After interviewing meditation teacher and enthusiast, Ellen Rosen-Kaplan, I’ve been excited but slightly apprehensive to try it for myself. Ellen has such a powerful connection to meditation and I wanted to have a positive experience too. I think my fear of not doing it right or not enjoying it swayed me from wanting to test it out myself. That’s why it took me so long to actually sit down and take the time to meditate.
But today, I did it. Twice. I took ten minutes and just removed myself from whatever I was doing to close my eyes, focus on my breathing, and unwind. The first time I did it today, I sat in a comfy chair in my kitchen in the sun, set a timer for ten minutes on my phone, took a deep breath, and began. I was kind of unsure of what to do next, but told myself that that was okay. I placed one hand on my chest/heart and one on my stomach so that I could feel my breath and connect to it. I noticed myself having other thoughts come in and I would do my best to gently push them aside and not engage them. This happened numerous times, but each time I was able to put it aside and return to my breathing and focus. When the alarm went off I was surprised at how quickly the time flew. I felt extremely at peace and relaxed. Everything about my mind and body felt lighter. I felt almost weightless. This was a really interesting feeling, that I was able to achieve just by siting down and breathing for ten minutes.
The second time I meditated today I was lying in my bed, I put on some quiet music in the background, and again put one hand on my chest and one on my stomach. I set my timer for ten minutes and started up with my conscious breathing. Going into this time of meditation I thought maybe fewer thoughts would come to mind because I had meditated earlier, but nope. I still had a lot of thoughts rushing in, but again, did my best to gently push them aside and not engage them. This time while meditating I created a sort of mantra where I would say ‘it’s all going to be fine’ just as a reassurance for myself. There’s been a lot of stressors in my life recently, so this mantra felt very fitting to give me comfort and support. The time went by super quickly again, and after the alarm went off, I was in a sort of daze. I felt extremely peaceful again, and totally relaxed. I felt super light and even a little bit light-headed.
I wouldn’t equate what I was feeling after mediating with happiness. I definitely felt calm, peaceful, and relaxed, but not necessarily happy. Meditating gave me instant relief and made me feel those things right when I finished, but the lasting effects aren’t as prominent for me yet. What’s super interesting to me about meditation is that I am disconnecting from my surroundings and what I’m doing, but am completely connecting to my breath, my mind, and my body. I’m going to continue meditating, for longer periods of time and see how the results evolve. I do think it’s a very useful way to sort of step away from everything going on in our busy lives, and just take a few minutes to live in the present and become aware with where we are in that moment in time.
The thing about meditation is that it is a practice. Now that I’ve done it a couple times, there’s only room for me to grow and keep trying and practicing. There’s no right and wrong way to meditate, but it is constantly changing and we need to keep up with it by continuing to practice the practice.