I made the mistake this morning of looking at Facebook before I meditated.
As with every “mistake,” a lesson awaited.
I had decided to take a day off from my usual 20-minutes of meditating as soon as I get out of bed because we’re leaving in a few hours for vacation. I had told myself I could meditate on the plane. But a quick scan of Facebook derailed me when I discovered this article about words being banned at the CDC. (Your mindfulness practice assignment: finish reading this blog post before you switch over to the other article. I promise to keep it short.)
That article got me all riled up. I shared it, responded to some comments, and realized my body was filled with stress. I rarely feel this way so early in the morning since I meditate first thing. But you don’t have time to meditate right now. Your to-do list this morning is 25 items long, that voice in my head said.
But then I turned to my tried and true test, asking myself, “Do you really have a good reason not to?”
The reality is, we aren’t leaving the house for four hours. Everyone is still asleep now. My rational observer mind took hold of the steering wheel: If you don’t do it now, you probably won’t come back to it. And your body is suffering from the infusion of Facebook-inflicted stress hormones. No, there was not a good reason not to.
I kept it simple, anchoring my attention on my breath, counting the breaths in cycles of ten, noting the details of the rhythm, where I felt it in my body. And yes, thoughts about my to-do list and The Handmaid’s Tale and my intention to call my legislators more frequently in 2018 all floated by during those 20 minutes. I acknowledged them without judgment and simply returned each time to the breath. I felt the stress melt away, but not my resolve to take action later.
So not only did I indeed have time to meditate, I opened my eyes inspired to share this experience with you.
If you are interested in kick-starting your own daily meditation habit, my next 30-Day Mindfulness Meditation Challenge begins on February 1, 2018. You can learn more about the program here.
Signing off now to finish packing! Thanks for spending a few minutes with me here.
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Signing off now to finish packing for our ski trip!