M is for meditation...something I wish I were better at, and something I think is worth pursuing, even though, basically, it's a struggle. Meditation sometimes feels like an unattainable goal for me, but I try to keep judgment at bay, and count my successes when I can, even if some days the only meditationish thing I did was wear my yoga pants.
On the days that I take the time to meditate, I feel more relaxed, and focused. Meditation takes on a variety of forms, depending on when I wake up, where I am, and who is with me.
Meditation is an opportunity for me to try to clear my mind and relax. Notice I said TRY. Sometimes I have fallen asleep while meditating; I think we can agree that's pretty relaxed. (Don't judge.) I like to sit in my recliner, or lie in bed. I don't worry if thoughts creep in while I'm meditating, which is good because they often do. I realize the whole point is to clear our minds, but I'm just grateful if I can reduce the bazillion thoughts battling in my brain for attention to a more manageable number.
I'll tell you what meditation is NOT for me. It is not a pursuit for perfection. I don't use a yoga mat. I don't sit cross-legged on the floor, or upright in a chair. I don't hold my middle finger to my thumb, rest my elbows on my knees, and say, "OM..."
One thing I'm pretty proud of, that I'm pretty consistent with, is I DO wear yoga pants when I meditate, but then, I always wear yoga pants. I want to be prepared in case the mood to meditate strikes, you know? (Do you have yoga pants? They just feel good. And they are so forgiving. And they're so stretchy. You should try them.) I realize yoga pants are for yoga, but meditation is a lot like yoga, except there's no stretching and moving.
Some days, I use a guided meditation or a visualization exercise. Sometimes I simply sit quietly in the dark after I pray, and just concentrate on my breathing, which is harder than it sounds. My brain has a hard time calming down, but I think I still benefit from these peaceful, quiet moments.
During my morning time with the Bible, I like to pray, and I struggle to prolong that time just being still and reflective. On crazy days, my meditation may take the form of a walking meditation, where I alternate between praying and observing nature while I exercise outdoors.
Wait, do all of these count as meditation?
I'm no Deepak Chopra, but I think so. There are so many ways I may not measure up in today's world; I want my peaceful moments to be without judgment or criticism.
The beauty of this time for reflection is it is so different from the rest of my day. It gives me a chance to slow down, and attempt to be mindful. Sometimes, if the only thing I managed to do was wear my yoga pants and take a moment to breathe, I feel pretty darn successful. Bonus points if I also NOTICED I was breathing.
One day, I might make it a whole 30 minutes, but until then, I'll just keep enjoying a few moments of peace and quiet on my terms, in my yoga pants. Maybe I'll design my own line of stretchy pants, and call them meditation pants, so I don't feel guilty about not ever doing yoga in them.