Meditation has been of interest to me for a long time, but I’ve never felt like it was something to which I could commit or something that I could actually incorporate into my life. After reading 10% Happier by Dan Harris (as well as reading all kinds of other information about the benefits of meditation practice), I was inspired to stop just thinking about meditating and to try it. I chose to begin by practicing with the Headspace Take 10 program — ten minutes of loosely guided meditation a day for ten days. Every day I recapped my practice …
Day 1: I picked a program and dove right in. I did Day 1 at the end of the day, just because I was in the mood and ready to get started. Maybe it was just because I was tired, but I was surprised at how easy it was for me to sit for ten minutes. Let me tell you, I never sit for ten minutes. I never take that kind of time to just be in one place. It was great. And then I slept straight through the night for the first time in a long time.
Day 2: Started my day with Take 10 today. Immediately afterward I felt more awake and much more positive. It was nice to start the day feeling like that — I think taking ten minutes to myself is helping to move me out of my post-holiday funk. I spent the day trying to be calmer, less rushed, and more present in what I was doing. It’s a learning process, but I’m excited.
Day 3: Meditation this morning was harder than the past two days. I was all over the place, maybe because I had things to accomplish in the morning before work. I had a really hard time stopping my self-nagging — “Don’t forget this! Don’t forget that!” Still, it was nice to set aside the ten minutes. I am craving more.
Day 4: Nothing special today, but I made the time and I felt happy because of that.
Day 5: Today’s session was the first one during which I actually felt that I had slowed down and become able to distance myself from my thoughts a little bit. There’s a moment, during the Headspace Take 10 meditations, for you to just let your mind wander if it wants to do so. Mine didn’t! I had a brief moment of absolute stillness, which was so refreshing.
Day 6: Another meditation session with a clarifying, empty mind moment. Finding that kind of calm on a Monday morning was exactly what I needed.
Day 7: I won’t lie, today was bad. I was distracted, exhausted, and disinterested in my meditation practice today because of the other things happening in my life. After my meditation this morning, I definitely understand why it’s called a “practice”.
Day 8: My meditation this morning was much like yesterday’s — my mind was everywhere, focused on all of the things that might have benefited from the ten minutes I was dedicating to meditation instead. I’m frustrated.
Day 9: Finally a session that left me feeling better than I did beforehand! All the other things in my life that were causing me so much stress have started to calm down and I was able to enjoy my meditation this morning. That’s sort of a mistake on my end, I guess, and something my meditation guide would insist is part of this journey. I need to really practice letting those stressors come and go, even when they are overwhelming.
Day 10: Today’s practice was a good one — my mind wandered, but I was patient with myself. And I’m proud of myself for taking ten minutes for ten days to work on being better, happier, nicer, etc.
Well, that’s it! I have completed my introduction to meditation (number 24 on my 52 Things in 52 Weeks list). I think setting aside some time, just to be calm and quiet, has benefited me already. Meditation is something I have toyed with trying for a long time and the Headspace Take 10 program was a really great tool for me to use to get started. 🙂 I’ll definitely be continuing my practice.
So tell me, do you meditate? If so, what’s your practice like? If not, would you like to give it a try?