Meditation Exploration

One of the things I did this spring was to explore a 21-day on-line meditation podcast (sponsored by Oprah and Deepak Chopra).   For me this was both something new and something out of my comfort zone. I’ve never done podcasts (don’t judge my tech-phobia), nor had I really tried meditation. Savasana in yoga or daily journaling is the closest I’ve come to meditative activity.

This 21-day journey was about finding lightness, energy, and vitality and shedding heaviness, stress, shackles, old unfulfilling habits, and weight. Shedding the old allows space for the new. While I am not sure this activity created a desire to continue daily mediation, it did validate many aspects of transformation I have been working on the past 3 years in retirement transition – practicing positivity, emotional awareness, changing negative beliefs, owning your choices, an attitude of gratitude. I came away with a renewed sense of personal power in my transition, some new goals, and a new affirmation.

 

Here’s some of my take-aways from this 21-day meditation journey:

Stop playing the same negative tapes. There were many days the discussion was about expanding awareness. Freedom from old habits was about breaking the pattern of unconscious behaviors and untrue thoughts by first being mindful/aware of them.   Alter your mindset to shift your life.

  • Be aware of the negative emotion (anxiety, resentment, dissatisfaction, self-doubt, irritation, frustration, procrastination/inertia, fear), but do not let it define you.
  • Be aware of what you are really hungry for? Connection? Stimulation? Hydration?

It made me ask myself: What are the negative thought patterns that move me towards unconscious snacking? Continued lack of daily movement? Inertia on engaging in some activities on my possibilities list?

Habits were conditioned through the years, but were in fact created by you. Move from unconscious habit to conscious behaviors (awareness) and then modify your attitudes and beliefs to impact your behaviors and habits. What benefit do you gain by adhering to these (old) habits?

  • I started to outline my negative beliefs… I’m not a good friend, I’m not physically able to do things, I’m not motivated enough to create the life I want, I’ll do it someday, I don’t belong, I’m not able to (fill in the blank), I’m not good enough at (fill in the blank).
  • If I switch beliefs, will I choose new behaviors? Here goes: I have a good circle of friends. I am physically able to do yoga, Zumba, walk 5 miles, SUP. I get compliments on my blogging. I am living the life I want. I am activating my vision every day.

 

Since Self-Acceptance is an area I am focusing on this year, the many days of discussion here were very helpful. Positive acceptance is not denial of your “bad parts”; it’s not being defensive because you’re not something else. It is “You be you”.

  • Stop being hard on yourself. No comparison desperation. No societal expectations. No waiting for external validation. These actions give away your power.
  • Find fulfillment in being yourself, your authentic self. Not good self and bad self, but one whole self. What you really want, what you really feel.   I release the burden to be good, “perfect”, what others expect. My true supporters will accept anything I do that is true to me.

 

Today is someday. Don’t wait for someday. Don’t push happiness off into (an uncertain) future. Life unfolds day by day. You write your life story by the choices you make everyday.

  • I choose who I want to be with the actions I take.  Every day I make choices to align my thoughts, words, and actions with my values to become who I was meant to be and live the life I want to live.
  • Wellness is a balance of the physical, mental and spiritual – all interconnected into a seamless whole. Life is about a healthy diet, daily movement, stress management, strong connections with others, and having an attitude of gratitude.
  • Make daily choices. Today I will cook more healthy and drink more water Today, I will spend time with people who emanate positive energy.  Today I will set up a walk & talk or a foodie-friends dinners. Today I will start the plan for Iceland, Syracuse, and our cross-country trip.

I need to use the power of my mind (awareness) to release old burdens, limiting beliefs, and transform old habits. My true self emerges in my path forward – free of self-criticism; growing, not just existing; making choices aligned to my (new) beliefs. I accept that where I am right now is where I need to be right now. I am enough. I am not the person I used to be; I am becoming the person I want to be. I am living the life I envision, experiencing the things I value, doing things that lift me up (SOAR). I am open to opportunity and spontaneity. I am filling my unique place in the Universe.

 

While this 21-day meditation journey did not convert me to being a daily meditator, I would definitely do another session like this as it was immensely empowering.

Are you a daily meditator?

Picture Credit: Pixabay

Advertisements

42 thoughts on “Meditation Exploration

  1. Thank you for linking up with me on this series. I take something away from everyone’s posts. And doing so, often encourages me to try something else outside of my comfort zone. Have been doing a sort of mediation for about 6 months. Have you heard of Calm.com? There are free meditation experiences and a subscription too.

    Today is someday. That is powerful. And I need to tattoo that on my forearm – my right one so I see it and keep working on that book I was going to write someday.

    Love you be you, too. I think I am pretty true to that but often feel that me being me is not enough. Need some work there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comments and I’ll check out calm.com if I feel urge to do some more mediation. (Not sure it’s my thing.) Yeah, the today is someday is a tough one for me… I listed 3 things in my morning journal today that I keep saying “someday” and am trying to figure out why I can’t initiate them! I’m thinking there is some fear of failure (not good enough) involved. As you say… need some work there, as well!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m glad you tried meditation and got something out of the series. I do meditate daily (well, almost). It’s not what I expected when I started–some kind of instant zen–but it has been immensely helpful to me in getting more in tune with myself.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Pat, your meditation exercise seems very valuable, whether or not you relate to the term meditate. I personally don’t love that word as it sounds all woo-woo to me, but I do relish the quiet time and the personal reflection work. I am on much the same path as you in terms of personal acceptance, and I think that really, that is what everyone is looking for. I find my meditation is my early morning hour or two when I read, stop and think, and have time to listen to my inner voice. I never understood the power of my inner voice or how to tap into that until I tried meditation. My morning reading might not be pure “meditation” but I think it serves the same purpose, and now I am lost without it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. An interesting perspective on meditation. My morning journaling isn’t quite as inner voice reflection anymore…and maybe I need to rethink that. It started that way. Not sure you meant it to be..but thanks for the nudge!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I tried meditation years ago but never took to it. I could never seem to clear my mind. I need to rethink meditation though because I do believe it could help with some of the inertia I am having.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. There’s been so much mindfulness on people’s blogs lately Pat – Sue and Min and Christie have all been posting about it – and yours fits into the same demographic. It’s such an important reminder to be kind to ourselves – to take time to figure out where we can do better in our self-talk. It also is about taking a little moment in the day to be still and focused. I have so much to learn in this regard!

    Thanks for linking up with us at #MLSTL and I’ve shared this on my SM xx
    Leanne | http://www.crestingthehill.com.au

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Leanne, I noticed that thread on mindfulness myself! Great minds? Or are we all just on the same trendy kick? Being kinder to ourselves in self-talk is such a great way of saying it. I talk to myself worse than I would ever talk to a friend! But long-standing habits and ways of thinking are hard to change… so I try not to beat myself up when I slip into old habits. I just start fresh. Today I will SOAR.

      Like

  6. Great article but I think I enjoyed reading the comments and your replies as much as the post! I’ve never tried meditation. It sounds like you got a lot out of the series, good for you for bringing forward the good!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Donna for joining in the conversation! I did get a lot out of the series, just not daily meditation. LOL. I’m not sure when I learned to find the value in situations even if they don’t do their original intent… maybe when I had a really tough boss and was mentored to focus on what he was able to teach me. He was a great project manager but thought woman should not be in the technical workplace, and I did learn project management skills. And was really happy when I could change assignments and get a different boss. So in this case, I found the value in the awareness, if not the meditation skills!

      Like

  7. This really spoke to me because I can be a negative Nancy especially just me and my head. Mostly unfounded, but I can get into a downward spiral when I should be in a downward dog and being positiviely mindful instead! So today, thanks to your instruction I shall try to be more aware of the negative emotions and not let them define me as I go about my day. I like that we should really find out what we are hungry for … Connection? Stimulation? Hydration?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL. My voice is Anxious Annie. She’s always seeing what can possibly go wrong and why I’ll fail…before I start.

      I bought some fancy sparkling water for when I’m feeling hungry…. it gives me hydration (which helps curb hunger) and a little jolt of joy – that’s instead of salty or sugary snacking. Even if the water is an indulgence, it seems to be working (a bit). I’ve stopped putting on weight (recent health changes had my weight creeping up). So yeah… Connection? Stimulation? Hydration? was a great insight for me!

      Like

  8. Like Janis, the closest I come to mediation is while hiking, cycling, etc. Out in nature I become so acutely aware of the environment – sights, smells – and when the going gets more strenuous, I also become very aware of my breathing and body position and the muscles I’m using. The mental dialogue just shuts down from all this other input. Maybe that’s why I always feel so relaxed and peaceful at the end.

    There was a lot of wisdom in your words in this post. I noted several, but my favourite is ‘today is someday’. It captures the essence of everything I strive for – if not today, then when?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love the idea of becoming aware of breathing and body position and muscles as being meditative. That is how I am in yoga.

      The Today is Someday is a difficult one for me. I spent so many years delaying gratification … “I’ll do it someday” was a common refrain. The habit is hard to break. But slowly, I am taking action on things. It’s a big part of my focus this year.

      Like

      1. “Today is Someday” is a difficult one for me too. I could make this a very long comment, but let’s just say that we all have at least one area of our lives that needs a “today is someday” reminder. This is a great mantra to help refocus attention when it starts to drift … at least that’s my expectation 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I am not a daily meditator. I have long heard of the benefits of the practice, but I have never explored it. Sounds like a good activity to try on next winter when there’s not so blasted much to get done!! Putting it on my Someday/Maybe list.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah… I got something put on your Someday/Maybe list! If I hear of one of these 21-day free things next fall… I’ll send it your way. I did feel it was a good introduction to meditation.

      Like

    1. Bernadette, Changing outlook on life is a great way of thinking about it. As Karen (below) pointed out, the messages from wise people was definitely the positive component for me. And an appreciation for mediation, I think. I’ve noticed I’m more accepting of some of the yoga breathe work and “quiet” Yiin poses. Maybe meditation is in my toolbox after all!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi Pat.
    I’m the someone who told you about Deepak and Oprah’s meditation series. I started with the one you’ve just finished when it was a freebie a year or two ago and since then have done a few other freebies (they usually do two series a year) and have purchased about half a dozen of the series. You’re referring to them as a podcast. Do they exist that way? I have them as streamed videos. I know that the image for the day doesn’t change on the video (it’s always so gorgeous and evocative), but there is also a place where you can journal your responses to four questions and can read the message for the day. I find those really helpful.

    I’m not into daily meditation, despite having listened to and purchased all of those meditation programs. However, I’m not beating myself up about it because the programs have done for me just exactly what they have done for you – given me all of the takeaways you describe, including some self-compassion and self-acceptance.

    I always think that someday, when life settles down a bit (will that ever happen and would I want it to if it did??) I will become a daily meditator. Until then, I love that I can turn to the meditations as messages from wise people that I listen to with my eyes closed and a focus on my breath. While I’ve never hit the nirvana of meditation, I find that my baby steps feel pretty good.

    Thanks for letting us know how it went, Pat. I’ve been curious!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Karen, Of course it was you! I couldn’t remember who told me about it (short term memory loss)..but it had to be someone I trusted for me to try on something so far out of my comfort zone. I guess I called them a podcast because that’s how i interacted with them. Every day listening to a new session. [Maybe i’ve got wrong language?] And yes, the messages from wise people is the benefit IMO. Kinda like reading certain folks blogs. 🙂

      Like

      1. Hey, thanks for the compliment(s) Pat. I’m glad you trusted me enough to give the meditation series a try. And now that you’ve done it, you’ll definitely be informed the next time Deepak and Oprah run a series.
        If you think you might like to explore a little bit further, you could try the free meditations that Tara Brach offers on her site -https://www.tarabrach.com/guided-meditations/ They’re really nice, and you can choose the meditation length you’re most interested in. Tara is a psychologist and she’s especially good for the self-compassion, self-kindness work that we both recognize as a need.

        Like

      2. Thanks Karen. I’ll add it to my list. I’m not sure I’m ready for another meditation adventure right now as there are a few other things I want to get going (to Soar). But I’ve written it down for future reference! Thanks for the recco.

        Like

  11. I tried meditation long ago but didn’t get very far… I couldn’t quiet my mind. I know that if I stuck with it I would have gotten better but I didn’t. The closest thing to meditation I do now happens during my regular walks. I’m glad you were able to get something positive out of your experience.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I bet your regular walks are indeed a type of mediation. I’ve learned to appreciate yoga more – especially the breath work we do. But I’m not sure I can see myself just sitting and breathing daily, without my mind creating check lists and worrying about what I need to do!

      Like

  12. Meditation is something that I THINK would be a natural fit for me….but somehow I never get around to it. I’m glad to read that you found your experience with meditation to be helpful (even though you don’t currently see yourself meditating regularly). I may just keep meditation on my “someday list” for now! “)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love someday lists! I think it’s something you would enjoy trying on… so next time I hear of one of these free things… I’ll let you know. I actually would do another one as I enjoyed the inspirational talks before each day’s meditation.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Hi Pat! I really needed your post today for several reasons. I have been working through (and I say working because it has been hard!) Mindful in May Challenge. I’m really struggling but I think after three weeks I have realised that firstly the course has too much information overload – which adds to stress not mindfulness and secondly, perhaps I’m not suited to long meditations but rather spot meditations during the day. I am finding that I am being more mindful of my thoughts so I suppose that is one positive! Have a great week! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sue, I’ve noticed a few of your mindfulness posts on FB and found them intriguing. It’s always an interesting balance between information and meditation. I know I liked the information in the one I took more than the mediation… that’s how my brain works. I’d be “more information please” I think! But “Being mindful of my thoughts” is exactly how I feel after my 21-day thing as well. Great phrase.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Hi Pat! YES I am a daily meditator. My husband and I actually started doing it together every day about EIGHT years ago. I can’t believe we’ve been doing it that long but we do. It helps of course that there are two of us to remind and encourage each other. And while I’d love to say that I’ve become a master, that’s not why I do it. For whatever reason it brings more peace and self-awareness into my life–that’s why I keep doing it. I also know that it is good for both of us and brings us closer together. Beyond that, I journal 5 days a week and I tend to believe that is also a meditation. And I agree with every single one of your takeaways. While the changes are often subtle, the more we do our meditation the more rewarding the benefits. If you can find a way to make it part of your life I strongly recommend it! Thank you for reminding me why I do it in the first place. ~Kathy

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Kathy, I’ve come to appreciate the quiet moments of yoga and mediative aspect of the daily journaling. I guess I do believe that meditation can bring more peace. But still wasn’t able to really do it through the 21-days. It’s wonderful you have a support system to keep you doing it!

      Like

  15. Hi Pat, You’ve really piqued my interest in that podcast. I’ve never been much of a podcast listener, either, until recently. I’m finding that listening to them makes some of my more mundane, mindless tasks go much more quickly. I’ve never been particularly negative, but I really would like to explore the concept of You be You and Today is Someday. Where did you find this podcast? ~ Lynn

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Lynn, it was a freebee that someone told me about, through the chopracentermeditation.com. Apparently they have free ones every once in-a-while. Or you can buy them. (I wouldn’t have bought it.) If I hear of another, I will definitely let you know! This was focused on meditation but I took away all the other components that validated things I was trying to implement…and didn’t really grasp the mediation. Right now, they (Chopra Center) are doing a FB thing everyday with something about meditation. So my guess is they always have something happening to push meditation habit formation.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s