A new item to the list – Learn to Meditate

My eyes were closed and all I heard was the waves from the beach. Thor blurted, “Are you meditating right now?”

I opened one eye and replied, “Maybe…why?”

“Because you never look that calm and serene,” he half sneers.

When I first started getting nutrition coaching, the doctor suggested meditation. I laughed, “Yeah that’s not me.” The more I worked with her, the more I realized how much the daily grind of life really played a massive part in how well (or how poorly) my eating habits played out. In lieu of meditation, she gave me a few simple breathing techniques to try and, despite my skepticism, they worked – especially when I had trouble sleeping.

But meditation? No thanks. I just don’t identify with people who do that.

This year, I considered adding “Learn to Meditate” to my annual bucket list, but it sounded so hokey. I wasn’t ready for that public shaming. It got omitted.

Yet earlier this month, when I was jetting setting to NOLA and working my full-time day job and planning our 10th anniversary party, I started to feel that “seriously overwhelmed” feeling that is usually reserved for the first and last week of school. Impulsively, I downloaded a meditation app called Headspace which claimed I would only need to take ten minutes out of my day. I settled alone on the couch for my first session, and felt “just had a massage” relaxed when it was over.

That’s when I decided to add “Learn to Meditate” to my official list, and have used the app almost everyday for the last two and a half weeks. At first, I did it secretly but sometimes I couldn’t find a moment alone and eventually had to spill the beans to Thor. As expected, he laughed and made fun of me for the first couple days, and then started prodding me about which app I was using. (You know, in case he wanted to try it).

It hasn’t been easy. Some days my brain is spinning and I just can’t seem to focus (or unfocus), and other days I’ve fallen asleep. The sweet spot seems to be somewhere in the middle (the term hypnopompic comes to mind). I’ve meditated on the couch, in bed, on an airplane, on the beach, and in my office.

You’d think morning meditation on a Hawaiian beach  would be clutch, but mid-way through I felt sand fly at my feet and through my headphones I could hear some lady screeching, “Put the chairs down here – RIGHT HERE!” I squeezed my eyes closed and pushed through, but it was a horrible experience. All I could think was that somebody was encroaching on my mindfulness time – how dare they.

I’m certainly not ready to cross this one off the list because I am still learning, but “Learn to Meditate” is official now – go ahead, make your jokes. Or you could try it, too, and tell me what you think.

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