Friday, April 19, 2019

Day 3 & 4: 4 minute success!

Day 3-4

I was sick for day 3, so my meditation looked like a nap. A fretful nap where I reminded myself to defrost ground pork.

Day 4, I listened to this. She guided me through a few centering moments of noticing my breath. I actually found this extremely helpful as well. I kept my mind just focused enough to not wander off course too badly.

This is Good Friday, so we all have a lot to meditate on. I feel better about day 4 and my mind feeling clearer. While I did open my eyes 3 minutes in because it felt like 20 minutes, I was able to do fairly well until 4 minutes.

I'm going to try and increase my time by 1 minutes a day.

Things I learned:

It is good to have a short, small guided voice helping me start the meditation process.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Day 2: Sometimes frogs ruin meditation

Day 2

This morning I made some significant meditation changes. I listened to this on Youtube. I have problems with a lot of nature sound meditation music because I get caught up in the scene. I notice the patterns of the seagulls calling out or the frogs croaking. I then wander off into where the frogs live and if there's a sufficient fly supply for his family. It turns into frog family reunions being interrupted by savage crocodiles.

This music is simple and void of nature.

I also discovered that I need to find God as I picture scenes. Me, floating in space, as I look down to earth. I try to mentally push aside all the narratives that could come streaming in and relax in the peace of it all.

I also put on noise canceling headphones to drown out the noises I clung to in Day 1.

I didn't ask God for anything. I didn't pray a single thing. I just sat and allowed myself to be in awe for 3 minutes. It was not without distraction this morning, but the music and headphones helped keep me present. I focused on the goodness of God in the patterns of a tide. Calmly ebbing to and fro as if being conducted by a masterful hand. I found my mind fixating on the simplicity of God's order.

This order is all around me, I just miss it in the complexity of my thoughts. This was a good step back from my mind and a good step forward in my relationship with stillness.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Day 1: Meditation Multitasking

Day 1

Our VPN was down, so I decided that was God's way of telling to meditate while I cut strawberries in my kitchen. Normally, I want to listen to a podcast or music or a Rami Malek interview on Youtube. I looked at my watch, 9:44 am. Ok, I would give myself until 9:49 to be quiet (with the added bonus of getting fruit chopped for dinner). I had now decided that multitasking meditation would be my jam.

A solid 15 seconds in and my mind introduced itself to these these players:

A hole being drilled 2 floors up.

Groups of wandering policemen outside my apartment complex.

My own acoustic remix of "Signs, signs, everywhere there's signs." But, only that line over and over because the rest of the song's lyrics are filled with incoherent gaps.

Look how fast I can cut bananas.

Maybe I should do some game show about home cheffing.

Audibly telling the left over pico de gallo how much I loved it.

I haven't even seen the minute hand move and all of these things had happened.

Day 1 was a total meditation fail.

Things I learned: 

1. I cannot multitask and meditate.
2. I need to sit down with maybe some quiet, pan flutey type music to drown out any peripheral noise.
3. I might even need to leave the house.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Taking Silence for a Spin

I cannot be still. 

I cannot meditate. 

I am dismissive of silence. 

As a kid, I would oftentimes run to the car before my mother and crank the radio volume to full dial. When she stuck the keys into the ignition the radio would screech notes at an undiscernible decibel. My mother would wince and I would laugh with all the hilarity I believed that prank deserved. While I am not claiming causation, I am now an adult woman and notoriously play my music loud. I want to be fully embraced by the notes and lyrics of the music. If I am interrupted as I listen, I actually pause the song instead of turning down the volume. I cannot handle both relational and musical input at the same time. It feels like getting tapped on the shoulder and being cut in on during a slow dance during a Brian Adam's song. 

We have some pretty major decisions waiting for us in the carpool line. We know they are coming. And instead of an excited kindergartener looking for their mom’s car, I have found I am a angry and annoyed 12-year old full of angst as the car gets closer and closer. 

This week, I’ve picked up Emily Freeman’s, “The Next Right Thing.”  

Here’s what Mr. Amazon says: 

If you have trouble making decisions, because of either chronic hesitation you've always lived with or a more recent onset of decision fatigue, Emily P. Freeman offers a fresh way of practicing familiar but often forgotten advice: simply do the next right thing. With this simple, soulful practice, it is possible to clear the decision-making chaos, quiet the fear of choosing wrong, and find the courage to finally decide without regret or second-guessing.

My go to decision making process is brainstorm until I have squeezed every ounce out of an idea. This requires full mental attention while doing just about everything-making coffee, doing homework with the kids, folding laundry, etc. Basically, the most present I am is with the churning and pressing of my own thoughts. I then take those ideas and poll my people. They get to hear all my great ideas and tell me what’s great and not great about them. 

Then, I ask God to notarize it all. 

That’s how I’ve done it for as long as I can remember. But the decision fatigue is exhausting and I can’t keep doing it this way. 

Over the next 30 days, I am going to chronicle my inability turned to (hopefully) ability to meditate and listen to the Lord. 

I’m not publishing these posts to social media, so if you end up here, let’s claim it as divine serendipity. I don’t need the parade of onlookers to distract me from learning to listen. I already play to the crowd enough in my life. This needs to be different. 

Chapter 1: 

“Unmade decisions hold power.” 
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