I started meditating in 2008 and did it regularly until 2009. Then life got me and all I did instead was being mindful when I felt overwhelmed, anxious or angry.
Elastic Habits got me back to meditation (together with two other habits of reading and writing).
The lack of clarity in life purpose and my desire to bring out the best in me were a good drive for me to meditate regularly again.
Then the coronavirus pandemic came giving a wonderful drive to bring my mediation to the next level. I’ve been meditating at least twice daily for 6+ weeks now.
Here’s what happened to me when I started meditating (again).
Sensations inside my chest make a good home base for meditation
Breaths make a natural home base for my practice. In fact, I find my attention naturally turns to my breaths every time my emotions arise.
If you’re new to meditation, the practice requires you to choose a home base where you keep your awareness. For most people, it’s the breaths but for others it could be something else like the hearing, the sensations on the tips of the fingers or toes.
I can better catch how emotions affect my behaviors.
I’d shout at my kids when they misbehave. When my wife makes me angry, I’d become either silent or explode.
Lately, I can notice, on the spot, how my intuition is at play when my emotions get me.
The ability to commission my effortful thinking (when I need it most) has also improved with meditation.
Discomfort and fear do not make me so anxious now.
Anxiety was a serious problem for me especially when I feel uncomfortable and fear. I know that when my heart beats fast.
Regular meditation lets me be aware of discomfort and fear, stay with them longer and remain calm after a few minutes of breath meditation.
This matters so much for me. Instead of letting anxiety direct my action, I can often act from a place of calm.
I am ok with not knowing.
Uncertainty would cause anxiety.
Meditating on uncertainty when it arises taught me to be ok with not knowing.
It’s more important for me to be present with my being and whatever I do in the moment. I can be present with the body sensations that come from the not knowing.
Anger doesn’t hit me as hard as before.
For me, anger is the worst emotion of all. My heart would beat so fast and my chest would become so tight and tense. I’d also lose my breaths. The whole body would tremble. My brain would freeze.
In a conversation, I’d become very defensive (or even abusive). My readiness to fight is very high.
Meditation helps me center myself.
I’d first bring my awareness to the breaths and then notice my sensations. Observing my thoughts is also helpful.
I can find calm in the midst of chaos.
Coronavirus pandemic has brought great anxiety in the world. My mind became more and more agitated with all the news and myths that float around the internet.
In mid March, I began to meditate at least twice a day.
The meditation does not help me solve the problem nor feel positive in the crisis but awareness of my breaths and sensations helps me become present and resilient.
My actions come from a clear state of mind.
Meditation builds my effortful thinking muscles.
When I need to make an important decision, I’d close my eyes and meditate on the issue and tell myself to bring compassion and clear state of mind to the decision making.
I am not perfect. There are many behaviors that I need to change. It won’t take a week, not a month, not a year but a lifetime to learn.
And I enjoy the practice.
It is a routine for me now. Before I meditated when I am overwhelmed, angry, anxious… But now I also do it to…
- help me be curious and learn,
- feel relaxed,
- find focus for my meaningful work,
- bring enoughness and invite inner purpose into my life.
My invitation to you
It is for you to start meditating daily.
You don’t have to do it for 60 minutes. In fact, not even 10 minutes. Start with one minute.
But please do it daily.
Try the Calm app.
Or work with me if you need guidance, support or accountability partner.