Monday, 25 November 2013
We all have hectic lives and different ways of unwinding – me, I like to read a book in bed whilst listening to classical music (I celebrate my inner granny!) But I have found that I keep getting stressed really easily, feeling overloaded by work and ridiculous road rage at dawdling local drivers. I needed to find a way to chill out that didn’t involve a vat of wine, especially as I sadly can’t read in bed all day.
I decided to try a meditation course; or as my other half has said “I have turned into a hippy.” Loads of people swear by 10 minutes of quiet time each day and I do like the lying down part at the end of a yoga class, so I decided to give it a go. There is a 21 day course via Oprah Winfrey and her guru Depak and they email you a link each day with the aim of finding some inner peace before the month is through! You find a quiet place, listen to their thought or message of the day and then meditate for 10 minutes to some lovely music. However, I am really struggling with it and here’s why:-
Anyone got a spare 20 minutes?
You’d think in my self-employed day where I work to my own schedule that I would be able to find 20 minutes to meditate, but it has been really hard. In fact I should be doing it now but I am blogging instead! I thought about making use of my commutes but sadly I no longer use the train and I’m not sure driving through the country lanes of Surrey is the best place to switch off. I realise this is ridiculous, everyone has 20 minutes even if it is to watch The Big Bang Theory or whilst your dinner is cooking but I’ve really been struggling and am already 5 days behind!
Where is the best place?
I have discovered that the best place to try to meditate in my cottage is in our spare room; as Goldilocks would say it is ‘just right’, nice and quiet and with a comfy sofa. However, it did take me a few attempts to work this out. In my quest to fit it in to my busy day, I decided it would be a genius plan to meditate whilst having my bath. Genius indeed, warm water to relax in plus getting washed and ready for work all in 20 mins! But it is hard to focus on inner calm when you’re getting a bit too hot or washing your arm pits. I ended up getting out and trying to maintain inner peace whilst wearing a towel, perched on the edge of the bath. However this is far from the real problem with trying to meditate in the bathroom; the problem is that someone else may need to use it....
Picture the scene; I am perched in said towel, chanting my mantras, eyes closed, listening to calming music when my other half bangs on the door (in a loud Northern accent) “Dan, are you done? I’m dying for a poo!” All my ‘ohms’ flew out of the window. I may have been trying to control my destiny but he sadly couldn’t control his, so that meditation session was shot to...... well, .....you know!
One of my biggest struggles with meditating is the main part of it – switching off. I cannot seem to quiet my brain. The more I tell myself to think of nothing, the more I think of what I have to do later and then the more stressed I get as I tell myself off for thinking it. They say you are meant to acknowledge your thoughts and then let them pass. But the problem is if I acknowledge the random thought that I’ve forgotten to pay my council tax, it doesn’t pass, instead it ferments as panic rises and I plan fitting a trip to the bank in to an already busy day that I am wasting 20 minutes sitting here aaaaargh!! And breathe....
But it’s working a bit
Despite missing days here and there I do feel some benefits from my daily quiet time. I feel calmer and more smiley. I still get mad at the stupidly slow drivers on my way to work but I also look up at the orangey trees and enjoy their beauty and smile. I look forward to my daily sessions and although my brain still wanders and I am far from a hippy, I do think it is calming me down.
Well as much as it can to a control-freak, busy stress-head like me!