Breathe, dammit, breathe.

I really suck at meditating. I have been dabbling in it, on and off, for a few years. Attended a few classes. Read a few books. A few months ago, I invested in the “Calm” app. It turns out meditating is a lot harder than I thought it would be.

I really wanted to like it. I thought it could help me with pain management, stress management, and to be able to be more mindful and possibly a better version of myself in general. I still think it might be able to. I still WANT to like it. So, I’m not giving up on it… but, Man? Who knew doing “nothing” could be so freaking difficult?

For those of you who never tried the “Calm” app…. Basically, there’s a “Daily Calm” you can do each day, which is a 10 minute meditation on a variety of topics. There’s also a ton of other meditations – including sleep stories – and more. But, the “Daily Calm” is really not 10 minutes. It’s a couple minutes of someone (usually this chick, Tara) talking in the beginning – telling you to relax, breathe, focus on you breath – etc… and then there’s about 5 minutes of nothing(that’s the hard part)… and then, somewhere around 7 minutes in, she starts talking again about whatever the topic is.

Today’s topic was about “judgement”. There were some good, very general, points made. Basically, “judgement is bad, mmmm kay”? So, we should try to judge less, and to understand, accept, and appreciate things more. Ok. Sound reasonable. I can agree with this, and I felt like it was a great reminder. Especially considering the heated politics going on right now. I also thought of how often I harshly judge myself. I am, as many people are, my own worst critic.

But, it wasn’t the topic that gets me. It is how HARD those 5-6 minutes of nothingness are for me in the middle. I mean, seriously?? Just to sit and focus on my breathing for a few minutes… just a FEW minutes, feels? Well, impossible. So far, it HAS been impossible.

I’m always opening my eyes to check something… or fidgeting… stretching my neck… literally pausing it to go do something. My mind won’t stop racing. I change topics in my head faster than I can think of them.

Ok. Breath in.. breathe out.

Don’t think of all the things
you have to do today.
Man, I have a lot of things
I should be doing.
What, exactly, DO I need to do?
Oh my God. I’ll never get it done.
Crap, I’m already late.
I don’t have time for this.

How long has it been?
Wait. Just breathe.

My knee hurts. Ugh.. my spine.
Am I sitting right? This can’t be right.
Is it wrong to stretch
and meditate at the same time?
Is that like Yoga?
Maybe, I’ll just multitask.
Is that so wrong?
Does multitasking really make you stupid?

How long has it been?
Wait. Just breathe.

What the hell
is my neighbor doing out there?
Sounds like he’s been building
a bomb shelter for months.
He’s an odd kind of man. But, hey,
Who am I to talk?

How long has it been?
Wait. Just breathe.

I can’t believe all this
crap in the news. So much bullshit.
So many lies. I can’t even be
outwardly happy if the candidates
I voted for won, because too many
of my family and friends
are devastated that theirs lost.

How long has it been?
Wait. Just breathe.

So and so is such a jerk.
Did I ever call so and so back?
Is that the cat puking? My poor cats. They are getting old. And, my poor dog. Hasn’t been the same
since her surgery. Just like me.

How long has it been?
Wait. Just breathe.

Is this even helping?
Why is it when I’m on a deadline,
or doing ANYTHING else,
time flies faster than a…
Shoot, what flies really fast?
Oh Hell, this is like torture.
How inpatient am I?
What is wrong with me?
Ha! You don’t really want
to go there, do you?

How long has it been?!?
Wait. Oh, Thank God,
Tara is talking again.
Breathe, dammit, breathe.

-My head

I never knew how hard it was to NOT think, until I tried it. Most of the time I guess I am so so busy concentrating on whatever I’m doing – work… or filling my mind from outside sources – TV, Books, Social Media – that I am not even sure what is going on in my own head and body. I don’t know how to turn it off. I don’t like silence. I almost always have the TV or music playing in the background when I’m doing something. I don’t know how to just – be.

This is where writing also comes into play. Writing, for almost as long as I can remember, was a way for me to not only reflect and remember things but to also vent, think things through, and figure things out in the process. Almost always, a goal, topic, decision, a complete thought – came as I was writing, not before. It is a way for me to calm the noise going on in my head. No wonder, I’ve been so scattered. I repeatedly, continuously, deny myself this tool.

I’m hoping, between writing regularly again – AND continued efforts with meditating – I can learn to focus my attention more on things that matter. At least matter to me, and stop being at the mercy of everything going on around me.

We shall see. In the mean time. Breathe, dammit, breathe…

5 Comments to “Breathe, dammit, breathe.”

  1. Buddhists call this mediation distraction “the monkey mind.” It races from one thing to another and swings from one tree called the past to another called the future and hardly ever spends time in the present with nothing to do!

    • Well then…. That sounds about right. “Monkey mind”. I’m working on it…
      Ever hear that saying, “Not my circus. Not my monkeys” ? Well, I think maybe I need to own up to the fact that I’m the freaking ring-master, and those monkeys that are flying around like they just came from OZ are definitely all mine. ;)
      Thanks for the read, contoveros. It’s good to connect again with you. :)

  2. i am not sure if i am out of my place here but i don’t think there is a need to achieve that place, of nothingness, it is not abut achieving 10 minutes of just breathing

    it is about watching what comes and accepting it. the breath, like gardening, walking, even smoking or dancing, is just a tool we use to lean upon, like a shiva statue, (or kali) – it is a focal point that we know is there, like a crutch, or a dog for the blind.

    You are bound to “fail” and drop out of that place, that’s great – embrace it.

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