The Fair-Weather Meditator

I must admit, as much as I like to pretend that meditation and practicing mindfulness on a day-to-day basis is now part of my DNA, I’m more like the fair-weather meditator. I pick and choose what days feel like the right ones for me to practice my practice and the rest fall by the wayside. PSA–that’s not how true mindfulness works. The whole point of this journey is a commitment to bettering my life and how I’m living it.

Last night, after a particularly calming meditative session, I was listening to Florence + The Machine’s new song St. Jude. A beautiful, haunting, caustic, and cathartic piece of art wrapped up neatly in 3 minutes and 45 seconds. She ventures at one point, “maybe I’ve always been more comfortable in chaos.”

Perhaps, that is my struggle. Perhaps, I too, am more comfortable in chaos. The chaos of the every day. The “I’m too busy.” The “I’m not feeling good.” The “I’m so tired.” The “I had such a long day.” The “I just don’t feel good.” The “this isn’t where I thought I would be, or what would be happening in my life.” Swirling, maddening, self-inflicted chaos.

In the meditation from last night, Tara urged her listeners to pay attention to the quality of gentle-ness within ourselves. And she said two powerful phrases that may help to free from the self-inflicted chaos that happens day in and day out:

“May I feel happy. May I be awake and free.”

I believe in this practice wholeheartedly, so here begins the 5 day challenge. I commit to meditating every single day for the next 5 days (2 down!). It takes 3 weeks to create a habit and 6 weeks to break one. So here’s hoping this will be a footprint in the right direction.

And may we all be happy, awake, and free.

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That time I sounded like an angry bull.

I was recently recommended to check out and subscribe to a yoga website called, yogaglo.com. Highly recommended for its comprehensiveness and personalization, I felt compelled to check it out. Whatever part of the practice I felt like participating in–full body workout, relaxation and stress reduction, meditation, etc., they’ve got it.

Tonight, I decided to explore the meditation section; feeling pretty confident that I would like what I would find. So far, I liked what I had done on other sections of the site (see: stress reduction; releasing tension in shoulders; relief from cramps, ladies–life-changing!)

So, I found “Pranayama.”

Now, as a yogi newbie, I’m still fairly unfamiliar with many of the technical yoga terms. Thanks to Google, I was enlightened:

Pranayama (n): the regulation of the breath through certain techniques and exercises. 

Sign me up!

I press play and the teacher starts by explaining what this concept is really about: “…the result of pranayama is the covering of light is removed…remove the covering of the luminosity of the real us.”

I’m loving this! Yes, I want to remove/shed/tear off and be as light as ray of sunshine. Let’s do this.

Oh, boy. 

We begin with a series of short abdomen-driven breaths that make me feel like an angry snorting bull about to charge.
I get up three times as I am now in dire need to blow my nose due to the sheer force of these breaths.

Then, he asks us to continue these aggressive breathing techniques with one nostril plugged.

So, now I’m blowing snot rockets.

Finally, this part ends. I’m not feeling particularly centered or grounded, I’m surrounded by wads of tissues that need to be thrown out.

We move on to “breathing silently from our throats.” Guys, this is impossible. Breathing from your throat means YOU’RE SNORING. I now sound like my father who rattles the walls and has a decibel-breaking snore that will pierce the strongest industrial level of earplugs.

After about five minutes of concentrated and deliberate snoring, my throat is on fire and I’m annoying myself.

Needless to say, I only made it through a third of this whole meditation. No coverings of my luminous self have been removed. But, I am however, okay with making light (pun intended) of how ridiculous I felt snorting and snoring attempting my way to mindfulness.

PS – Tara, I’m sorry I keep cheating on you, it’s clearly not working out.