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.
I got back into the swing of things today, and tried a new form of meditation: walking meditation. Walking meditation is reminiscent of the time I spent doing daily Tai Chi in China, but simplified. Practicing walking meditation involves taking slow, deliberate steps. With each step, focus on each foot making contact with the floor.
As I meditate on this phrase--word by word, syllable by syllable, and breath by breath--I was reminded how much control we have over our own emotional state and mental well-being. I was reminded that our reactions to all of our life experiences--either good or bad--are a product of perspective. Tuesday, I desired to spend the day with a heightened sense of compassion. Wednesday, I decided to temper my anxiety. And yesterday, I decided to love and appreciate myself.
It's sort of like stepping into your grandparents' house after being gone for a while and immediately being welcomed by the familiar aroma of their home. Without thinking, you immediately feel relaxed and at peace. Returning to meditation is providing me a similar sense of nastalgia, and just how the scent of your grandparents' home seems to linger on your clothing for days after your departure, my meditative state is beginning to last beyond the completion of my 10 minutes of quiet sitting
Today, I practiced a variation of a technique known as focused attention meditation (aka concentration meditation). While one's focus can be target toward an external object or body part, I like to focus my attention on a short quote or mantra. I like this form of meditation because my needs change daily--all of ours do. On a Monday, we might need a little extra motivation; on a day with a high-stakes meeting, we might need an added boost of confidence; and on a day during which we have a big presentation, a reminder to remain calm might be needed. Today (and most days), I needed compassion.
After today, I've successfully fulfilled my three day commitment to guided meditation, and am now ready to move on. I can remember a time when I loved guided meditation encouraging relaxation and positivity, but much like I've outgrown my attraction to 'thugs' (as a disclaimer, I grew out of that phase in high school), apparently I've also outgrown my attraction to having a charming accent step me through my meditation.
Today was my first day of meditation, and when my alarm went off at 5:00 AM to meditate and then go to the gym, I pressed snooze about three times before eventually resetting the alarm for 6:00 (We've all been there, right?). When my phone buzzed again at 6:00, I decided that even though I had missed my opportunity to work out, I would still make time to meditate.