Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Day 16 ... a little help from Mother Nature...

Well... so today Dr. Chopra went on about nature and how our connection to it enhances our lives. Interestingly I did this sitting in an adirondack chair, out on the deck, in the beautiful sunshine, listening to the winter melt away. I may have even hit upon the elusive gap once or twice. Maybe. I sure could have sat there like that for more than the 15 minutes the Challenge gives us.

I am deeply grateful for my relationship to Mother Nature. I think growing up a cottage person helped that. I notice trees, birdsong, the colour of the sky... all that today.

Namaste Mother Nature, Namaste.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Day 14 of 21 Days of Frustration...

So I missed meditating on Friday, caught up yesterday and just did it this morning. I am not feeling at peace, calm, or centered at all. As a matter of fact my experience while I'm trying to learn how to do this is that I have about 30 doors in my head... during the meditation period, I scurry from one to the other, opening each door hoping there will be the quiet - the release from all this thinking that I do... but to no avail. Today in particular, I am feeling like a meditating failure.

I deeply believe though that this is something I need and want in my life. Much like I have incorporated exercise as a permanent thing, I need to learn to meditate. I guess just like exercising was hard to get on top of, to make so much a part of my daily life - and it was a challenge let me tell you - meditating is going to remain challenging. As I write that I really feel like I'm setting myself up for a "bad" or hard experience. There's a part of me that says if I just accept that I have 30 doors to deal with at every meditation, and "accept that" ... then that will be my experience and it won't change. And now I don't feel like I am making much sense.



Wednesday, March 20, 2013

21 Day Meditation Challenge - Day 10

I have had a different experience today. While my mind wasn't all together too quiet ... my body however felt rock still, anchored, weighed down, calm, which I am going to say is a good thing. Given there is a mind/body connection - I am hoping that the mind will soon follow suit.

I tell you, it's something in and of itself to observe how my mind wanders off... here I am trying to focus on the sensation of breath, then on to the mantra.... and all of a sudden I have the shopping list in my head, a conversation with a client, the dream I had last night, blog writing, .. and ok, I have learned not to berate myself for that, learned to accept that, let it go, and back to breath... but it always feels like once it has derailed it pretty much stays that way for the rest of the meditation time. Which, no matter how compassionate I decide to be with myself, I find frustrating.

I have a plan though. Once these 21 days are over - I am definitely pursuing more learning on meditation. I know it's good for me. I know I deserve the quiet. Maybe that means to I can stop being attached to an outcome - being able to "achieve" something within this 21 Day period. Hmmm...


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Day Nine... Stillness

The title today is misleading ... sort of. I have noticed in the past few days that there is a certain stillness I achieve. It comes in about the last two minutes. I almost use it to judge when the end bell will ring. Thats probably counterproductive.

All this to say - I am still at it. Day 9.


Monday, March 18, 2013

21-Day Meditation Challenge - What's Wrong With Me?

Day 8. I have spent most of the meditation today trying to diagnose myself. Do I have ADD? ADHD? Do I need a vacation? Have I had too much coffee? Is this hormonal? Quiet mind - uh, no.
It went like this: today's mantra was Om Kriyam Namah, meaning, my actions are aligned with cosmic law. So I am sitting in my place of comfort and quietness, breathing, repeating in my head Om Kriyam Namah, Om Kriyam Namah, I think I'll make the squash soup for Passover, do I have enough squash, oh poo, Om Kriyam Namah, oh ya, I need to call her back, Daughter wants me to pick up Pull ups before she gets here, geez I feel so jittery today, Om Kriyam Namah, Om Kriyam Namah, gah, I'm not even breathing properly, I wonder if I will centre before the bell rings, ahhh, Om Kriyam Namah already, I should bring dad his puzzle, are we having leftovers for dinner today, gah I'm doing it again, Om Kriyam Namah.....  and on and on 

for like twenty minutes. So to tell you the truth I sometimes really do wonder if I have ADD. The other thought that occurred to me is that I have no problem being focused and centered with my clients. How is it I can not afford myself that single-minded focus? Why don't I deserve that kind of attention?

Mr. Chopra talked today about creating new pathways in the brain. As an aside - the distraction was so bad I could barely pay attention to when he was talking.

I've decided I need to exercise. So despite the freezing cold - off I go.

To those of you following along with this meditation challenge - I hope you are finding it less frustrating than I am!


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Days of Meditation...

So to begin with... I have continued with the Daily Meditation! I just haven't kept up with the posting on the blog about it. I think it's important to shout out my perseverance... lead by example I say :).

So I would like to mention that Friday's meditation had me weeping. It was about how we talk to our body. I will put quotation marks around what Mr. Chopra said - although it might not be word for word ...  "If you could externalize your pain (whatever pain in your body you feel bad about, or whatever part of your body you aren't happy with, or hate, or wish wasn't there) ... and that person (pain) was sitting in front of you ... would you chastise it? Would you reject it? Probably not. Probably, you would reach out and comfort it, nurture it, shower it with love and care to help it get better."

I was really moved by that. Many of us are so conditioned to chastise what we perceive as weakness. If we can't run a marathon, we are not as good as... what ever. If we have aches and pains we complain, get mad at the parts that aren't working. There was a body scan meditation among the past few days. Focus on your feet, thank them for carrying you, for taking you where you need to go. Thank your back for holding you up, for supporting you... indeed! All my poor body ever gets are complaints! (Until now).

How about you? I think its very important to become aware of our inner discourse. I never realized how fully I was not saying nice things to my self!

I am so grateful to have come across this 21 Day Meditation. It is bringing insight into how I talk to myself, it is validating my experience of my intuition, it is making me recognize important connections between what I think, how I feel and what I wish for.


Thursday, March 14, 2013

On Meditation and what we say...

So Day 4 of the Meditation Challenge.

In the spirit of today's meditation, I am going to say it was welcome, wanted, calming, and positive. The theme was how we talk to ourselves and our body, how does our body convey messages to us about what is good and healthy and healing, what messages do we nurture and sustain, which ones do we negate? Actually it was interesting because the conversation today affirms how I work with my clients. Our brains tend to reinforce what we hold true - so if I am depressed, then I will see the world as sad, dark, and threatening. If I am happy I will see possibility, goodness and so on. We do the same with our bodies. If I tell myself I'm tired and achy, chances are pretty good I'm going to feel tired and achy. If I look for what's possible and positive  instead, I feel great if I stretch, it stands to reason I will feel great if I stretch.

Another example is berating myself for not finding that "quiet" space while meditating. I could also say to myself "yay me" for sticking with it and feel good about that.

How we talk to ourselves.... worth meditating about.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Meditation Day 3.... well that sucked.

Well on the good side... I did it. I sat there and listened to Oprah and Deepak wax poetic about meditating, then I breathed, then I said the mantra .. which at this moment of writing I forget but it had to do with my third eye and intuition. Today's whole sermon was on intuition and the body and how they ought to be in sync.

I also had the whole clan chatting away in my head during the WHOLE meditation. And I'm crabby, and feel lousy for some reason, and was stressed about stuff I had to do for my dad this morning, and frustrated with the folks taking care of him, blah blah blah ... that's how it went while I was saying "pun" or "sha" or "piff" or "poof" (I really am in a way!).

But... I persevered...   Even though I had to delay the start of the meditation, I did it anyway.

And as I have been learning ... I am going to notice this monumental crabbiness... and let it go. Just notice it and not stew in it.

After the meditation Honey agreed to go for a walk to the summit with me. Bless him because it sure helped a lot and it was wonderful. Red cardinals, robins, sunshine, just spectacular. I am deeply grateful for the warm air and sunshine today. Tomorrow will be a better day.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

21 Day Meditation: Day 2 ... Already???

Today's mediation was interesting. The mantra was "yum" .. which apparently is a word that opens the heart chakra. One thing I found really helpful, as opposed to other attempts at learning how to meditate, is the voice and music that accompanies this 21 day practice. As a matter of fact, today in particular, the music was so rhythmic as to help me breath in a deep and regular way. That accompanied by the mantra really did work to have the ticker tape parade in my head quiet down ... significantly. So, I have to consider this a success. I realize by stating this I am defeating the purpose of  "noticing and letting be". It's not just the internal chatter we ought notice and let go of - but as I understand it any self praise, self deprecation, anything... just notice and let go.

Tuesdays happen also to be the day I take a yoga class. Interestingly enough - today's mediation in yoga revolved around focusing on the sounds around us. The sounds outside - the traffic, the melting snow dripping, the sounds of the daycare next door; and inside - our teacher was ringing different bells, hitting different bowls to achieve melodic dings and tones and rings.... noticing and letting go is not as easy as it sounds...

I realize I am posting this 21 Day Meditation on my Gratitude blog. So I would like to take advantage to do some gratituding..  walking to yoga today, I smelled the smells of Spring, of rain, of the sodden earth coming to life. The maple trees are already dropping the first of their buds or whatever it is they drop in the Spring. There are tufts of grass peeking through. I am sure birds are around in the winter - but for some reason I hear them now. I hear the snow melting. I feel the warm air on my face and heave a sigh of thank goodness .. its almost done.

Monday, March 11, 2013

21 Day Meditation: Day 1 Struggles

Today marks the first day of the Oprah & Deepak 21 Day Meditation program. I thought I would share my journey with you. I think adding meditation to anyone's repertoire of self-care is a good thing, just like exercise. I am also sharing this because I don't hear too much about how people struggle to get this. You hear about meditating as though you just sit down and do it. I dont think its so easy - at least its not for me. Hence I share. So here goes:

Sometimes attempting to meditate scares the hell out of me. Why? Well, I feel kind of crazy. Finding that quiet, calm place in my head is no small feat. It's as though I have a fractured brain - meaning there are a number of "voices" going on at any given time. While I am sitting there repeating the mantra - today it was Ohm Bhavan Naman ... and repeating that with every out breath.. .there is another voice in my head talking about the dream I had last night, or reminding me about that email I have to send, or listening for other noises in the house, or saying hey don't forget to take the chicken out for supper....

And if you ask me - the closer I might get to the Ohm Bhavan Naman being the only noise in my head the more of a screaming pitch the other voice(s) rise to. See ... this is why I feel kind of crazy when I do this. (I am wondering at this moment about the wisdom of putting this "out there').

Sometimes I wonder if this is what has happened to my brain over the past few years with the amount of techno (smartphone, laptop, email, facebook, blogging, geeking) I do now. I really believe that it changes your brain - that it splinters your attention. It's this splintered thinking that I am looking to "cure" with meditation.

I want to share one thing Mr. Chopra said today that bears repeating ... change your mind and you can change your life. Amen.

I'm looking forward to this.

Namaste to you.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Gratitude for Abundance .. or something like that...

In my regular morning routine of sitting with my coffee and geeking... I came across the Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra 21 day meditation challenge. While it starts on March 11, there is already a meditation available, to give you a sense of how it will go I guess. The theme of the first meditation is on abundance. Reflecting on the abundance that surrounds me is a lot like reflecting on gratitude.  Deepak Chopra, in all his wisdom, expands the notion of abundance from the material to include, well, everything. The abundance we see in nature - in the uncountable grains of sand in an inch of beach, in the equally uncountable stars in the sky, in the beauty that surrounds us in nature, in the depth of our relationships, in the joys of our work... and so on. This is right up my alley.

During this reflection - I looked around my home and for me the feeling of abundance is something that comes up pretty often. While I realize I have worked veyr hard over the last 20 years to build the life I have  - I still wake up and pinch myself, wondering how I got here, how is it I am so fortunate, and feel a deep sense of gratitude for the abundance in my life.

So back to meditating: I am putting out there in the world... much like I succeeded in making exercise a vital part of my life - by following the idea that anything you do for 21 days becomes a habit (still dont remember where I learned that)... I am going to join Oprah and Deepak for the 21 day meditation challenge. I'm excited. I have been wanting to introduce and integrate meditation in to my life for so long now. I struggle with it when I do it on my own... feel I can't sit still, have a thousand thoughts in my head... its hard. Now I have two teachers with me... lets do this!

I'm grateful the universe is providing me with this opportunity. Namaste!