13 March 2020

189 minutes – that’s the total number of minutes I’ve meditated since starting 15 days ago. Which is crazy.

I mean, 3 hours of meditating in 2 weeks? That is so not me.

I’ve had many failed attempts with meditation in the past. The most prominent encounter is when I was in mental hospital being treated for my bipolar disorder back in 2015: my psychiatrist prescribed meditation therapy. I attended multiple sessions. It didn’t work. I just fidgeted and got bored, really bored.

But now, I’m relishing every second of this sitting still business. Granted, the Headspace guy helps. I think I’m semi-addicted to the sound of his voice. But even when he’s not speaking, I’m savouring the sensation of stillness and space, of becoming one with my surroundings.

And I think I’m reaping the benefits at work. There was a big mess-up on Monday on a project me and another colleague are working on. And the ramifications haven’t emotionally impacted me nearly as much as I believe they would have had this happened only a few weeks ago. I’m seeing my colleague reeling from the mishap, but I feel fine. I really do. To the point where I wonder if I’m being too complacent, but then I let that thought go.

I realise now, since starting meditation, that my goal of “not thinking about work outside work hours” was misguided. It’s not about stopping thoughts coming into your mind – because thoughts will come. It’s about letting them go. Not holding on to them, judging yourself for having them.

And that’s what I’ve been doing these past 2 weeks. Work thoughts still pop into my mind now and then. But now, instead of chastising myself mentally for thinking about work, I just observe the thoughts come and let them go. Focus back to whatever activity I was doing when the thought popped up. Then literally forget about it in the next second.

I now view these pop-up thoughts as processing. My brain is working in the background, processing, connecting dots. And I just accept it the way it is. And it’s great. No more tug-of-war with work thoughts. Just gentle watery flows – they come, they go.

Also, on the Instagram and Facebook front. I realised it’s not about abstinence. It’s about being purposeful (mindful?). Yesterday I wanted to check out Instagram. So I made the conscious decision to go on the app. And I spent some time looking at each photo in turn.

No more swiping furiously, letting my eye rest for a nanosecond on a post, then onto the next. I look at the photo, study the caption, think about it. Then the next photo in the same manner, etc. This created a wholly different Instagram experience. I actually spent less time on the app and most important of all I felt in control.

I felt that it was my decision, my choice to go on Instagram. No more of this automatic, compulsive, unthinking tap on the Instagram icon on my phone and letting myself be carried away, dazed, like a zombie for half an hour.

I realise I’ve dedicated 2 posts to meditation by now. It’s a pretty significant thing happening to my life. But I promise not to turn this blog into a meditation blog and try to recruit y’all.

Hope you’re all well and until next time (where I promise I’ll talk about other things)

Love!

Val

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