purposeful

Om My Goodness

I know, I’m sorry, I can’t help it. I’m in that kind of cheesy mood. Four of my friends have started taking ukelele lessons, and others on Facebook are suggesting band names. My suggestions? Uke IV Real (like Soul IV Real?) and Just 4 Uke. I know, I’m a total dork. I own it.

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So today, I’m talking about meditation. Now, I know what you’re thinking, that this Tennessee girl has become a full-fledged Californian and a total hippie. That’s not entirely false (remember my attempted ban on paper products?), but that’s not why I want to do meditation.

I read an article a few years ago about the benefits of meditation. (It was probably in Oprah Magazine, that’s where lots of my good articles come from, but I really can’t remember.) In the article, it talked about doing brain scans of people who meditate daily and the huge impact meditation has on the health of not just our brains but our entire bodies. (I haven’t been able to find the original article, but here is one I came across this morning with some good findings.)

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So after reading that article, I bought this book. The author talks about the misconceptions of meditation. It isn’t a religion; it is a technique to practice mindfulness that can go along with any faith tradition. It doesn’t require special skills, and it doesn’t take a huge chunk of time. Improve my health without a lot of time? Sold.

I did the exercises in the book for a few weeks. I didn’t even sit in lotus pose with my palms up to sky; I just sat on the sofa and breathed. But like other new things I start, it fell down on the priority list when other things arose. I do remember that, while I was practicing every day, I was a much calmer, contented person. (And when I was in labor, I used the breathing techniques I learned to get my mind off of the pain and focused on my breath. Until the epidural started, of course.)

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So when I think of being PURPOSEFUL, I think of slowing down and being more mindful. I believe that practicing meditation will help me to be more mindful in my every day life. So, starting today, I’m starting over on my meditation journey. Sure, I’d like to finish the book and do all the exercises, but for now, my goal is 5 minutes. The first 5 minutes after the kids are in bed for the night, I’m going to sit quietly and just breathe. Feel free to ask me how it’s going – it would be good to keep me in check.

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This post is part of a 31 Day series about improving my days by being more PURPOSEFUL.

You can read more about it here. You can find all the posts in this series here.

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8 thoughts on “Om My Goodness

  1. excellent. i am trying to add meditation to my routine also. part of my “create” new habits. i have a really really hard time with even five minutes…my mind just zooms around…but it does help me feel calm and content…grateful even. :) good luck!

    1. There’s a great part in this book about her meditation teacher, who has a trick question:

      “‘How many breaths can you be with before your mind starts to wander?’ People want to be able to say, ‘I can be with the breath for forty-five minutes or an hour before I get lost in thought.’ But really, we can be with two, three, maybe four breaths before our attention starts to wander…. The question is: What happens in the moment when you recognize that your mind has wandered? Can you gently let go and return your attention to the present moment, to feeling your breath? The real key to being with your breath is being able to begin again.”

      This reminds me that it’s all just practice.

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