I started meditating recently on a regular basis and I am absolutely, positively terrible at it.
Trying to quiet my mind and just sit in a moment feels like the most foreign thing in the world and I do. not. like. it.
It’s like my brain is Santa’s workshop on Christmas Eve. It’s 5pm and Santa is rushing to get his suit on and the elves are days behind in production, frantic, rushing, panicked.
It’s like interrupting the elves from their toy making and telling them to just sit and breathe for a few minutes.
BUT THERE ARE TOYS TO BE MADE.
WE ARE BEHIND IN SCHEDULE!
I HAVE TO MAKE FURBY’S AND RUN 800,000 MY LITTLE PONIES THROUGH QUALITY CONTROL.
EVERYTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE.
I AM SO IMPORTANT HOW DARE YOU IMPLY I SLOW DOWN THESE LIFE AND DEATH TASKS?
THERE IS NO TIME FOR THIS AND EVERYTHING I NEED TO DO IN EXACTLY THIS MOMENT THE WORLD DEPENDS ON.
(The elves’ words, not mine)
“Mindfulness” has been a buzzword in education and mental health for what feels like years. I have learned about it, sat in Professional Development sessions about it, and even dabbled in the occasional deep breathing session from an app from my phone, but I never have developed it as a daily practice.
So here I go.
Many days I meditate and want to throw my phone against the wall.
I can’t quiet my brain down, or at least I haven’t figured it out yet.
Now, I am not really into the whole new age-y stuff. Don’t give me the crystals or the being one with earth or whatever that is. I just wanna relax, okay?
The mindfulness and meditation I do is really just about slowing down, feeling your breath and truly ONLY focusing on this exact moment happening now. Noticing every sensation. (Except last night the chick guiding me through it told me to close my first set of eyelids, then my second…then my third…and I thought okay this is too far).
I’m just terrible at it.
It annoys me.
I think about how many things I have to do, should be doing, could be thinking about.
But I’m trying, because the anxiety I have experienced this year has reached a point that I need to take action. I am taking the steps I need to be healthy, but before exploring other options, I have committed to Mindfulness.
Every day. Trying to breathe.
A big part of mindfulness is not getting all worked up about what your brain does during a session. You are supposed to let thoughts come and go without reacting to them, but during a 5 minute meditation, my mind stays so busy and so distracted, all I do is fend them off.
My therapist told me that “Mindfulness is simple, but it’s not easy.”
She is right.
The brain is a muscle that can learn and grow and be strengthened, and I know learning to slow down and be present in the moment will take lots of time. Here are 3 quick things I have learned from my new experiences with practicing daily mindfulness: (disclaimer, missed one day.)
- I have NO idea how to be still. I am so much more distracted and incapable of just being than I ever imagined
- Some work better than others: I have tried a variety and some make me roll my eyes and some actually give me a slight feeling of relaxation. Three eyelid lady GOT TO GO. (I’ve tried HeadSpace, Relax, Simple Habit)
- Building a habit is hard: I want to give up because I am not seeing immediate results. Much like eating healthy; if I am not drastically skinnier the next day I am extraordinarily offended. It will take time. I will stick to it.
Anyways, I would be super interested to hear about Christian meditation apps or programs you have had luck with. I had an awesome Scripture one on Youtube but as I was drifting into a soft, tranquil sleep, an ad came blasting through and I will never recover from that anger.
Here’s to being mindful and not giving up!