I was sick of always feeling rushed. Of the rat race. Of feeling as if I were just going through the motions of life as if it were meaningless and pointless, just something to get done with. Meditation helped me with this. Meditation helped me to actually stop and observe, to giggle at the baby that was trying to wear a Tupperware lid as a hat or to actually taste the casserole that I rushed through my evening to make. Meditation helped me to look at life in a different way, each breath created a whole new rich moment to feel.
In starting this blog and my original challenge of dedicating twenty minutes of my morning to meditation, I wanted to see what kind of changes would come about within me. And what a glorious four years of change it has been. In the first couple years of my 20-minute per day meditation, my life was smooth sails and all of the people, situations and stories that came to me were all amazingly synchronous and magical. I was able to feel situations out more with my heart than my head, making things come about effortlessly and without force.
But something interesting (and frustrating, grrrr) has happened. I have reached some sort of plateau. I’m resorting back to old habits, to old anxious ways, and old patterns. In the last year I have noticed something, I have become stuck. And everything within my life, my world right now seems to be at a standstill. Life for me lately has felt as if I am a hamster in a cage just spinning on a wheel, popping off it a few times for maybe a nibble of food or sip of water. I have been trying to control things that are completely out of my control. I have most definitely been more in my head, scheming out how I can create the exact life that I want instead of being more open to letting things move in and out of my world as they ought to.
I named it “Ilona’s Meditation Challenge” for a reason, I wanted to document the challenge I was giving myself in meditating for 20 minutes daily. But I think it is time to up the challenge, I am going to challenge myself for the next 30 days, 6/28-7/28 to meditate for 40 minutes daily. Once in the morning for 20 minutes and once in the evening for 20 minutes and we shall see how it will go. Coming from working in the medical field for nine years, I am doing exactly as a doctor would with a patient’s medication after they have built a tolerance, I am upping the dose!
Also, to further the challenge, I am going to try my hardest to log in to this blog every week to write a little something about how the experience is going. That was what my whole intention with this blog was from the get-go and I got so wrapped up in my mind chatter that I forgot. I am excited to see where my mind goes next, hopefully I’ll lose more of it as I integrate more into the heart. Thanks for joining me on the next leg of this journey, it will be a challenging adventure, but one that is calling for me.
“Prayer, meditation and contemplation do more than just calm the mind or open the heart. These also steady the body. Many physicians now prescribe meditation and/or regular non-competitive exercise (like brisk walking, yoga, jogging or swimming) for patients suffering from hypertension, over-reactive nervous systems or digestive problems. Even hyperactivity in children is now being treated with meditation rather than drugs. There is no neat mind/body split. What helps the mind gain rest from its constant seeking, grasping, worrying, must also help the body. Many researchers have documented the physiological benefits of meditation.” –From the book Ordinary People a Monks and Mystics by Marsha Sinetar