Starting a Meditation Journey

Calm montage


Confession time: I don't really know how to meditate. Oh, I understand the ins and outs of it well enough: you sit down, you watch your breath, you quiet the mind. Benefits include increased relaxation, better focus, decreased anxiety, improved memory, and more creativity. I've tried it here and there without ever being able to turn it into a practice. But I guess I can't quite wrap my mind around it, and what to DO (which suddenly seems ironic, since the whole point is to let my thoughts go). just sit? And do nothing?

Still, as I approached 2016, I knew that this was something I wanted to make space for in my life. In seeking external changes to my life, I'm absolutely convinced that internal changes are even more important--and more long-lasting. I can always get a new job, try a new hobby, make more money, travel somewhere new, etc. But I'm not getting a new mind anytime soon, so I might as well take care of this one.

So my goal on this front for 2016 is quite simply: to meditate every single day. That sounds CRAZY to me. It is January 2nd, and that means 364 days to go, and I don't even know HOW. But isn't that the very thing that stops us sometimes? The 'but-I-don't-know-hows'? And isn't there a pretty damn good chance that if I do something 366 days in a row - even just for 5-10 minutes - I'll be better at it than when I started?

Let's find out. Two days ago, I downloaded the Calm app (after much hemming, hawing, and research on which app to try). Yesterday, I started their '7 Days of Calm' basics of mindfulness meditation program. As you can see from the photo collage, that puts me on a ONE-day streak, with a grand total of 10 minutes of meditation over two days. Realistically, I've probably spent more time so far choosing the background scenes (crackling fireplace, anyone?). And I'll confess I'm not sure what I'll do once I finish the first 7 days. 

But there's beauty in not knowing. There's beauty in being able to observe my progress. There's beauty in promising myself I will take a small moment each and every day to sit quietly. No journey didn't start with a single step. Or, in this case, a single breath.