Barely Breathing … and Sleeping

I have had difficulty drafting this weekly update on my Learning Project: mindfulness and meditation. It feels like I have had more failures than successes.

Fails:

  • I’ve become WAY more restless lately – I fidget, I scratch my head, then my shoulder, then my other shoulder, my chin. Then I scratch my knee.
  • I’ve become a meditation multi-tasker. I juggle the tasks of counting my breaths and thinking about a multitude of thoughts and problem-solving. I don’t even lose track of my count as I process all of my thoughts.
  • My only concrete measurement has plummeted: My weekly sleep average dropped by almost an hour! February 1 – 7 sleep average: 5 hours 3 minutes.
  • I am not focusing. My mind is restless, I think about everything and I have trouble connecting to the things that were working: counting my breaths, attending to physical sensations, visualization, listening to the directions.
  • My neck and shoulders seem even tighter.

Wins:

  • I have managed to meditate every single day.
  • I had another very productive day after meditating in the morning.
  • I re-read my meditation journal to reconnect with some of my previous learning – and re-learned something I had forgotten.

The visualization that continues to work best for me is the idea of my thoughts as cars, and my desire to chase them down and control them. I blogged about it previously here.

(Embarrassing Personal Narrative commences) The mind works in mysterious ways because Snow Patrol’s “Chasing Cars” became my anthem when I found myself reflecting on my meditation fails as I restlessly wrangled all of my “thought cars”. The lyrics could easily be bent to describe my challenges with meditation: Let’s waste time… Chasing Cars… Around our heads”. I found myself trying to “do it all… Everything” on my own. Doing too much, taking too much on – it keeps my mind churning for hours. I longed to just “lay here … And just forget the world” or at least the distracting thoughts so that I could shut off my mind and get some sleep. Even the lyric “I need your grace To remind me To find my own” is a reminder about how difficult this is to do on your own. All of my teachers seem so distant – people ‘once removed’ as voices through an app, or lessons from one person through another. I would like a meditation buddy. A beginner. Even in a personal learning journey it helps to have someone to commiserate with, someone who understands when times get tough, and to help you push through.

*author’s note: It’s hard to post failures in learning. And sometimes the connections you make while learning can be a little embarrassing, especially when your brain begins to DJ your life experiences as you write in a meditation journal!

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