Meditation is the hardest self care tool for me. Just like any difficult run, work-out or class, right before I do it I feel anticipation and even a slight fear that I will not do it “right” or “long enough”.
When I was mediating recently I felt like the experience was very similar to when I have to run on the treadmill because of bad weather and have set miles that I need to complete for race training.
For these particular runs, I get my water positioned into the water cubby. I have a shirt or towel covering the screen. I put on the best playlist I have on my iPod and off I go for as many miles as I have on my race calendar that day.
As the first initial minutes of the run go by, I feel this yearning to move the towel aside to see my time and my pace. Not knowing how far I have run drives me crazy, yet again knowing how much farther I have to go is a much worse feeling. This mind game continues for the first two miles of my run and then suddenly everything comes into place. I catch my rhythm. I find my breathe. My strike becomes more fluid. Everything comes together. I’m in zone! I’m running and having fun.
Meditating the other day felt like the same experience. I set my IPhone timer and placed it next to me. I was seated comfortably and I closed my eyes. I could feel this yearning to keep opening my eyes and check my phone to see how much time had pasted. My body was incredibly tense not knowing how much time had gone by. I kept focusing on my breath but my thoughts were running rapid. I then began to take deep breaths and sighs and then began to count my breath—allowing my inhales to equal the length of my exhales. After ten rounds of this breath my thoughts faded, my shoulders dropped down to the ground and I was in the zone. I was meditating. It was on and I felt at ease.
Whether it’s running on the treadmill or meditating it takes patience and time. There needs to be space to “warm-up” and to let go of not knowing how many miles have completed or how much time as gone by. The key is to find your rythmn by letting go of the need to control. Let things be. Let them evolve. It will allow your mind to be more free.
What is your experience with meditation? What do you struggle with?