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What I Think About When Meditating

It was one of my goals this year. I’ve always been intrigued by it. I watched Eat, Pray, Love more times than I can admit relating to her process of learning how to do it. I took a class from a Groupon to try it in a group setting even. Still meditation remains this great big distant challenge for me. I can’t seem to get the hang of it and feel like a child wearing her mother’s heels and trying to walk.

So it’s pretty clear I am not an expert at this whole meditation thing. Yet I have continued to work through trying to figure it out. At points it was almost unbearable to think about sitting down to try it again. The frustration at not being able to do it well or understand what the heck I was supposed to be feeling while doing it to know if I was doing it right was zapping the joy I had for trying it. Ugh! It was the most frustrating aspect of my health journey this year. I found it much easier to stick to a meal plan and exercise than I did this meditation practice. Yet I have persisted.

When I stopped forcing it amazingly it was easier. If I didn’t feel like it I didn’t beat myself up for skipping it. I scheduled time to do it and eventually became ok with only being able to sit for a minute or two… sometimes only seconds. I think the anxiety of making time for it, making sure everything around me was quiet and in a setting I thought was perfect for meditation was really in the way of me actually getting down to meditating. I was worried about what oils I had in my diffuser if they were going to be distracting or the wrong mix to go deep. I though my family would come barging into the room I was in at any moment with questions only I could answer for them. My phone would ring or I’d hear a notification for email or text. There was always something in the way.

Finally one day fairly recently I was traveling for work sitting in the Charlotte airport. I dislike this airport because the layovers are either 30 minutes where you have to dash quickly between terminals or they are 3 hours and you’re sitting for hours. This time I was on one of those long layovers and it was a busy Friday afternoon with lots of business travelers like me. I was tired. It had been a bear of a week at work and my mind and body were exhausted. I just wanted to get home and wash off the week. Usually I will put in my earbuds and bury myself deep in a book or movie but for some reason that didn’t appeal to me this time. Instead I found myself softening my gaze on the moving sidewalk and hearing the noises around me fade away. I could still hear them yet I wasn’t distracted by them. My mind went calm and I no longer felt this heavy exhaustion anywhere. I was just there, peacefully sitting, not thinking of anything and I felt calm. I’m not sure how long this lasted but when I came back to the noise and my surroundings I felt so much better.

My mind instantly asked myself if I had really just meditated or if I had just went mind numb like when I binge watch a TV series. The only reason I concluded I was meditating was because I felt good afterwards and I didn’t go asleep and I wasn’t eating ice cream. Look I already admitted I’m not an expert at this and no one had really explained or described what it feels like in a way that connected for me. Hence why I’ was comparing it to other things.

The other times to this point I had tried meditation I was worried about what was around me, what could happen, letting my mind go to all the things I had to do or quite honestly I would doze off. It’s not often I get some quiet time to myself and well I went to sleep. Yet this time in a loud noisy Friday afternoon airport terminal I experienced the most relaxed feeling and I didn’t go asleep. I didn’t hear my mind sh