One of my Things-To-Do-Before-30 Bucket List items includes spending an entire day meditating. I knew while typing it into that fateful blog post that this would be one of my bigger challenges. In fact, it would probably take as much practice and prep as my 5K run goal.
Little did I know how out of shape I’d gotten meditatively. I used to be pretty good at sitting for twenty minutes at a time, staying mindful and quiet. Unfortunately, the past few years have seen me entering nap time more than enlightenment, and my meditation muscles have gotten pretty weak.
So yesterday I resolved to sit in silence for ten minutes. Since it was half of what I used to do, I figured that would be a reasonable start.
I was wrong.
After about two minutes (not that I was looking at the clock at this point, just a guestimate) I started thinking about work. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with my mind going places as long as I’m mindful about it, so I simply registered what I was thinking about and began focusing my attention elsewhere.
A car honked outside and I jumped about a mile.
I registered my heart pounding into my ribs. Okay, that’s fine. Just a reaction to outside stimulation, nothing more. I settled back into my meditation. Birds were chirping, which was a perfect backdrop to my mindfulness.
That was, of course, until the kids in our apartment complex started yelling and riding their skateboards right. outside. my. door.
My blood pressure rose, which was my usual reaction to our loud, rowdy neighbors. I took a long breath out, visualizing all of my negative energy floating away with my exhalation. It took a little more time to center myself, but I got there.
And then I started worrying about when I’d get out of LA. That one I couldn’t let go of for what felt like an hour. So I let out a long sigh and looked up at the clock.
Eight minutes had passed. Eight. freaking. minutes.
Suffice it to say, my first meditation practice didn’t go as I’d intended. I’m going to find a better (i.e. quieter) spot for my next session, and maybe even start with a guided script. Oh, and surround myself with plants. Definitely need plants.
Do any of my lovely readers have their own suggestions for better meditating? Please comment below, as I could use all the help I can get!!