So today I decided to turn my phone off completely for hours. I got a text early in the morning during my drive to my friend’s house and ignored it because I didn’t feel like responding. I was thinking, driving, just being in my present moment.
I got to my friend’s house and we took off to go hiking in Malibu to see some waterfalls (something I’ve been wanting to do for years). Once I got to my friend’s house I decided to turn off my phone as more text messages flooded in. I only turned it on to take some pictures once we reached our destination, then turned it back off again.
We spontaneously decided to go to the beach and I wore my pink underwear and her tank top because I didn’t have a bathing suit! It was this little hole in the wall location totally away from most people. We had to climb through a hole in a fence and down some cliffs to get there but it was totally worth the danger and spontaneity. I laid down after enjoying the water and closed my eyes. I remembered how I am doing a meditation challenge and decided that I wasn’t going to let my location stop me.
I remember my late uncle, Paul, meditating any place he could. He would do it while riding in the back seat of cars, just anywhere he could. So I closed my eyes and started my deep breathing in and out and began counting. Any time thoughts came into my head, I decided to say to myself that I am loved, that I’m here. I love myself, I kept saying. I’m taking care of myself, I kept saying. I let myself take in the warm sun and the soothing sounds of the ocean, and was grateful for the spontaneous day, for my lively girl friend, and for the opportunity to be where I was. I took care of myself today. I kept my phone off. I did what my heart wanted and it felt so great.
So I think I know why I don’t like meditating. It activates the core and my core isn’t that strong. I mean, my back is strong, but the front half, nope. I ain’t even gonna lie.
I learned a technique over the weekend that really worked for me. We were guided in a meditation to breathe in for four counts and breathe out for six counts. Focusing on the counting helped me to block out all other thoughts for a bit, but they still came through. I would just go back to my counting and breathing, getting more and more into my present moment. Yea, and my present moment brought up uncomfortable sensations like tension on the right side of my back and neck. I guess I hold tension more so on that side? I became aware of that, as well as thoughts about relationships and work. They were things that were really bothering me though.
So I began to ask for guidance. I kept hearing a voice say, “you are here.”
Yesterday I experienced so much worry because I wasn’t being present. I was thinking about things that weren’t affecting my present moment, mostly things from the past that had bothered me. Today, it was the same thing, but the difference is that I became aware of just how much I was letting my past influence my present and it literally hurt.
So, just being here, with what I have right now is how I must face the rest of the day. Anything that is bothersome to the mind comes from memory and it can ruin the day to continue living there. I ask myself these questions: What can I learn from my present moment? How can I serve in my present moment? How can I strengthen my core in my present moment?
I like regimented things because I’m anything but. I’m a total free spirit, messy, spur of the moment kind of girl, but when I actually make a commitment, I’ll follow through to the end.
Over the weekend I attended a yoga teacher training and as part of the training, we of course did yoga and meditated. I am a regular yoga practitioner, but not a regular meditator. I’ll meditate when I get really stressed out and have no choice but to close my eyes and attempt to shut my mind up.
Meditating this weekend felt absolutely magical. It’s like real medicine. I’ve often heard that some of the brightest minds meditate, like one of my favorite comic writers/storytellers, Grant Morrison. I admire his work so much and I think that it’s probably meditation that has allowed all those crazy, out-of-the box ideas to flourish and become raw, new, thoughtful stories.
When I write I try to organize my thoughts before I even start writing, and sometimes I get really caught up in the outline, so much so that the story isn’t allowed to breathe or have a mind of its own. I think with meditation, a project is given the freedom to be what the universe wants it to be, not what I want it to be, or what some editor thinks it should be.
So my new challenge to myself is this, to meditate for ten minutes every day, for oh, maybe a month? Think that’s enough time? Yea. A month.
I meditated this morning for ten minutes and asked myself these questions that I’ve heard from the Course in Miracles: Where will you have me go? What will you have me do? What will you have me say and to whom?
I know the meditation is working already. I feel a bit more directed in my day.