Today I started a 21 Day meditation challenge for the 12th time. Not sure if the meditation is the challenge, or if the real challenge is me and my total inability to be still and think of nothing, for 20 minutes.
The first day I attempted meditation, I fell asleep. I then let a few days slip by and tried again but made sure to have a cup of coffee before sitting down. There I sat cross legged with my steaming hot cup of coffee perched between my legs – doesn’t that sound relaxing?
My third attempt went a bit better – I managed to keep my eyes closed for most of the time – only peeking briefly to check my Blackberry when it buzzed to let me know it was time to meditate.
Why am I attempting this at all, you might ask? The simple answer is that I have been slipping into a habit of tension – dwelling in the land of stress, like so many working mothers.
After all, the land of stress is compelling. There is little fun, but lots of things to do! Oh the opportunities for over-thinking, lack of self care and unnecessary worry!
But the cost of entry to the land of stress is high (premature aging, headaches, short temper) and getting out is even harder than sitting still for 20 minutes and thinking of nothing.
So here I am, recommitting to letting go of stress by starting another 21 Day Challenge. After all, I know that being stressed out habitually is terrible for me and bad for my family too. Not to mention the toll it takes on my ability to be creative at work and when faced with life’s challenges.
Plus, I’ve devoted an entire chapter to self care in my new book, (How To Balance Your Work and Family Life with Less Stress, and More Fun!) so I feel the obligation and desire to get this thing right!
So here we go again, the 12th attempt. I will sit and breathe deep. When confronted with thoughts, I will gently invite them to wait outside for 20 minutes. Each time I try, I will get better at this. The goal isn’t to be perfect, but instead to keep pushing forward. Won’t you join me?
Coach Me Quick Tips for letting go of stress:
- Where are you expecting perfection? Can you give yourself a break?
- Notice what causes stress in your life. How can you shift the way you deal with these circumstances?
- Notice where you might become stressed as a habit? Could you have another reaction or perspective?
- Find ways to quiet your mind; meditation, prayer, OM… zzzzzzzz