Every. Damn. Day. + Meditation Challenge Check-In

- - meditation

Hey everyone. This is a completely random update. I had planned on doing this at the 15th of the month – sort of the midway point for the meditation challenge, but I just got the urge to write tonight. I’m actually sitting here in my towel, just getting out of the shower, and thinking about how thankful I am to be where I’m at in my life right now.

I wrote a post today at jcdfitness called Every. Damn. Day.  <– click that to read after you finish this one.

Fact is, I spent 16 days in Boston, then traveled back to Nashville, and am finally settled in. It was a fun trip, but I’m so happy to be in my normal routine again.

In saying that, I’m a bit sad because of the people I left behind there. I spent some quality time with my friends and I’ll never forget it. They even threw a birthday party for me – people even drove in from New Jersey, and NYC. I feel pretty special.

I’ll be back many more times in the near future to hang and work.

The image above if of me playing around in the grass of Dewey Square in Boston. Apparently this painting caused quite a bit of controversy to some who called it a terrorist painting. My response to all these folks (read the comments here) with a narrow mindset is to think fast and speak very slowly for you never know who’s reading…

It amazes me the things some people will say over social media. I have been known to say some pretty crazy stuff over Twitter, but this stuff is just appalling.

On With The Meditation…

As you can see, I’ managed to get 44 days straight of meditation.

I will admit that I’m struggling to stick with my triggers that I mentioned in this post. However, I’m learning some cool stuff in the process. Even though I’m not meditating after my first cup of joe, I am still getting it done. Every. Damn. Day.

However, if I knock it out in the morning, my day seems to run more smoothly, and I’m less affected by stress. I’m just calmer, altogether, so it seems. It might be voodoo nonsense, but it’s what I can gather thus far.

In saying that, I’m nearing the end of the preparation process for my fitness project I’m releasing in a matter of days, so the meditation, and mindfulness is providing a lot of mental benefit.

Another thing I’m struggling with is going past 8 minutes. My mind is racing more than ever before. But I won’t stop – I’m gonna stick with this because my life, my physique, my entire being is a product of diligent practice (as noted in the Every. Damn. Day. article above).

So this is my open invitation to you – spill it! How have you been doing with this meditation challenge? Anything you’re learning along this journey? Let’s start a conversation in the comments section.

 

9 Comments to Every. Damn. Day. + Meditation Challenge Check-In

  1. Jon Fernandes

    So as you know, I had started meditating early july the day after we chatted about it.

    Not gonna lie, past few days I’ve been slacking and not doing it but here’s what I’ve been noticing so far.

    If done after breakfast, my day are a lot smoother. I feel like I am in the moment so to speak and I’m able to feel everything sloooowwww down.

    Stress is definitely less too, which is great because I’m able to complete tasks with more ease.

    On the days I don’t meditate or I do it later on, my mind just seems to go all over the place more. This stuff is a habit just like anything else.

    I can thankfully give props to my dad for having us meditate in martial arts before starting class so it’s a bit easier going for longer periods of time. Some days I’ll actually do it twice.

    Another big thing I notice is that I am appreciating “smaller details” more often.

    Let me explain.

    After one session I had a few weeks back I only had a candle lit in my room. I remember after meditating, I opened my eyes and just starred at the flame of the candle in awe. It was as if it was dancing so to speak.

    This is meditating stuff is legit.

  2. I’ve been doing it at night as a pre-sleep ritual. I find that the later I’m up at my computer (and it’s 12:50am now) the more frustrated I get (crappy computer) and I wind up staying up later and later as I’m too frustrated to sleep.
    So I’m using the meditation as a break from technology to help calm me down.

    But from what you wrote I’m wondering if I should try it in the morning (or probably both morning and night).

    On the meditation itself:
    5 minutes seems to fly by when I’m not doing anything to provide a frame of reference.

    I seem to have two kinds of thoughts while I’m counting:

    1. Quiet thoughts that I can ignore. I don’t even always know what they are so I don’t count them against me. I don’t know if I will can achieve stopping this chatter completely. It more like when you’re in a crowd and you just hear indistinct conversations going on.

    2. Unquiet thoughts that make me reset the counting back to 1. They seem to come in 4 flavors:
    - “I can’t believe I reached 7!” (Or whatever number. I don’t think I’ve made it higher than 7 yet.)
    - I have an idea for something I want to write. Very hard to deal with these since I’m so inclined to want to immediately write ideas down (I carry a pen and paper everywhere with me). For now I’ve just been ignoring them and going back to counting.
    - I remember something I have to do – a phone call, mailing something, paying a bill. I have no idea why these want to pop up like this.
    - Random scenes from sitcoms I watched as a kid in the 70′s and 80′s. I have no idea why.

    I’m wondering if the counting is helping or hindering — if I might be better suited for just sticking to a phrase. It seems that reaching any new high number forces a “I can’t believe I just reached that number!” thought which is just as much a thought as any other thought.

  3. JC,

    Doing great on the meditation front, as I mentioned to you, doing this in the AM for me is key. Not always easy with the kiddies, but boy, do my days go smoother overall when it gets done first thing. It’s not that things happen differently (the kids will still drive me batty) but I handle it all differently, and see it all differently.

    I quickly went from 5 min to 10 min but yes, there is a huge leap there and the challenge is significant. But the truth is, when my meditation bells went off after 5 minutes early on, I found myself often “just settling in”, so I feel like my mind needs at least that 10 minutes to get to the heart of the session.

    I also started toying last night with a morning session for 10 minutes, no tools, and a nightly session, 10 minutes, with Brain Wave Entrainment. I might not do this every single day, as the morning meditation is a must, the night time one optional, but as an experiment, I would like to see how these meditations differ, and if using the BWE helps me to reach deeper states on my own, especially when I start to increase my morning sitting time, which I plan to do within the next week or two.

    Overall, though, knowing I am accountable to this Meditation Challenge, and given the fact that I like seeing how well I am doing on Habit Streak, I am committed to sitting every day. That is…Every. Damn. Day.

  4. I have not succeeded at meditating every day in August. In fact, since i’ve begun, my worst efforts have taken place this month. But, I am not upset over this because I was traveling for the last two weeks and for one reason or another I did not make time, and I was fully aware of this as each day passed. Now that I am settled again I look forward to continuing on with my journey in meditation and finding a way to stay the course the next time I travel:)

    • I just checked that out, and it seems pretty spammy to me. If you ever have to ‘pay’ to learn meditation, then something’s not right.

      I basically just sit and count my breaths. It’s simple, but not the easiest task. Just like anything else – takes a lot of practice.

  5. As you now know I practice DBT. We have a slightly different school of thought on meditation. We allow all thoughts and feelings to pass gently through our minds without judgement. I found that when I stopped telling my mind to be quiet or to only focus on one thought or mantra I could actually sit in peace with myself. DBT puts a lot of focus on being kind and gentle to one’s self and learning to let go of judgment. I am, by nature, a person with a very busy mind. I found that once I let go of the idea of trying to meditate (stopped judging myself) my mind was at peace. I practice in a room with many other people but by being gentle with myself I can meditate for as long as I need or wish. I would say do not judge thoughts and feelings, we are human we have them, but let them wash away and return to your quiet center.

  6. I frequently have after thoughts. Be mindful in the moment. If you have thoughts and feelings which take you away from that mindfulness congratulations you are human. What I think is of value, which I said before, do not judge. You will learn to let those distractions pass by without judgement over time. Just bring yourself back to the moment and your mindfulness. Breath into your gut. Let your exhale be longer than your inhale(this actually slows your heart rate and lowers your blood pressure). Be kind to yourself.

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