I really stink at meditating, but I'm getting better. Maybe you stink at organizing, but you'll get better!
image: truthseeker08 from Pixabay
Some of you may remember that my focus word for 2020 is CONTENT. Throughout the year I've incorporated various things to boost my contentment (blog post coming soon covering this). One of the things I've gotten into is meditating. For those of you who don't know what it means to meditate, it's essentially taking charge of your mind. Its aim is to help you work on awareness and gain a healthy sense of perspective.
It doesn't sound so complicated, right? Well, let me tell you it has really challenged me!
I first started back in June when I was really struggling. I was miserable in the summer heat, I was exhausted from having homeschooled my special needs son for 3months, I was overwhelmed with a new caretaking routine for my ailing parent, and I was feeling burned out due to working from home (#zoomoverload). If I needed some perspective and a mental shift, this was it!
I wasn't sure exactly how to meditate, but I started by reading some online articles and downloading some meditation apps. My first go of it was hysterical! I debated for 10mins if I should sit or lie down. Then I decided to sit, but what do I sit on? I don't have a meditation cushion (yes, they make those). Should I sit in a chair, a stool, on the floor? I'm sure this is similar to how many of you approach organizing when you don't know what to do - you take out books from the library, read some articles, and then stare at your piles asking what do I do first? Am I right?
Needless to say, I settled on my pouf (close enough to a meditation cushion) and put on a 20-minute mediation recording.
And I sucked at it!
My mind kept wandering, I kept looking at the timer to see when it would be over, and I felt all weird doing these belly breathing exercises. And what's a mudra anyway?!? (mudra = specific hand positions)
I felt like one of my organizing clients who doesn't know where to start with a project, what supplies to use, and feeling that they're making more of a mess of their stuff than putting things in order.
So, what did I do?
I stuck with it.
They say nothing changes if nothing changes. So tweaks needed to be made. It's like when you want to get your space organized, but what you're doing isn't working so you need to go to plan B. Or in my case plan F...
I tried music meditation with no-words.
It didn't work because I listened more to the music and daydreamed and felt rather unfocused without any spoken guidance.
I tried to meditate lying down.
That was a bust as I fell asleep.
I tried meditating in the common spaces of the house thinking I'd be more likely to do it if I incorporated it into my daily goings-on.
That didn't work because my 8-year-old kiddo would inevitably interrupt and I would be looking around at the chores that needed to get done.
I tried guided meditations with no music.
This almost worked as I was focused on the words, but I kept picking ones where the people speaking had beautiful accents. This was problematic as I kept trying to guess where they were from and trying to talk like them!
I tried shortening the meditations to 10mins.
This too was a no-go because... well it just was! *Sigh* I just wasn't feeling it.
Here's what worked...
I designated my closet, yes my closet to my meditation space. I have a rather large walk-in closet and plenty of space to sit on my pouf.
I do this at the end of my day and I actually coupled it with a routine I already do - after I put on my evening face cream. I actually put a little piece of masking tape with an "M" on the cream as a reminder.
I sit in the dark so my kiddo is less likely to find me and I use a flashlight - it's like mood lighting.
I stopped the guided meditations and instead I just repeat a series of affirmations aloud which forces me to concentrate.
I rather enjoy speaking these statements as I feel I'm manifesting positivity out into the universe.
After each affirmation, I inhale and exhale deeply sometimes 2 or 3 times.
At the end of my 12 affirmations, I do 4 neck rolls to end my ritual.
This whole process takes me a few minutes each evening. It's a nice way to center myself after a hectic day and it's just enough for me to take control of my thoughts and just be. One of the added benefits of doing this mantra-style is that I've found myself throughout the day uttering one or two lines when I'm feeling ungrounded.
So to those of you struggling with organizing - I get it on some level! Developing the habit of bringing order to your spaces and working consistently to declutter is HARD. Developing this habit of meditation had me thinking about my clients every step of the way. I had that mindset; I'm not going to ask my clients to do anything that I wouldn't do.
For those of you interested, here is the meditation that I recite:
If you read it closely you'll notice a spelling mistake which has endeared me to it even more as it reminds me of my imperfect path on this meditation journey.
And here's the LINK if you want to hear the mantras spoken.
Can you relate to struggling with forming habits even when you know they're good for you?
What habits are you hoping to start in the new year?