Eyes Wide Open…and Shut
“Why do I find meditating so challenging?” my good friend asked me the other day.
“I agree, it can be intimidating even, especially at first.” I replied.
Thus leading us into a conversation all about how we currently meditate and our experiences with meditating.
Here’s what I have learned about meditation:
At first, I thought meditation had to be in a quiet room, with soft music playing, dressed in comfy clothes and some type of incense burning. Due to the absence of those materials, I dabbled with my first experience of meditating with a CD my mom bought me when I was pregnant with our first child. The CD definitely calmed me and helped me to slow down my thoughts…but whether it was the lack of dedication or timing, I didn’t quite reach the level of “bliss” that I had heard one can feel while meditating.
Fast forward a couple of years and I took a breathing and meditation class with my husband at a yoga studio after needing to find a stress reliever one Sunday afternoon. (Read about this experience here). This class catapulted me into exploring more ways of meditating. I developed quite the crush on meditation and tried to look for all sorts of ways to “meet up” with it throughout my day. For after a quick encounter with meditating, I felt giddy and super and full of love…and looked forward to the next time I could “see” it again.
Because I enjoyed the benefits of meditating, I started to meditate whenever I had a free moment. As a mom of 3 sweet boys, my free time is rather limited. Soooo, this meant in the car at a stoplight, while washing dishes, folding laundry, picking up toys, organizing closets and now I have even incorporated meditation into my workouts.
Whaaaaat?…You ask? But not all of those moments are relaxing quiet moments, you say. I once agreed with you. But more and more, now that I have developed a new approach of meditating, those moments or tasks, are starting to become relaxing for me …even…with my eyes wide open.
How do I do it, you ask? I begin by choosing one affirmation to focus on for each task I am doing, and set my thoughts to only that affirmation while say, folding laundry, for example. I love the affirmation, ‘Let go, let God and let life reveal itself.’ This affirmation reminds me to take a deep breath, relax and to allow life to flow easily, rather than resist life’s offerings and the constant feeling that I’m fighting the clock.
So for that half hour of doing the laundry, I repeat this affirmation silently (or out loud) and then focus on what that particular affirmation means to me. Which in the end, the affirmations I choose all have to do with choosing LOVE and not fear. So in essense, I’m meditating on the word, LOVE and all its blissfulness. After doing this while completing a task that isn’t exactly what I call fun, I feel more at peace, less stressed and more importantly, happy.
If you haven’t ever meditated before, why not try it with your eyes wide…open? Pick your favorite relaxing affirmation and give it a try! Then, when you DO find your quiet, alone time, try it with your eyes wide shut too!
I do also love to meditate the more common way, which might entail a quiet room, soothing music, laying down and my eyes wide…shut. The benefits I receive from this form of meditation are beyond the word bliss, for me. However, life is busy…especially as a mom of young children. Hence me developing other ways to meet up with my little crush I have on meditating…and if I have to make a “date” with it in the laundry room or kitchen…so be it.