It has just occurred to me that I've been passively dealing with my life over the last couple of years. I think it's okay to some extent because sometimes things happen and you deal with them the best you can. But if I'm to be honest, what has been my "giving in to the Universe's plan" attitude might be somewhat caused by a fear of making more solid decisions about my life based on some past events that made things feel less than solid. While I'm still a believer that there's a bigger plan that's not always so obvious, and that we don't have complete control over, there are times that we must take the reins back and start to steer our life in the direction that feels right. Simply put, to make good changes happen, we need to step out of the way of blocking our own progress and start getting involved in the progress. My subconscious must have known this going into 2015 because I had the need to set some structured goals of change for myself. Learning to meditate was one of them.
Now meditation isn't exactly a huge change, per say, but it's definitely a tool used in the process of growth and adjustment. We can accomplish whatever we want given the right tools, correct?. So when a 30-day meditation challenge with tuja wellness came across one of my social media sites, I signed up!
This challenge is pretty much designed to hand meditation to you via your inbox, and that's really okay. One must start somewhere and if there's a way to make it more accessible, I think it's a smart move. These are daily guided meditations - working up in minutes - that teach and show you various meditating and wellness techniques. I've managed to keep up with the daily practice and find myself looking forward to the next one being sent. It's not a surprise I'm enjoying it. I practice yoga, tai chi-based stretching, and do my best to attend to mindfulness whenever possible. I was ready for this next step .
Though I didn't really know what to expect going into this practice, I did have some intentions set in order for me to start filling my "toolbox." One involved looking at new inspiration that would directly affect my photography, writing, and design work (just read my thoughts in my last blog entry to understand this). Another was to delve deeper into my being to open up some honest conversations about what I really need to create as fulfilling of a life as possible. There is so much emphasis on the importance of good communication within relationships, so why not also include communication with yourself?
I've discovered that meditation is a journey of discovery and I've been journaling some of my experiences. As dedicated to this challenge as I am, I'm also being realistic about not everything going perfect. My notes about the distraction of a screaming lovebird (Peach!!) in the next room, the uncomfortable sensation of trying to deep breathe on a full stomach, and just trying to be all zen during that time when "zen-ness" is just not an option, show there is a very down-to-earth aspect of meditation. Once you get over the need to make it run smoothly all the time, you start to really enjoy it. It's not a test and it's not a competition. It just is. Besides, the sense of well-being you get from meditating will wash away any of the hick-ups you may encounter. I can also honestly say that I'm getting some encouragement, and maybe a few answers, from my inner self. The communication line is starting to form.
I find that as time goes by, I become more selective in my activities and my activities start to blend well together. They are becoming a part of my lifestyle rather than extracurricular pursuits. I might be starting to understand what the saying, "live the life you love," really means. It's about knowing that everyday you are partaking in what makes you happiest and that the flow between work-life, home-life, social-life, and that "extra-life" is seamless. It's still a work in progress, but I'm making it happen more and more.
As I finish up this last part of the meditation challenge, I'm looking forward to more inspiration, inner-awareness, and any other tools I can use in my daily existence. I'm also looking forward to adding it to one of my other favourite activities: stand-up paddleboarding (definitely not a surprise here)! I personally don't think there is a better place to connect with the higher self than while floating on calm waters in the middle of a lake. Nature grounds and nature inspires and I hope to be there a lot as the weather gets warmer.
I'm sharing my experience with the hope that anyone who has even thought about mediation will be encouraged to give it a go. If you're still reading, you must at least find the concept interesting! I know there is a reluctance to slow down in this world, but I've noticed that being constantly busy is just a distraction from really making any progress. We need to stop quoting wise words like, "stop and smell the roses," instead of actually living them. By challenging myself to some moments of stillness (though not passiveness), I am feeling my life actually starting to move.
I don't believe it's too late to take on this particular challenge I'm doing myself. Check it out on the tuja site if interested. Go find a good spot to move into an asana, spend time to anapana sati, and may you enjoy the dhyana (forgive if my translations are off a bit, but you get the gist).