I figured 100 consecutive days of meditation would be pure torture, and for the first 7 days, I was one twitchy, cross-legged breath away from quitting. If only I hadn’t made my commitment so public, told all my Facebook friends, blabbed it on my blog and promised I would follow through to the bitter end.
But then it occurred to me. My public pronouncement is the very thing that’s been keeping me going. Pure and simple, it’s shame that’s made me stay seated when my legs have gone to sleep and my knees and hips are burning with impatience. I can’t quit now. I discovered that people are paying attention to this ‘quest’, some watching for me to fail, even more cheering me on so they’ll have inspiration for their own journey, the way my friend inspired me.
My coach says daily devotion leads to discipline and to choose an intention each time I sit in meditation. I confess, my intention has been not to disappoint anyone. Maybe tomorrow will be the day I begin to practice for a greater purpose.
So I sit, night after night, struggling to stay still and resist the temptation to stretch, yawn, check my text messages, scratch my knee. I believe what I’m doing will yield a profound lesson. Otherwise, why would so many yogis, the dalai lama, all those faithful devotees of meditation keep practicing day after day, year in and year out, without needing public humiliation as a motivator?
I don’t know yet, but I AM starting to feel a vague sense of…….serenity. Maybe this meditation stuff won’t be so hard after all.
I’m like a kid in the backseat of my parent’s station wagon. Fifteen minutes into my 30-minute meditation and there goes my head, wandering, and wondering ‘how’s that Ryan and Biden thing going?’, ‘I need a drink of water’, ‘my leg’s falling asleep’….
Sarah warned me about this, my coach said ‘let yourself squirm, and re-adjust…let the day’s worries and random thoughts come up and then let ’em go’. I can find out tomorrow who ‘won’ the debate and how the football games ended up (just kidding, not a fan). I’ll scratch my itchy nose and straighten my legs and just keep sitting. And breathing.
I guess it’s sort of like herbal healing. I’m always saying to my clients “healing with herbs requires patience, but the effects are profound – hang in there”.
So I will. 98 more days. Stay with me….
100 days of breath awareness
If you’re trying to email, text, call, stop by my house, or otherwise get hold of me for the next 100 days around 8:30 in the evening, sorry, but I’ll be sitting on a pillow, wrapped in a scarf, with my cat, Toulouse, curled up on my lap, eyes closed and just….breathing. One hundred days from today, I’m celebrating my half-century mark. When I was 25, turning 50 was an age where everything important in my life was already over and the awful slide into old age started.
At 40, I was bald from chemotherapy and couldn’t think beyond the next week, let alone 10 years ahead. So, this big birthday is coming around, and the idea of taking a cruise or throwing myself a party might celebrate the struggle to get here, but I want something to be proud of when I get to 75. I want to remember 50 as the start of the best part of my life. So, inspired by a close friend, I’m committing to 100 consecutive days of meditation.
I admit right now, this feels impossible to do. I’m the squirmy type, the kind of person who’s checking email during a phone call. Doing one thing at a time just isn’t my style. Paying attention to my breath…boring.
I’ve tried this before and quit when the going got tough. My lame excuses ranged from “I have a cough” to “It’s too cold in here”, and let’s not forget the overused “I’m too tired”. Not this time. This time is for REAL. I’m putting down my evening snackfest and picking up a new habit. My meditation coach, friend Sarah, is promising to keep me accountable and provide support. So, FIFTY – here I come.
P.S. Got any helpful suggestions? Wanna join me (virtually, I mean)? Email me to share your struggles or ideas. Or leave a comment on my blog.