Meditation – Forming A New Habit
For most of 2012, I’ve been interested in meditation.
It started out with reading a few of Nick Horton’s blog posts and how he used meditation in his personal life. He also talked about how it carried over to his weightlifting career and as a coach.
This interested me. So much that I wanted to begin practicing.
So I did. Then I failed. I tried and kept failing.
Counting breaths is hard. Really hard. So hard that I gave up for a while.
Truth be told, I’d do well for a few days. I’d meditate until my mind wandered so much that I just had to get up.
Then I’d meditate again the next day. I even recall being in the training studio one night after I was done with my clients. I was sitting on a bench in the back room by myself waiting on a ride. I closed my eyes and focused on my breaths. By the time I’d opened my eyes, it felt like time had warped. the 10 minutes I’d been there only felt like 1.
I failed to practice at all the following week. I have no idea why, either.
This month is different though. I’ve been conversing through email with Leo Babauta, and reading his articles on creating new habits. My life over the last few years has changed dramatically. So much that I never knew/believed I’d be where I’m at currently. I’m so grateful and thankful, but at the same time, I feel I’m missing something.
Many of my friends and loved ones have all made similar comments about me. To them I seem stressed and worn out. They say I have this look about me that appears to be one of constant thinking – it’s like my mind never, ever stops. My mind won’t shut down.
I feel like I need some silence.
That silence, I believe, can only come from meditation and calming the mind – learning to let go and focus on just one thing: my breath.
Starting on July 1st, I made the commitment to spend only 5 minutes in meditation daily. So far, it’s 1:57 a.m. on July 7th and I haven’t missed a day. My idea is that we all have 5 minutes. Well, that’s not my idea – I actually got it from Leo – but I wholly agree. If you ain’t got 5 minutes per day, you’re lying to yourself.
You’re making excuses.
And that’s what I’ve been doing. I’ve been setting a timer on my iPhone for 6-7 minutes and then just sitting and counting breaths. Once the timer is up, I can move along with my day.
Yesterday, I actually experienced something different for once. Most of the time I can’t seem to get past a 5-count. This time I closed my eyes and found my mind racing, but eventually I fell into a rhythm and all I could focus on was my diaphragm slowly pumping air in and out of my lungs. I actually got lost in the moment and eventually realized my timer hadn’t gone off yet.
My phone was on silent.photo credit: JD Hancock