Sometimes I just have to step back for a moment and let everything go. There’s a lot of stress this world is able to send my way every day. I’m sure the same could be said for each one of us. I’m not saying this to complain or hold my stress as being “more stressful” or anything like that. I just recently came to a place where something had to change. I was tired. I wasn’t sleeping. I wasn’t happy. That’s when I decided to commit to 10 straight days of meditation.
It’s not like I haven’t been meditating in the past. I’ve just let it slip here and there and decided that it was time to make that practice stop. It was time to make sure meditation happened every day. So, for 10 straight days, I made sure my meditation routine was guaranteed.
Here’s what I learned from that commitment.
#1. There were issues I was blocking. You know how memories tend to fade over time? Wouldn’t it be nice if hurtful emotional wounds did the same thing? I discovered that there were some issues that were really bothering me and I had been choosing not to deal with them. So they sat there in my mind, festering away, and rotting out my happiness. Meditating each day helped to start the healing process.
#2. I put others first a LOT. The urge to answer a text or check my e-mail while meditating was almost overwhelming at times while I was meditating. As I pondered this, I discovered that instead of making time for myself, I was making more time for others. That’s not to say helping people isn’t a bad thing. It’s just there are times one must be willing to take care of themselves first instead.
#3. I can find clarity in other ways. For so long, I’ve worked on meditating because I’ve wanted to find some clarity with what happens in the world today. It’s been a way to discover peace in the midst of chaos for me. During this 10 day stretch, I discovered clarity could be found in other ways as well. Something as simple as going for a walk was a chance to reflect on things.
#4. Take advantage of each moment. There are unique moments that happen to each of us every day. If I’m not focused on those moments which happen to me, then some of life’s most interesting moments are passing me by. Meditation time is not the only time where powerful, life-changing reflections may happen. A random compliment from a stranger, an extra flavor shot in your coffee from a barista trying to be nice, or a simple word of thanks are all powerful moments as well. Not only should we watch for this, but I think we should provide them as much as we can as well.
#5. I really am a procrastination specialist. I discovered that part of the reason I wasn’t making meditation a priority was because I felt like I could face tomorrow without that time to myself. In some ways, I still even feel that way. The urge to not meditate sometimes is still strong, especially if there’s some chore or work issue which I feel needs to be accomplished. By recognizing this, I am working on changing this, and sometimes that’s the most important thing, I think.
Meditating for 10 days straight has changed my life not because I’m better at it or I get more out of it. It has changed me because I’ve started listening to myself. I’ve made myself a higher priority. In doing so, I am now much more able to be effective at work or help others when I can because I’ve brought life back into balance.