I have been meaning to meditate now for months and just can’t seem to make it part of my daily routine. It seems so strange to have meditation on my to-do list, but I know that is what it takes for me to start anything new. I need to plan for it, work it into my schedule and then just do it.
So on Sundays, I go to a free meditation class at my yoga studio. There the instructor leads us into a 10-15 minute meditation, we discuss how that went and what came up for us, then we do one final meditation for another 15 minutes or so. For just this short time once a week I can “practice” meditating and realize the relaxing and restorative effects that come from meditation.
Similar to taking a short nap, when I meditate, I feel refreshed and invigorated afterwards. The instructor guides us with ways to empty our minds of our “to-do” lists and our worries and he reminds us to keep coming back to our breath. He suggests that when a thought comes up to label it “a thought” then return to our breath. The practice of this may seem simple, but it really can be difficult. The errands I need to run after the class or the argument I had with someone keep surfacing. But the practice of softly acknowledging those thoughts, labeling them, and saying good-bye to them, lulls me into a state of lightness, a feeling of peace, and a sense of wonder about what lies beneath the surface of my mind.
I always leave that class feeling like a new person and thinking that I will be sure to meditate every day. But then life shows up and gets in the way and I am once again looking at it on my “to do” list. So for now, I am at least meditating once a week.
Find a Meditation Class at a local community center or yoga studio and download the app Insight Timer for guided meditations and a way to track your progress. Then get it on your to-do list and learn to make your to-do list melt away even if it is only once a week.