Shoot. I just logged in to make this post and realized that I haven’t made an update since starting the Primal Challenge. So, here is the nutshell version: I did awesome until about day 11 or 12, when we went to Front Street, and a glass of wine sounded really good, so I had one. And then off the wagon I went. I still did really well on my 10 minutes/day meditation and walking for 30 minutes/day. But the no-alcohol for 30 days was a fail. This lack of self-control on my part fascinates me. I don’t drink A LOT – just regularly, so why is it so hard for me to take a measly 3 weeks off? I have an emotional/mental blind spot here that needs some work, I believe.
Anyway, what I really wanted to talk about today was my meditation practice. I have been working with a therapist, trying to understand who I am and what I want. One way to do this, is to tune in to your intuition. I have always been pretty intuitive, when it comes to interacting with other people, but when it comes to understanding how I myself feel and what I really want, my intuition fails me – it’s yet another blind spot!
My therapist recommended using a mantra mediation. She handed me a sheet of Sanskrit phrases, with the English translation next to them. She encouraged me to pick one that resonated. I read, “Aieem Namah” and the English translation (My true self is playful and wise), and for some reason it literally made me laugh out loud. I loved the juxtaposition of the idea of being playful and wise. My mantra was chosen.
She guided me through a 15 minute meditation where we focused on bringing awareness to the body, then the breath, and then to the mantra. The mantra became an anchor to bring my mind back over and over again as it continued to do what a mind does, which is think incessantly (and very annoyingly, I might add). When, at the end up the meditation, she told me to let go of the mantra, I did so reluctantly. Having it there as a base of operations was comforting.
My therapist recorded the meditation and sent it to me. For the past 2-3 weeks, I have been listening to either the recording mediation, or my own internal version, for 15 minutes a day. This is the first time I have ever really devoted myself to a single type of meditation for that long. What are the results?
The results are…interesting. I feel as if I am less reactive, which is good. But I also feel as if I am more exposed – more raw and open to the energies of the people around me – even more open to the general unease of the entire populace of the U.S. right now. Everything in my life is going quite well – work is very calm, my yoga workshops are going well, I am reading lots of interesting books, my family is fairly healthy and happy. There is no reason for me to be anxious. Yet I am anxious. Anxious in my chest – a physical sensation with no conscious mental driver. I feel something and do not know why. I am pinning it on meditation and its opening of subtle body receptors.
But, honestly, the more I learn about us humans, the more I realize how unbelievably complex we are. Everything we think, eat, drink, breathe, and do has a emotional, mental, and physical effect. How does one parse out which of the varying inputs is the one causing the shift??? I need an Hlo in Universe B who could act as a control for my experiments.
Consequently, while I cannot with 100% conviction say that meditation is a good thing, I CAN say that I do believe it is making me more aware, more conscious, more in tune with the universe around me. I look forward to it daily and even awake at 4:5oAM each morning to make sure I fit it in before my day slips through my fingers.
I will continue with this experiment and will let you know if I finally settle on a thumbs up or thumbs down re: meditation. Although, the older I get and the more I learn, the more I realize that the universe strives for balance in all things, so meditation, like anything in life, is probably not good or bad, it just is.