I know meditation is good for me. I know that when I meditate I feel calmer and more centered. I know that meditation brings me a sense of clarity and peace, a sense of balance. And I know that I really, really want to be one of those totally grounded, ethereal-looking women who glide effortlessly through their days in flowing, all-organic wardrobes. For sure women like that have to be meditating.
I know meditation is good for me. So why it is so hard for me to make it a regular part of my life?
I think the great difficulty for me is that I never feel like I get it right. No sooner do I begin than I am fidgeting, noticing how sore my hip is or how cold the room feels or or how itchy my head suddenly feels.
And here’s what’s going on in my head:
“Okay, Sally, you’re just sitting for 10 minutes. You can do it. Breathe. Just follow your breath. Empty your mind and breathe…”
“My hip hurts. Why is my hip so sore? I’ve had a massage and two hours of yoga this week.”
“Just breathe into the pain. Just follow your breath.”
“How can people sit and meditate for hours on end? How can people go off for month-long meditation retreats and meditate all day, every day? Not exactly my dream holiday! Maybe we should book next week for Sri Lanka. I wonder if in Sri Lanka….”
“Breathe. Calm blue ocean, honey.”
“Breathing in…Why is my head so itchy? Is it possible that I have lice? Do they even do head lice checks at the elementary school any more? It was pretty hard to get volunteers for that. But it’s not like the lice just march off to another school where they’ll get more attention…”
“Just follow your breath.”
“Breathing deeply… I should write a blog post about meditating. I could call it Meditations on Meditating…”
You get the idea.
The problem with meditation is that I want to be one of those monks up in the caves in Nepal (or is it Tibet?) who are so good at emptying their minds that when scientists scan their brains for activity, all that shows up on the screen is a single blue pearl. How cool is that?
My brain scan would look like the light show at a really fun dance club. Woo hoo! Check out that girl over there dancing on the bar!
The crazy thing, though, is that even when my brain is in full party mode while I’m trying to meditate, I still feel calmer when I finish. So this January, I’m making a commitment to meditate every day. Only for 10 minutes each morning and without any unreasonable “Blue Pearl” expectations. I’m going to meditate even if there’s a dance party going on in my head. Especially because there’s a dance party going on in my head.
I’m hoping that by the end of January, meditation will have become part of my day, something that I do automatically. Every morning I’ll just wake up and meditate. And then head out for the day with an ethereal smile on my face…