Anyone that knows me knows that I am quite an organised person and I try to plan my time so that I can have a good balance for things. I set aside time for work, time for blogging, time for the gym, time for friends, family, even the “telly” time is all scheduled neatly on my sky planner.
However lately I was feeling that ‘my mind’ was always the last thing that I had time for. I was always jumping from one task to the next, not actually thinking about what I was doing but already thinking about the next thing I had to do.
So when I got an email from “Mind Body Green” inviting me to a try their 14 Day Meditation challenge with meditation teacher and all round guru Light Watkins I was intrigued. Could I really learn to slow down my mind? Could I learn to mediate correctly and let my thoughts be still?
It sounds simple, to set aside 10 minutes a day to sit in silence doesn’t it? Here’s how I got on.
Light talked through how to establish the right time of the day to mediate, the ‘tools’ you need to help you through it (clock, blanket, water at the ready), figuring out the best position to be in for the meditation. (Surprisingly this doesn’t have to be crossed legged and hands in the air pose). Being comfortable is very important because the state of our body has a huge influence on the state of our mind , for example if I’m not on a comfortable position I won’t be comfortable for the meditation and will be distracted by that.
He explained how to handle and manage thoughts during meditation by just letting them come and go, using the mantra ‘I don’t know and I don’t care’. This is great as thoughts are meant to come into your mind as you meditate and it’s important that we don’t judge them or question why they have presented themselves now, just let it go in and out of your mind. Tip here is to think of it as a cleaning out session, your mind is detoxing itself.
A good mediation can help rest the body and the mind as it begins to heal the mind it will then help release stress from the body, so thoughts might be busier than normal as it releases these stresses. It is seen as a corrective measure for imbalances in the body.
As the days went on I learned about using breathe as an anchor point and I found this great as I could always come back to it if I felt like my mind and thoughts were running away.
I always like to add an intention at the end of each session too as this would help me visualise where I want to be after the mediation.
So how do I know it was working successfully? Light stated at the start of the challenge that it doesn’t matter what you are thinking about as long as you allow your mind to get lost and that the less you expect from the session the better it will be.
For me I realised that after a few days I begin to look forward to my 10 minutes mediation time, I looked forward to sitting in silence and letting my mind wander and see where it would go and not judge it. I’m not gonna lie and say my world changed dramatically in those 14 days but I found that I was calmer afterwards, that my mind and decisions were clearer and that I felt like the world had slowed down a bit . (Even for a little while).
I have continued my daily mediation since this challenge and each day is different, some days it’s 5 minutes and some days it’s 10 but I don’t judge my mind. It knows what it wants and I allow it that time to just be, to detox, to reset, to just breathe.
Who knows where it will bring me.