation that I found in my initial research. And because I am not a great sleeper, I also tried the Body Scan for Sleep Meditation to help me turn off my brain before bed last night. I was surprised again at how well it worked. It made me so relaxed that I fell asleep before the meditation was even done. I still woke up once in the middle of the night so it didn’t completely solve all my sleep issues, but it was a really great start!
For the next week I had originally planned to try a combination of the techniques that I have been working on for the last three weeks, but the guided meditations went so well even just after a few times, that I am excited to keep trying them. It feels really good to feel like I have finally found my groove in this journey of learning to meditate.