When I was at the Sourland Mountain Preserve the other week, I was struck by this tree with some sort of fungus? moss? well, growth.
There is just something about it that I find really beautiful (and this one hasn’t been played with in PhotoShop). I can’t put my finger on it, but it’s one of my favorite pictures from that day. There’s something about it that I find almost soothing or calming.
I’ve indicated in other posts that I’m often thinking about stress and how to deal with it. An idea I’ve toyed with before that keeps coming back to me is that of trying to meditate every day (okay, almost every day). Pretty much everything I read about meditation describes it in terms of all benefits (people who meditate are healthier, more resilient, more focused, more pretty much every freaking thing I’d like to be…) with no nasty side effects.
On the one hand it’s so simple…set aside some time, sit down, close your eyes, and breathe. And yet, it’s something I’ve found difficult to do in the past between finding the time, sitting still, and feeling that I’m not “doing it right.” Also, there’s maybe a bit of what I’ll call a hippy-dippy factor (ie, I can see myself saying “while I was running on the treadmill this morning…” but not “right before I sat down to meditate this morning…”) But, then my mind goes back to the purported benefits/no side effects, which makes me think, gee wouldn’t it be nice if maybe I didn’t get worked up by so many things and could take a step back and a deep breath before acting.
So, as I was contemplating this along with my birthday the other week, I thought I’d give it another whirl…and maybe rather than having a bunch of resolutions come January 1, I’ll focus on this one (but of course, we’ll see). I think it’s important. I’m not going to change just by wanting to (although that helps).
Since time is a factor for me between running around in the morning (my preferred time to do this) and knowing that trying to be still for more than 10 minutes will drive me nuts, I decided to start by using an app called headspace (from www.getsomeheadspace.com). If you have any interest in meditation, I’d recommend looking at it, particularly some of the animated introductory videos about what meditation does for you. At this point, I’m using the 10 free guided meditations each morning. There is a subscription service to buy packages and access to the rest of the site. I don’t know if I’ll do that, but am happy with the trial and the fact that the app includes meditation timers for if you want to go out on your own.
At this point, I’m only on day 6. Largely these guided meditations are the same. Sit down, close your eyes, breathe, scan your body, notice surroundings, breathe, let your mind wander. This makes sense since the idea (I think) is to acclimate you to meditation so you can go out on your own.
It’s only been 6 days in for me, but I find I’m enjoying the sitting and breathing and I’m hoping if I keep it up, that I’ll start to notice that I am experiencing those benefits. We’ll see. I’ll probably try to check in from time to time about it on this blog.
Have you tried meditation? If so, how’d that work out for you?