I’ve been meditating for a month now, just ten minutes every morning as soon as I wake. It’s a practice I’ve experimented with from time to time, but this is the first time I’ve made a commitment, however small, to practicing regularly. I’d like to tell you that after my thirty-day meditation challenge, I am a changed woman, a woman who exudes calm and purpose, who floats unruffled through her days, who epitomizes “ethereal.”
But that wouldn’t be quite true.
After thirty days of meditating, I am still a woman who is disorganized, who perpetually runs late, who swears under her breath as she tries to find her phone in the morning. Ethereal, I suspect, will never be part of my repertoire.
But after thirty days, here’s what I am noticing: I am calmer. I’m more focused at work.
And I’m becoming aware of how busy my mind is. I can worry like nobody’s business. I can compose entire blog posts on my drive home from work. In a twenty-minute walk, I can leap randomly between thirty different topics: my kids, my thighs, the dog, the weather, the meaning of the word ethereal, that student who is making me crazy, my dad’s lasagna… You get the idea. At least now, though, I’m aware. And I’m learning how to calm my mind, how to settle.
The other thing I’m learning these days is how shallow my breath tends to be. As I practice meditating, I am finally learning to breathe. (This, I suspect, is a good thing!)
I read recently about keystone habits, habits, like exercising, that have far-reaching effects in our lives. I am pretty sure that meditation might be a keystone habit for me.
I started meditating as a thirty-day challenge, but I’m going to continue with this practice daily. I can feel already how good it is for me. I can feel already how much calmer I am. I can feel already an ethereal aura settling around me as I search for my phone.