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October 20, 2016

As I mentioned before, I have started a daily meditation practice.

I’m not a burn incense and adjust my chi sort of person by any means.  Not that there’s anything wrong with being that sort of person! I’m just saying, it’s not my kind of thing.

But what is my kind of thing, is not walking around with a knot of stress between my shoulders every single day.

I had been thinking about doing something about it for a few months, actually. But then I was listening to a new podcast (Fit Bottomed Girls), and in their first episode their interviewee mentioned two things that really struck a nerve with me.

The first thing was that, when you are feeling stressed or anxious, to really stop and examine what the root cause is.  And then once you have that, to really ask yourself “Is this happening TO me, or is this happening AROUND me?”.  And if it’s the former, consider whether you can change it in any way.  But if it’s the latter, just acknowledge that it’s happening and move on.

I have been trying to apply that, and it’s really astounding how often the answer turns out to be what’s stressing me out is something that doesn’t actually involve me in any way. It’s a challenge to move on, but when I am able to do so it is really a freeing thing.

The other thing she mentioned was that she’s able to meditate every day for at least five minutes. That was revolutionary to me; I had always thought that meditation needed oh, thirty minutes or so. There had to be candles, and chanting, and all sorts of zen activity.  But hearing that it can be effective in increments as small as five minutes. Well, whoa. That was something worth looking into.

With that, I did a little research, talked to a few people, and found a meditation app that had an intro to meditation course, plus a whole collection of various types of guided meditations. I started with the intro and after those initial sessions (I think there are fifteen in all, ranging from 4-10 minutes or so), I have realized that breath meditation seems most effective for me.

So now every morning, after I’ve exercised but before the day really starts, when the house is still quiet, I sit quietly for five minutes or so and fire up the app.

I feel a little calmer, and less anxious in general. And while I still have the knot in my shoulders from time to time, it comes and then it goes.

If that’s all I get out of it, I’m still well ahead of where I was two months ago.

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