In January I challenged myself to meditate every day for 30 days. I’d been wanting to adopt this healthy practice in my life for some time, but at best, my efforts had been sporadic. Thinking that a 30 day challenge might make the difference, I committed to a 10 minute meditation every morning, first thing, as soon as I awoke. I knew from experience that once my day started, I’d have all kinds of excuses to get to it later. I’d been there before.
By the end of those 30 days, I was hooked; the 30 days led to 60, and before I knew it, I had more than 100 days of daily meditation behind me.
Now here’s the thing: I don’t particularly enjoy meditating. There are many, many days when my mind flickers from one thought to the next in distressing succession. There are days where I find myself turning one idea over and over, forgetting entirely that the whole point of the exercise is not to think. I compose blog posts and indignant emails and love letters in my head, so wrapped up in my thoughts that I forget entirely to come back to my breath. But I keep showing up, every morning.
I keep showing up because I am calmer now. I’m more focused. I sleep more soundly. Even if most of the time I feel like I’m not doing it right, the meditation is making a difference. And here’s the thing that most surprises me. I have a sense of spaciousness to my days, a feeling of expansiveness. I rarely feel rushed. It just feels like there’s more time. I can’t really explain this, but I can tell you that for me it’s a powerful experience.
And so I’ll keep showing up for those 10 quiet minutes each morning. In fact I might even add an evening meditation. And if I were really brave, I’d learn how to chant.