Meditations in an emergency

Earlier this year, I crossed off my goal of learning to meditate (read about it here) and have continued to embed this in my daily life, at least a few times a week. Frankly, I can’t believe I ever lived without it.

Last week on a flight to Dallas, the pilot announced, “We are about to hit some pretty rough turbulence,” which didn’t particularly bother me until he followed it with, “Flight attendants to your seats!” in the middle of drink service and the flight attendants began scrambling down he aisle. The plane began shaking and dipping violently. I threw in my earbuds and cued a mediation session from my Headspace app, and within a couple of minutes I was in another world; several times the turbulence jolted me awake, but I could immediately shift back to my state of placid unawareness. An hour later, I awoke and they were back to serving drinks. Damn, that meditation thing works, I thought to myself.

That night, my hotel room had a lot to be desired. The elevator and the ice machine were right on the other side of the wall, in addition to the sound of whirring traffic from the windows and a thermostat that rattled and blew frigid air even when it was shut off. Again, I threw in my earbuds, cued a Headspace session, and was out before I even counted my breathing to ten.

But something far worse than turbulence or a crappy hotel room hit on Tuesday night. The announcement of he who shall not be named as our next president sent me into a world of deep depression and anxiety – like I’ve never really experienced before. Thankfully, I plugged in my earbuds before bed, and then a couple more times yesterday during the day and again this morning. With each session completion, I come to reality with a new sense of calm.

Don’t misunderstand me – yesterday was a struggle to get out of bed, and meditation hasn’t taken away my horrible current reality. But, at least it provides me with better sleep and the ability to go to work to effectively help others, rather than be a big ball of negative energy (as most I’ve come into contact over the last two days have been). Placid unawareness is my new current reality.

It’s pretty funny to think that a year ago I literally laughed at my doctor when she suggested I try meditation, and now I’m zenning out on a regular basis.

So if you’ve never meditated, I totally recommend downloading the Headspace app or reading about how to get started here. A day you are too busy to meditate is a day you are too busy.

Next stop – picking up some Frank O’Hara.

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