Happy Monday to you. And happy 3-day weekend, too! I hope you’re able to take advantage of this lovely holiday by spending it somewhere special with someone you love.
I’m checking in today with you to share an update on my January goal of meditation. (Psst: you can see all 12 of my little monthly goals here.) Here’s the short version: I’m so in love with meditating!! I can’t believe I didn’t start it sooner!
I grew up in a Christian home, so I’m no stranger to prayer (which I think is a sort of “meditation,” personally). And I’ve been doing yoga for several years, so I’ve experienced some meditation through that. But beyond those two things, I’ve never decided to sit down and meditate by myself at any point.
Jen Sincero’s book You Are A Badass was what really inspired me to try meditating. (Omg – go read it if you’re into self development books!) I felt excited by all the strong, powerful things she’s described have come to her as a result of meditation, and I thought, ‘ok, I can give that a try!’
I’ve been using the headspace app to guide me through a daily mediation. I really like it! It’s free for the first 10 days, then it’s $12.99/month (monthly rate) or $7.99/month (annual rate) to continue.
What is meditation, anyway?
It’s a bit complicated to explain, and it seems that everyone has a different interpretation. But here’s what I think it is:
Meditation is when you relax the mind enough to be able to get the conscious mind to turn off so that you can gain insight from the sub-conscious. Many cognitive neuroscientists believe that a very small amount of our brain’s processing is done with our consciousness…only about 5%! The remaining 95% is performed through the unconscious mind.
When I meditate, I’m practicing quieting my mind so I can tap into my insight and sub-consciousness.
Here’s what I’m noticing now, 15 days into my meditation practice:
- I’m more aware of physical sensations. At the beginning of each session, the voice on the headspace app asks you to become aware of your surroundings – your feet on the floor, your hands resting on your lap, and the breath flowing in and out of your lungs. It’s super simple, but this small reminder for 10 minutes of mediation keeps me more aware of sensations throughout the day. For instance: my hunger levels…
- I’m eating more intuitively and I’m better at not eating past “full.” I’m a food blogger, y’all… There’s a lot of food around me all the time! I don’t follow any diets or restrictions, so I have to keep my health/weight in balance by being careful to stop eating when I’m full. Through meditation, I’ve already noticed myself become more in touch with my sensations of hunger/satiety. I’m super excited to keep exploring this!!
- Occasionally, I’ll have a day of meditation that just feels stupid. I’m sitting there, my mind is racing, and instead of “letting thoughts float away like balloons” I’m mentally writing this blog post you’re reading and thinking about all I’ll share with y’all. Ha! (Which completely defeats the point of sharing this goal with you in the first place.) Anyway, some days of meditation feel awesome and my mind is quiet, and some days I’m just sitting there waiting for the timer to go off.
- It’s weird to not be able to track progress. The harder I “try,” the less likely I am to find satisfaction out of meditation. If you don’t know this by now, I am totally a goal-oriented girl! I love to receive my “gold star.” If there’s not a way to track progress, I’ll make a way. So, with mediation, I’m learning to go along for the ride, relax, and allow my consciousness to take a break and shut off for a moment each day. The only way I’m able to get my version of filling out a “sticker chart” is by seeing the number of days in a row I’ve meditated. I think that this is ok to have this little goal associated with meditation?
Like I said, I am super excited about the results I’m already feeling from my daily meditation, and I’m actually really looking forward to it every day!
I’ve typically been doing it right before I fall asleep (and holy cow, y’all – I fall asleep really quickly after meditation!), but I’ve also been experimenting with doing certain guided meditations first thing in the morning. Right now, I love them both!
Do you practice meditation regularly? Any favorite guided apps/programs you want to share with me?
Thank you for reading this today, friends!