Friday favorites: Meditation
This has been an incredibly stressful week for me. It started off with us losing our checkbook on an airline flight, moved on to a random tax bill that we know is incorrect, and seems to be ending with me panicking about my role as VP Development for the choral society. And that’s just the highlights–along the way there were other things to stress over, like the dog barfing on the kitchen floor, the service light beeping on my car, and a hazmat situation in our neighborhood (which was resolved, no serious injuries, everything okay now).
Yeah, stress. When I’m stressed, I obsess over the list. THE LIST. I have a LIST of THINGS TO DO and I carry it around like a security blanket. I study it like an ancient text, as if I could decipher hidden meaning. I add things, I cross them off, I make a new one. It makes me feel more in control when I have a list.
Conversely, when I have THE LIST, suddenly I can see everything I need to do–and that in itself is stressful. Look at this list! There are twenty-two things I have to do on this list! I want to get rid of my stress and anxiety, which makes me feel like I have to do everything on the list RIGHT NOW.
Which brings me to my Friday favorite: Meditation. Who has time to meditate when THE LIST is staring me down, and I need to get it all done RIGHT NOW so I can stop feeling so anxious?!
That’s exactly why I need meditation. Anytime you think you’re too busy to meditate, that’s when you really need it.
I had to make myself meditate, which is embarrassing to admit, because I’m a yoga and meditation teacher! I should be above all these quotidian triflings.
Nope. I’m just like everyone else.
I forced myself to sit and meditate. I knew I was too scattered to settle down easily, so I turned to a guided meditation. (I love guided meditations because they help me focus. Some people hate them, I love them.) I chose one that was twenty minutes long, but it probably took at least ten of those minutes for my mind to settle. No matter, sometimes that just happens. What’s important is the end result—a calmer me. I felt so much better afterwards.
After meditation, suddenly THE LIST was just a list. It was no longer controlling me. I no longer felt the anxiety about doing it all RIGHT NOW. I actually chucked everything and met my friend for a beer—and that was the best part of the day.
So how’s your week going? Feeling stressed and anxious? Take a few deep breaths. Step away from the situation and spend a few calm moments in meditation. Pick your favorite kind: a breath meditation, a mantra, chanting, or a guided meditation like me.
Need more help? You can find guided meditations on the web. I recommend Live Awake.
Let me know how it goes. Leave a note in the comments section, I’d love to hear from you.