My 40 Day Meditation Challenge
I recently decided to do a meditation challenge. When I told a friend I was going to do this, she said: “But you meditate all day long!?” I answered: “I do?” She goes: “Yeah, don’t you?” I answered: “Actually, no I don’t.”
The impression I have is that a lot of people think that yoga teachers live in a state of meditation all the time. I wish. Yes, I am calm. I am patient. Actually, I’ve gotten less patient with age but I still have a lot of patience. Yes, I am focused. And yes, I seem present.
Notice I said “seem present”. I try to practice being present. I have realized I don’t have a problem with living in the past for the most part my mind wants to be in the future. That is my problem.
Ever since I was 13, I think, I’ve lived in the future. I’ve for the most part always wanted to be in a place I’m not. The only time I’m present is when I’m teaching. I am a yoga and fitness trainer. This is the time when I get into my zone. It doesn’t matter how noisy it is around me, cars honking, music blasting from a spinning studio next door, I am not bothered. I am there, not bothered at all!
I became very aware of this “being in the future” problem when I became a mom. Kids have a way with forcing you to be present with them. If they notice that you’re not there they will let you know and command your attention. Kids are the most amazing yogis and gurus.
To make a long story short, I have practiced so hard to try to be present in the present moment, I actually fell out of focus. Sort of like a camera, if it gets too focused, the picture gets fussy. For the last 4 ½ years I’ve tried to keep it together, but the more you try to balance in a yoga pose the harder it is to balance. You have to find your center and allow everything to permeate from there otherwise it becomes stiff and rigid. I have felt very disconnected… so that was not happening.
When your center is off; your vision is off; everything is affected. My personal yoga practice, working out, my teaching, my creativity, my vision for the future. Everything. You would think that a person who lives in the future would have their vision of the future clear. LOL. But it’s a horrible feeling when you’re in it. I knew I could do better, and I wanted to do better. A year and a half ago I started to change my diet. I became 70-80% raw, and no matter what happened in a day I included a green juice into my daily routine. I started to become more aware of what was going on. I guess I was detoxing; I felt lighter. And I came to understand that I had probably been dealing with post-partum depression as well as going through a mid-life crisis.
I was a fully functioning person, just not fully functioning at my fullest capacity. I trudged a long, like most people do, and knew that one day I would see the light. Sure enough, I got the message from my intuition that my midlife crisis was over and now was the time to move forward.
So this is where I am at now. My midlife crisis, or as I look at it my mid-life breakthrough is in bloom. But in order to get myself into a state of full bloom I knew I needed to return to meditation.
I had been meditating every morning up until Lars was almost 3, when he transferred from a crib to a toddler bed. Then he felt the taste of freedom and could roam around and that was the end of my morning meditation. Meditation helps me tremendously to practice being present, to feel centered and connected to myself. Yoga as a moving meditation is great, but for me nothing compares to a seated meditation.
I have committed myself to a 40 day meditation challenge to get back into the discipline of meditating every day again. I need my daily meds!
My meditation challenge is simple. I dedicate at least 10 minutes every day to sitting upright and focusing on my breath. I also log what my experience is every day, plus write down 5 things I am grateful for. I am already feeling the benefits. I feel much happier, more content and actually, yes, more present! The whole presence thing is a work in progress, but I think I have been craving this so long that now – finally – I am getting it. I will share with you my full experience of this 40 Day Meditation Challenge when it’s over.
Life is so interesting; it takes over at times. And although I promised myself to never “lose touch” or “lose myself” as a mom – it happened. It can happen to the best of us.
It’s hard to keep it all together, in a balanced way.
The good thing is that if you are aware then you can change it. It is always possible to change. As Maya Angelou says: “when you know better, you do better.” And now that I have experienced this I know better I will do better. A BE in the present moment better…
We’d like to do our own Happiness Series 40 Day Meditation. Do it with us & Anita & let us know how it goes. Let’s all be present together. 🙂
Filed Under: Spotlight
About the Author: Anita Goa is a yoga teacher, lifes coach, inspiration to her students, friends and readers, and creator of Anita Goa TV, which is about yoga, life and fitness. Anita creates fun, informative, inspiring workouts, and she has interviews with yoga and fitness instructors she admires. YOUTUBE.com/ANITAGOATV. You can also learn more about Anita on her site http://anitagoa.tumblr.com/