Thursday, October 21, 2010

Chopra Center 21-Day Meditation Challenge | Day 11 | Letting Go (I couldn't)

Tonight was the midway point in the Chopra Center's 21-Day Meditation Challenge. Day 11. Ten days have passed, and ten days will follow.

This evening, the practice really did feel like a "challenge." I came home moody, antsy, and the last thing I could imagine myself doing was staying still and releasing stress.

I decided that it would be good practice to keep the commitment and really had no question in my mind that no matter HOW I felt, I was doing the meditation.

The resistance came with me. I felt tense. I noticed my shoulders creeping up and a feeling of annoyance - a feeling of wanting it to be over with.

I have so far been enjoying my meditation practice, so it was clear to me that whatever was going on had nothing to do with not wanting to meditate but everything to do with my state of mind and state of being.  There are often times when we don't feel like doing things. And, sometimes just because of this, we don't do them.

I wanted the opportunity to practice keeping a commitment even when feeling incredibly anxious by the thought of following through. And so I did.

Ironically, tonight's meditation was focused on "letting go," and "becoming light."  I did not feel very capable of letting go this evening. My mind wandered from thought to thought.  My muscles were tense.  I was thinking about today and worrying about the near future.

But I stayed put.  I resisted the urge to get up and turn off the meditation and go on about my grumpy way. And, it felt good.  It's sort of like not feeling like exercising. If you can just get yourself to the gym - even if you don't give your workout a full 100% effort, you still end up feeling a sense of accomplishment that you pushed yourself, showed up, and tried.

That's how I felt tonight, and meditation (and yoga) do for the mind and spirit what cardio does for the body. :)

If you find yourself resisting meditation, ask yourself why.  Some reasons I had were:

  • Not in the mood
  • It's cold in the house (so I don't want to sit still)
  • I didn't think I'd have the mental energy to write about it afterward - also part of the commitment I'd made to myself
  • I thought I'd be disappointed in myself for it not going "right" due to my mood
What I learned:

  • You can follow through on something no matter what your mood is
  • If you have a problem (i.e., you're cold), you can either stay miserable (cold) or solve your problem (grab a blanket; feel warm)
  • A commitment is a commitment. Again, regardless of how you feel, you can follow through. Clearly I've had no trouble writing about the experience (once I got going!)
  • I am learning that there is no "right" way in meditation. I can't work to achieve anything in the world of meditation. It's completely opposite of what we are taught in other aspects of our lives. 
Accepting where we are in that moment and letting whatever needs to come up come up, including streaming thoughts - that's all a part of the meditation experience.

So, if you are avoiding doing something that is good for you, take a look at why. Challenge yourself, and do that which will serve your highest good. You'll thank yourself afterward. :0)

Debbie aka Sulilo

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