On December 15th, 2020, I commit to practicing a habit I knew in my heart of hearts was good for me but that, in the past, was SOOOOO hard for me accomplish.
I started Meditating.
Now long time meditators are celebrating! And non-meditators are groaning under comparisons (“My meditation will never look like hers or his or yours.”), lack of a good habit/ritual, and fear (of silence, of what might be exposed, of who one might become).
I felt ALL of these things in the countless years I have been trying to develop a daily meditation practice.
I was first introduced to meditation in 2016 as one of the topics of the Yoga Teacher Training I took. But it just didn’t click.
Shortly after my husband and I were married, he began exploring meditation and had a better practice than I did. So I tried a few times then. But NOPE. The Monkey Brain just couldn’t quit and my fidget spinner nerves wouldn’t settle.
Even after each failed attempt, I knew it was something I needed to add to my life. So, when I was given the opportunity through an inspired prompting to try again, I took it. Enter December 15th, 2020.
Already my morning routine looked like: wake up, pray, read my scriptures, journal, and then go about my day. So, I made the commitment and choice to add a 5 minute meditation to my morning ritual. After finishing scripture studies, I turned my timer on and meditated for 5 minutes, then I wrote in my journal and moved on with my day.
Week 1 done. Check marks all around. For 7 days I had meditated for 5 minutes.
Meditating for 5 minutes was pretty easy, so I decided to up it to 7 minutes. That was harder. I meditated at this time for a few weeks. Eventually, I bumped it up to 10 minutes. And this is where I am now. Every day, I sit and meditate for 10 minutes.
I started my meditation practice by resting my hands on my belly and focusing on belly breathing. Just simply noticing the rice and fall of my belly.
Just recently I began exploring box breathing aka square breathing. And I’ve noticed a few things about how square breathing interacts with my body.
Probably the most difficult part about square breathing is holding your breath at the top of each inhale (when your body is full of air) and at the bottom of each exhale (when all the air has been blown out of the body).
I’ve noticed that, when I breathe into my chest, I start to get anxious and panic and I’m unable to hold my breath for the full 4 counts and I also feel like I need to gasp for the next inhale. But, when I breathe into my belly, my anxiety goes away and I am confident that I have enough oxygen. I am able to successfully complete many rounds of square/box breathing.
Now, I don’t know if or how meditation has/is making an active difference in my life, but I do know that it really doesn’t matter. Meditation has taught me that I can sucessfully start a new habit if I want to. It has taught me that sometimes our timing is not the right timing. And it has brought new awareness into my body.
If you are interested in exploring the practice of meditation – GO FOR IT! There are so many different ways to meditate.