For those of you who read my previous blog about Mindfulness Meditation, you’ll know that I began my own journey at the turn of the year, in an attempt to find a way to de-stress and tap into my inner calm…for the sake of those around me, as well as myself!
I chose an app called Insight Timer. There are 1000s out there, but this suited my needs as it caters to all levels of meditation practitioners, with contributions by incredible teachers of many different types of practice, including Buddhism, Shamanism and Vedic. Plus you can engage with other members of the Insight community during your meditation discovery. Invaluable if you have days where you don’t quite feel it!.
At the beginning of 2017, Chris Plowman (CEO of Insight Timer), launched 365 DAYS Together – a year-long programme to encourage the community to meditate together every day for a year. Of course, I started 5 days late so I’m playing catch up! What I love about this programme is its flexibility – being a relative beginner I prefer guided meditation, whilst others prefer to do their own thing. 365 Days caters for all. I began with the “20/20 Meditate for Peace” movement with Michelle Zarrin, a guided meditation programme which builds on itself daily, aiming to connect you to your “inner self” starting with 1 minute of meditation on Day 1 and culminating in 20 minutes on Day 20.
How am I Progressing on My Meditation Journey So Far?
I admit that the first few days were a real challenge. I couldn’t block the “chatter” in my head, I drifted towards the many distractions around me rather than focusing on my breathing. Instead of feeling uplifted and positive, more often than not I ended the sitting irritated and flat. Then on Day 12, I had a real breakthrough – initially thinking I had to be “in the zone” for the whole time, I was forcing myself to be calm! But when I realised that even just a few seconds of being in the present moment, of being “mindful” and attentive to my breath, I could achieve the stillness and find the “inner self” that Michelle had been talking about.
As I continued through the 20/20 programme, I found that I was able to release my thoughts for a little longer each time, and just “be”. For every few seconds of “being” that I experienced, I learned that I was adding to the positivity that was going out into the world. It sounds deep, I know. But if you believe in the Law of Attraction, you’ll understand that we are all made up of the same energy, everything in the universe is connected, and therefore what you send out into the world will come back to you. So by sending out positive energy, I would receive the same back again.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly no meditation guru, nor am I the essence of calm 24/7. I still have my moments…whenever the cats are trying to kill each other in the next room, or the postman is overly vigorous with the letterbox, or I remember it’s bin day just as I hear the truck pulling away! But I’m now able to take a few seconds, reconnect with my breath, and let the moment pass.
I’m looking forward to the next 20 days of my Mindfulness journey. And I would encourage all of you to try it too…if you have moments in your life where you feel angry, disconnected or tense, give meditation a try. Just a few minutes a day can have a profound effect. And if you’ve tried it…keep going with it. Whatever you have going on in your day, find a few minutes to sit. Every day. I promise you, you’ll feel the difference, and the world around you will too.