Tag Archives: Meditation

Here Comes The Sun …

1 May

I sat there on the tippy top of the grassy slope and noticed it as I exhaled. It wasn’t a surge, or gust, but sort of a soft welcoming wave with the sun peeking through.

After trying to catch my breath from the two-mile run I noticed it. Didn’t look like anything special, but that open patch of grass seemed to have my name on it. After getting the feel-good-feeling from my morning routine, I stretched out on the hill and then leaned back to prepare for a momentary meditative state. I took a minute. Just one … and that was all I needed for hope to come rest on me.

 

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Emptying out my tank and finding this  moment at the end of that seemed to fill it back up again.  The emotions and frustrations I was getting out of my system were long gone, left on the track to be stepped on by someone else’s Nike’s.

And I haven’t necessarily been in a dire situation, nothing extreme mind you, but I have been thinking about hope and situations that require that we lean on it. I lay there on the on the grassy hill soaking up the sun and finishing up my Deepak Chopra Zen moment. I like to clear my head, and start the day with my Power Hour so that everything can be reset if it needs to be.

Reset that crappy morning caused by a bad drive to school, just trying to make it on time without getting a ticket from that motorcycle cop,  reset that crappy morning after a bad conversation that makes me feel like I have no peace, reset that crappy morning after an encounter with the fake PTA Mafia that just stirs up anger, reset that crappy morning after a heartfelt talk with my kids to learn the other kids can still be jackasses, or just resetting that crappy morning because the emotional hangover from the night before followed me through the alarm clock.

Any of these requires hope.

And I had it.

I felt what my friend Gisela calls the  ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh moment rest on my shoulders and fill up my soul. And it was only moment, but it lasted the entire day.

Hope. I had it with me.

I looked upon crappy situations as opportunities. Most of the time these bad conversations suck the air right out of my balloon and it takes a while for me to recharge my batteries, but with this sunshine encounter I found a way to look at things differently, and I put the pettiness of others in the rear view mirror and kept it back there.

You know, I’d run this course plenty of times, but hadn’t taken the time to stop on the hill, not until I’d seen that three-legged dog a couple of weeks ago. I was so grateful I had, because now after every run I lay there for my moment of Zen, waiting,  because I know … here comes the sun.

 

 

 

 

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All Kinds of Messengers …

19 Apr

Things eventually work out … somehow.

I never used to think that … like ever. I’d be like if they don’t work out the way I want them to or planned them to, then that’s not really working out for me.

That’s what I used to think.

But as kids came into the picture and gray hair followed, I realized that’s the perfect philosophy, and I was recently reminded of this through one of my meditation sessions … and a text message.

During my recent meditation session, with Deepak, we focused on hope during uncertain times. And as he was talking about people’s reactions to different scenarios it clicked. That used to be me. Somehow during this journey, this moving on up to the East Side to a deluxe apartment in the sky to finally get a piece of THE pie journey, a switch happened. It happens to everyone. You’re not in the same place you were last year. You’re either better or worse, but you’re not in the same spot.

Over 20 years ago, the semester before I graduated college I was so worried about what my life would look like, I mean I had a plan, but the steps on the yellow-brick road weren’t quite lining up. Everyone I knew had a gig waiting for them after turning in their cap and gown but me. That uncertainty freaked me out. I worked hard my entire 18-year old life at the time and felt like … where’s my reward? When is success gonna come rain down on me?

The uncertainty made me feel uneasy and stressed out. I wondered with all my suit-and-tie friends getting their foot in the door, whether I’d even make it out of the parking lot. But eventually I met Matt, the guy who gave me my first break, and it happened. It just took a different route and eventually it worked out … somehow.

And with last week’s meditation sessions, I was reminded of the lesson. I thought about all that wasted time, freaking out and stressed out and worried everyone would be a success except me. I didn’t approach uncertainty through a positive lens, as I thought uncertainty to be a negative thing. Now I realize I should have looked upon it as an opportunity, a chance for something great to happen, or for a learning experience that would have led to personal growth. Either way it would have been a win, short term or long term, but a win nonetheless.

I trip out how the universe sends me these reminders through various messengers, just to put an exclamation point on that message.

During uncertain times, unemployment, broken relationships, new jobs, new city, first-time-stay-at-home parent, when you’re in the thick of it … just pause. I don’t remember pausing to turn my thoughts around 20 years ago, so I learned things the hard way. But now I have all kinds of pauses, and I remember that eventually things will work out, that Hope is in my corner, sometimes hiding, but it’s there. I just have to remember it’s there. That’s what I’ve come to learn through the years, and with Deepak’s help.

But I was also reminded of this with the help of a text  …

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The universe is funny sometimes. It has all kinds of messengers.

 

 

Serenity Now

3 Apr
Image via LeFunny.net

Image via LeFunny.net

Yes. I found this to be true. Very true, which is probably the reason why I decided to take on the 21-Day Meditation Challenge a while back. I wanted to stop having George Costanza moments whenever I encountered stupid people. I don’t know why they irritated me so much, but they did. And I knew these people multiplied so I had to find a way of dealing with them without adding stress and aggravation to my life. So when the challenge came my way via a friendly email, I thought why not.

I finished the challenge this week and in truth I found so much peace in a couple of sessions that I meditated myself into a deep sleep and I guess that can be a good thing. Relaxation and peace are the ultimate goals and sleeping is the most relaxed and peaceful state I’ve experienced. So I gave myself a B+. I would have gotten an A had I stayed awake.

But that’s not the only reason for my B+ status. I didn’t quite master the art of emptying my mind until day 12. I imagine it had a lot to do with the endless to-do lists, my life lists, my rejection letters, my bills, my kids crankiness prior to bed, my excitement for what was waiting for me on my DVR, my attempt at trying to find humor in my latest personal disaster, my random ideas for another story, or my latest encounter with stupid people and how frustrated I was that they were still popping into my head. It’s busy up there.  I had a lot emptying to do, luckily I was able to make it happen by the half-way point and I reaped the full benefits of his whole meditation shindig.

And after 21 days, is there a difference?

Well, I still have Costanza moments, but they have simmered down a bit. I think being able to sit in the quiet, to reflect, to say my mantras, and to empty my mind has helped. I’m improving my perfect health portfolio which tends to include mental health, peace and inner well-being. Although chocolate is still a pretty amazing Zen experience too. But this whole meditation situation added a little balance without the calories. It added my serenity now moment, without the yelling and hostility. It tamed the Costanza in me, but let’s not get crazy … he’s still there. He just goes on hiatus every now and then — attempting to master his anger management skills and cope with the existence of brainless people.

My Eat-Pray-Love Moment Without Boarding a Plane to India or Bali

11 Mar

As I mentioned last week I finally got around to lacing up my New Balance and get back on the workout wagon after being kicked in the ass by the flu. And in doing so, I’ve added challenging goals to help me get back in good Guat health condition. This includes roller derby class, which is not only a massive quad and butt workout, but also scary as hell. And then there’s my big American Lung Association Climb coming up. But I thought I’d also embark on another challenge. Something that’s supposed to balance out my entire body, because you know me … I need balance.

Meditation.

For the next 21 days I’ll be participating in a meditation challenge to try to improve my whole wellness — body, mind, and spirit. I’m challenging my body in all sorts of ways that require BenGay, why not challenge my mind, right? I mean I got Advil if necessary.

Meditation … that’s one of those hey-that-looks-easy experiences, but it’s really not.

Image via loveofmantrameditation.com

Image via loveofmantrameditation.com

I see it happen on television and movies. They sit there, in their kindergarten style cross-legged position, with their fingers doing that circle thing, listening  to weird New Age Music that’s composed mostly of wind instruments with names I can’t even pronounce. They look like they have peace and stillness, but they’re actors. They’re just pretending to be centered and balanced.

I can pretend to be too, but for the sake of this challenge I’m supposed to be serious and tap into that peaceful side of the Guat. I’m supposed to empty my mind of all thoughts and worry. I don’t know if I can empty my mind for more than five seconds. I might get bored with empty. I think too much. I talk too much. I’m a writer … it happens.

But don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind sitting on the beach, hearing the sounds of the waves and just relaxing. I don’t mind hanging out by myself in the late hours of the night when everyone is asleep, reflecting on my day and being surrounded by a nice quiet, not the creepy Hitchcock kind of quiet, the nice kind which is usually accompanied by tea. I don’t mind that. But apparently that’s not meditating. I was schooled.

I’m not a big meditating person. It seems a little difficult for me, freeing my mind of thought. I thought I did that while I was asleep, but apparently I don’t, which is why my friend sent me that 21-day Meditation Challenge email. So I thought why not, what have I got to lose? Fifteen minutes every day for 21 days, I can do this. I can have an Elizabeth Gilbert Eat, Pray Love moment without boarding a plane to India or Bali.

I may wind up more relaxed, more balanced, more at peace and less likely to get all George Costanza on somebody when they piss me off, but then again nothing may change and I might just enjoy the quiet of the night without the repetitions of a mantra, without the OOOOOOMMMMMs, without the New Age music. I might realize that a good piece of chocolate, my DVR, and some quiet is all I really need. Don’t know. But I’ll find out.