For the month of June I’ve given myself a new challenge: meditation. I know it’s apparently all the rage these days, but it was last fall when my therapist recommended that I try it. Well I did…sort of. I was only practicing it very sporadically and at weird times. Needless to say it felt forced and like me trying to put ice on a pulled muscle rather than a preemptive conditioning for my muscles. Thus a proactive approach to my self-care has emerged.
Because meditation is hard, I thought I would build up my tolerance. So starting on June 1st, I meditated for 1 minute; and on June 2nd, 2 minutes. You see a pattern emerging. So today is June 20 and I’ll meditate for 20 minutes tonight before I hit the sack. Sitting for 30 minutes seems much more doable now because I know I can do 20 minutes.
I’ve learned 2 things since I’ve begun. First, I can actually sit and calm my mind, but it does indeed take practice and it’s (still) hard. Second, I do a lot better when meditating at night. I’ve tried at all times and places (hello bathroom, couch, floor, kitchen). But “success” has come to me when I turn out the lights, turn on the twinkle lights (or light a candle), sit on the floor (with a block) or on the Eames ottoman and cross my legs. In order to help get me calm I use an app — which I really like for background sounds and the fact that it has a really gentle alarm that lets you know when you’ve achieved your desired time.
I’ve really enjoyed my practice so far. But I think I would also like to try this “progressing” meditation while syncing up with my cycle. That way when when I hit day 30-ish full of cramps, bloating, rage, and other general PMS, I’ll be able to get centered and tackle the introspective beast that sometimes threatens to eat me alive.