Sitting QUIET and being still (meditation) seems to be impossible for me as well as others (thus the repost below). But I’m trying and actually signed up (and enjoying) the Oprah & Deepak Chopra 21 day ‘challenge‘. I’m hoping that this will help me FOCUS, find the change I WANT/NEED in my life to give me direction for the outcome I want to achieve. So many changes still with work, home life, family, etc so I’m still unable to sleep soundly as well.
But the Fall winds for me feel like BREATHING.
The new house and the wonderful trees that it offers also have given me time to ‘settle my mind’ by focusing on watching the leaves flutter in the wind and fall to the ground. I don’t want to rake the leaves, like everyone else because I love the play of golden yellow’s and brown on the ground right now. Yes, I know they will look awful later, but that’s NOT my FOCUS – my focus is seeing the Simple Romantic Life of them and the PEACE they give me – like meditation! (These photos & GIF above are from our home – Archer enjoyed them too!)
Do YOU have trouble meditating? What can you share to help me and others?
Repost from AGEIST EDITORS | NOVEMBER 1, 2017
I tried to meditate for years before I got the hang of it. Why is it so hard for some people like me? First, it’s about understanding that just because you want to do something — like open your eyes — it doesn’t mean that you have to. This is like the cold-shower-as-mental-discipline from last week.
This is what I know:
Hard is not impossible. You can sit still with a clear mind for a period of time. It’s partial discipline, but also about the brain getting re-wired and new neural pathways being formed. MRIs of the brain of the meditator is different from the non-meditator. Brain re-wiring takes some time achieve — months —but once it does, sitting for 20 or 30 minutes becomes second nature.
There are a thousand different methods, teachers and apps for meditating. It’s one of those human activities that have been valued for millennia. Try not to get caught up in the method; any of them are probably fine. Start slow, 3 minutes or so, until you easily get up to the time you want. You are exercising and building a muscle, and just like any demanding activity, it works out best if you train for it. Even if you don’t feel like you are doing it right, just sitting quietly in a chair for a few minutes every day is valuable.
A lot of us AGEISTs already meditate; we understand how vital it is in our lives and how much more effective we are as humans because of it. But if you don’t, my suggestion is: learn how. It’s another of those little things: uncomfortable in the moment, but completely doable, and tremendously valuable.
You are stronger than you think you are.
Boone Pickens perhaps said it best: When you are hunting elephants, don’t get distracted chasing rabbits.
This week’s rabbit: Stranger Things. BTW, I loved this show as well.
I’m not a TV watcher by nature, but every now and then, a show will grip my immediate community so tightly that it becomes a focal point for conversation after conversation, theories and recaps and findings passed around the dinner table with the mashed potatoes.
The show sounded fascinating enough, even without the 80’s factor and the Indiana plot and of courseWinona’s hair. And this is precisely how I wound up staying up waywayway past my bedtime last Saturday night hitting Play on Season 2.
I have been searching for pockets of time to hit Play ever since.
Earlier this week, Bee was preoccupied with Halloween prep in her room and Scout had gone down for a late nap. The pocket of time was there, but it also wasn’t. I needed to make dinner.
So I sat my laptop on the counter and chopped cauliflower while watching Joyce Byers trash her own house again, and of course, it wasn’t twenty minutes before a pot of lemongrass broth was bubbling onto the stove and Scout was awake and Bee came in asking for a stapler (never a good sign) and I still hadn’t figured out where the heck Hopper was.
I turned off the show, realizing there were enough rabbits for me to chase without adding a virtual one to the mix.
And so, a small reminder for myself, courtesy of this simple trick my therapist friend shares with her patients:
Pay attention to your hands.
It’s the perfect cure for multi-tasking, she says. When you’re writing an email, watch your fingers on the keyboard. When you’re folding laundry, watch your hands sort through the whites. When you’re at the park with your kid, pay attention to your hands pushing them in the swing, brushing a leaf from their hair, holding their bike helmet as they run wild in the grass.
When we do (or think of doing) a million things at once, we do them less well. When we multitask, we’re teaching our brain to distract itself and things just take infinitely longer, our fuse growing infinitely shorter.
But there’s something inherently lovely about single-tasking, about focusing on just one thing at a time for as long as we’re able. And it turns out, we need only to retrain our brain with what we already have available: our hands.
It’s a small trick that snaps your mind back to the present and – better yet? – preserves energy for your next task.
(Like hitting Play on Stranger Things the very second those littles are asleep.)
Tell me: what small steps are you exploring these days? I’d love to hear!
p.s. These are a series of small steps that will (hopefully) provide one giant leap to greater things. Not for mankind, but for me (Erin), and perhaps for you, which will always be good enough in my (Erin’s) book. More here.