Back to mindfulness

While working through my Masters degree, with a 2 year old, a 6 year old and busy life around that pair, I had a regular meditation practice. Nearly every morning at 5am I’d get up, meditate for 15 to 20 minutes using the Headspace app and then get into uni work and from there my day. I think that it helped manage the stress, tiredness and overall complexity of this time in my life. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed if inside is buzzing around with out of control thoughts and anxiety.

Since finishing my degree I’ve given the 5am starts the heave-ho for the much more sedentary 6am wake up time… and have really missed the meditation. At 6am the (now) 3 year old is up and charging and there is no peace to be found in the house which rules out the meditation time in the morning so I have restarted this practice with afternoon meditation – just 10 minutes here and there, wherever I can squeeze it in. I can already feel a difference and note that my focus and mindfulness of tasks has improved after only a few sessions. I’ve found that long periods of meditation (as in many consecutive days) has built a pathway in my brain that is able to wake up pretty quickly. I haven’t got the single minded focus that I had previously, but I feel a lot like it’s back on track and moving in the right direction.

It was potentially as a result of this practice that the thought of selling my beloved Hilux came up. And it came up with much less stress than I’d previously experienced. A little bit of extra distance has given me the perspective to understand that I really don’t need two utes (even though it’s a great car and I love it). Realistically, it can go and not leave a hole in my life. It’s just a thing, but I’ve found it hard to even contemplate letting it go up until now. After the decision was made, the plans for the Hilux cancelled and the Car Sales ad set up, I feel a sense of space coming back into life. Managing so many vehicles and the budget to maintain them has been stressful, but it’s now a lot easier. Spending some mindful time pondering the problem has allowed me a clearer view of what was happening and selling this vehicle came straight up.

In times past I’ve used meditation to keep my stress levels down – mainly through giving myself the space to really work through problems. I have found the following as a result of mediation:

  • even if tired it still has benefits
  • do it every day, even if it’s only a short 10 minute session
  • no expectations of results – just do the the meditation and allow whatever is going to come up, come up
  • consistency is key – every day no matter what
  • getting the brain back into meditation mode isn’t easy but worth doing and starting from afresh it’s definitely worth it

I’ve used Tara Brach’s guided meditations (https://www.tarabrach.com/guided-meditations/) in the past – I find her voice very soothing, but I always tend to return to Headspace https://www.headspace.com/headspace-meditation-app. The app has really developed over the last few years and for a hundred bucks a year is a great investment – AS LONG AS YOU USE THE APP. Otherwise it’s a useless piece of software that costs a fortune and takes up space on the screen. The only way to fail is not to try it.

I’m still enjoying a sense of peace inside from meditating. It seems to last longer after every time I meditate and my focus is improving daily.

Meditation – well worth investigating and even more so, worth putting some time into.

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