Here I am, 111 days into my meditation journey, and I find it hard to believe that I’ve made it this far! This has been the longest challenge that I have kept up with and even though I’m usually one to seek out immediate rewards, 111 days into this journey, and I can promise you it wasn’t easy, but I do find myself having a better sense of mental clarity. So, what is meditating? How does one meditate? And why would anyone want to sit still for 5-10 minutes daily with their own thoughts?!
I started meditating because I wanted to practice being focused more on the present moment. And it was tough at first. I quit within a week after believing that meditation, just wasn’t for me. My mind runs a mile a minute, so attempting to sit still while trying to turn off my thoughts was nearly impossible. What am I doing wrong? Why can’t I sit still? Why can’t I just turn off my brain for 5 minutes a day?!
” It takes courage to approach conflict free from expectation. To be vulnerable, open, kind and curious.”Headspace App, Day 1
I practice using the Headspace app. It’s the only meditating app that I’ve tried, and while I know there are tons of apps out there; I really enjoy Headspace! It started as a personal challenge to see how long I can keep this going, whether reaping the benefits of proper meditation or not. So I’ll admit, the first month or so, was done just to say I did it. Booooring! Who really cares how long this lasts?! If you’re not properly meditating, then what really is the point? I like the Headspace app for a few reasons: community, stats and goals, courses and you can even download courses for offline meditating; perfect for when I’m out on the road without any service; which, by the way, meditating in nature- IT’S AMAZING! The Headspace app not only tracks each time you meditate but also for how long. So it’s always fun to look back and see how far I’ve come during this meditation journey. I recently started using was the “check-in” feature each month. Here, you can briefly journal your thoughts and feelings, then come back at a later time to review.
So what exactly is meditating and how does one meditate?
The defination of meditating: think deeply or focus one’s mind for a period of time, in silence or with the aid of chanting, for religious or spiritual purposes or as a method of relaxation.
A few things here. I’ve mentioned using the Headspace app, but having an app is not required to meditate. As a matter of fact, you don’t really need much at all. It begins with wanting to slow down and be present. Most people meditate to relax, a form of relaxation. Others, meditate to gain new perspectives on stressful situations, increase patience, and reduce negative emotions. I use the Headspace app as a guide for guided meditation and to simply track my journey. The courses they have been very informative and helpful as well! Some people meditate in groups, others meditate alone. I like to meditate alone. Something about having that moment entirely to myself, allows me to think clearly and focus on my practice. Some people like to meditate first thing in the morning, as part of their morning routine. Others, like myself, enjoy meditating at the end of the day, right before bed. This allows me to unwind, and completely let go, especially if I had a tough day. So as you can tell, there are different ways people like to meditate, different places, times, and different apps, but the meditating practice itself is generally the same.
“The more clearly we can view our thoughts, the more clearly we can decide what to engage with and what we can let go of.”Headspace App, Day 6
Am I even doing this right? Why don’t I feel any different? This is where I started to feel discouraged. One week into my practice, and I knew nothings changed. I didn’t feel like I was meditating, and it definitely didn’t increase my patience. They say if you stick to a new hobby for at least 60 days, you’re more likely to follow through. It was like Day 6 and I was over it. I’m wasting my time. This app doesn’t work. I’m calling quits and giving up. And just like that, I gave up. As I sat there in my feelings, for 30 minutes or so, I felt defeated. Why must I give up everything I attempt? Something so easy as to just sit down, in silence, for 5 minutes- was really starting to bother me.
So for the next 2 weeks, I forced myself to meditate every day. There were days I hated it. I sat there, in silence, in anger, with my thoughts…for 5 minutes. By day 14, I was meditating. Properly meditating. I sit there, in silence, with my thoughts (and the Headspace app) and I meditate. My meditating practices start with a breathing excercise, eyes open, soft focus, sitting down, and usually on the ground. The lighting in my room is sutled and warm, and I’ll usually light a candle or burn some sage for a calming experience. Each day is different. Each practice is different. Yet, I feel the same after each practice- relaxed, calm, and have a sense of clarity.
” Meditation is not about creating more space in the mind. It’s about letting go of the clutter that obscures our experience of that space.”Headspace App, Day 10
It has been 111 days into my meditating journey, and even though my mind continues to run a mile a minute, I feel the most present while I am meditating. I started this meditating journey to focus on being present and have since learned that the way to be most present is, in fact- through meditation. ♡
Do you meditate? What are some of the benefits you’ve discovered through meditation? If you don’t meditate, I challenge you to try it for at least 1 week and see how it makes you feel. Meditating is not for everyone, but everyone should at least attempt to calm the mind through meditation.
🌕 Journal entry for 111 days of meditation: The day is January 28, 2021 it is a Full Moon tonight. How special is that. The first Full Moon of the year, just so happens to land on my 111th day of meditating. It’s raining outside. The first Full Moon I am unable to charge my crystals. Tonight I meditated for 12:22 minuets. Talk about tonight’s symbolic energy. I feel a sense of ease; calm after the universe tested me in many ways today. But I was aware, of course- thanks to my horoscope. Learning more about my natal chart and how the planets were aligned the moment I was born has been intriguing. I feel connected. And I feel ready for this next chapter. Whatever that may look like. ✨