Cin’s Feb Challenge ” It’s a bit of self-love, inner child, and just all around fun things…..If you want to participate then all you have to do is read on and follow in any way you wish.”
The best challenges to me are such open-ended ones with easy rules, or no rules at all. Cin’s blog, Witchy Rambles, is one I stumbled upon in my typically random manner of stumbling upon things, and I’ve been a follower of her lovely, peaceful and inspiring posts ever since. She is one of this worlds beautiful people. I am happy to rise to her February challenge.
So what does it mean to me when I hear the word meditate?
I used to believe it meant serious contemplation, hard thinking, reflection on the past, intent for the future. Sit down, close your eyes, ponder, ruminate and contrive. And that’s why I never wanted to be bothered with it. All that stuff can give you a colossal headache. Often all that thinking doesn’t solve anything anyway, it just adds fuel to an already blazing fire.
Now in this much more mature and wise stage of my life I know meditation can mean the complete opposite of concentration. It’s a wonderful and freeing ‘letting go’ of all the mind blather that makes you the crazy person you were never meant to be.
I am certainly not an expert on this subject, but I think I’ve been practicing emptying my head my entire life. I can sit still without moving or speaking or fidgeting, taking laziness to a whole new level. To an outside observer (like some of my school teachers long ago and now my family, friends and co-workers) it probably looks like I am either totally focused on something drastically important or in some kind of a trance-like daydream. The truth is, if someone asks me during one of these episodes ‘what are you thinking’ I would have to say I’m not thinking about anything at all.
Yeah, kind of scary, I know.
Maybe this is something I should have taught my kids, but since no one taught it to me, I simply assumed it was a normal thing to be able to dump the noise and confusion and all the bad things around you for a few minutes until you can gather up the energy you need to face them again. Now I don’t wait to be pushed to the edge where I’m forced to get myself behind all the nonsense that’s cluttering up my world so that I won’t break down under the pressure of it all. I actually do this on purpose with clear intent as a preventative measure.
I think there are as many meditative methods and processes as there are yoga positions, but for whatever it’s worth, here’s mine.
1. Arrange yourself in a comfortable, stable posture, legs crossed, fingers touching – feel relaxed but not so relaxed that you nod off and fall over. Meditation is like a conscious form of sleep. Emphasis on staying conscious.
2. Be perfectly still – stop inner and outer chatter – relax, relax, relax.
3. Breathe, and observe the breath without consciously forcing yourself to breathe. Only witness your normal breathing. Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale, relax, relax, relax. Did I already say relax? Really, you need to relax.
4. Empty your mind of thoughts, questions, images, emotions and everything else. When you do this you open yourself to receive cosmic energy, a drop of spirituality, some healing life force, inner peace.
5. flow with it, be with it…… let everything go….for as long as you can. The real world will intrude soon enough to jolt you and your mind back into it.
Simple, right? If you keep practicing this, you will end up relaxed, happy, healthy, stress free, with a calmed and tranquil mind, having a better memory, higher understanding, better interpersonal relationships, and a better life. Has all this happened to me?
Well, who knows, really. Like I said, I am no expert, but I do believe without my zoned out times my life would be a much less enjoyable experience.
So what does ‘meditate’ mean to you? Am I completely out to lunch? If I am, I like it – to me it’s a good life-nurturing kind of lunch to be out to.
I won’t digress.
I won’t suppress.
I’ll express – tonight’s a mess!
With my finesse to hide duress
He’ll never guess
the cause of my distress.
I hate this stupid dress!
Trifecta Challenge: This weekend we are asking for a thirty-three word confession.
Well it’s not first thing in the morning, that’s for sure. Especially if there’s some reason why I must get up and get ready and get going. Talk to me after I’m showered and dressed and have had my coffee if you value your life.
And it’s not last thing at night when I’m tired and drained and can’t keep my eyes open. You shouldn’t trust the accuracy of anything I happen to mumble at you when I’m half asleep and nodding off.
And I know it’s not in a crowd, or surrounded by negative thinkers or when there’s an undercurrent of stress in my day or when I’ve over-committed to too many things and have no idea how I’ll handle any of them well. Or when I’m being rushed. Having to hurry irritates the hell out of me.
I’m at my best when I’ve had enough sleep and am well rested and alert.
I’m at my best when I don’t skip meals, when I drink lots of water, and eat nutritious healthy foods and snacks, get enough protien and just say no to sugar in all its refined and sneaky disguises.
I’m at my best at work when the expectations are clear and realistic and the methods to meet them are of my own chosing. I’m best one-on-one for problem solving, when I have time to really listen and empathize and decide what we need to do to make things better.
I’m at my very best when I can relax with no distractions and focus and concentrate; when I can engage myself fully in the things about which I feel passionate.
All that being said, here’s how things are going so far today. It’s my day off so I slept in. Then I had to rush around and try to make myself look half assed presentable for the furnace guy who got here twenty minutes early. So I haven’t showered yet. I’m sorry he had to experience and cope with that, but it’s his own damned fault. I made coffee and I’ve managed to consume two large cups of it. I made my breakfast in the blender – juice, yogurt, frozen fruit and protein powder. I’m drinking it now. I just wrote a cheque for the furnace maintenance, and now that that’s done and he’s gone and half the morning is as well, I’m reading this over and deciding that due to all the interruptions, it perhaps is not my best work.
Too bad. I’m going to go shower now. Do your best to deal with it.
Are you stressed out?
Nope. Are you?
Wait! Never mind, don’t tell me. It will just stress me out.