I made it to day 10 of the meditation challenge, but admittedly, today wasn't an easy day of meditation for me. Staying true to my tradition of trying something three times before I make a final decision, I attempted a second day of walking meditation. However, today's walking meditation was uncomfortable.
You see, the past two days I have been running a trail with more hills than I'm used to (I've been visiting my family in Georgia), and I am sore! Instead of focusing on the portion of my foot hitting the ground or my breath or being centered, all I could feel was the discomfort of tight muscles as I attempted to take deliberate steps. In fact, the discomfort became so overbearing that I just could not seem to get my mind off of it. Although I had set my alarm for a five minute meditation, three minutes in I was DONE.
While I was hoping today--the last day of my 10 day challenge--would be the most relaxing, it was far from it. But despite my poor execution of day 10, I was able to draw a lesson from today's experience: it is important to listen to your body. I have certainly been in more discomfort than I was this morning during my walking meditation, and there's a time when my competitive spirit would not have allowed me to stop shy of the seven minute goal I had created for myself. However, in taking time to be completely self-centered for 5-10 minutes over the past ten days, I have become more sensitive to my own feelings--both psychological and physical. Just as there are days when our bodies need rest from the physical stress (good stress) of the gym, there are also days when we mentally need a break from the obligations we feel we are supposed to do.
So whether or not today's meditation went as planned, the outcome was still beneficial. Today, walking meditation was not what I felt was best for my physical or mental health, so I gave myself a break. So be good to your body, be good to your mind, and don't be so hard on yourself; if you have to sit out a day, give yourself that gift.