OK, I have a confession to make. I’m one of millions of “meditation-cushion-failure” folks. Decades ago (probably in the 70’s), I tried (TM) a number of times – with one of two results. I either got really peeved or I fell asleep. Neither alternative sounded like a desirable outcome. So, I quit. And, judged myself as a failure. Maybe, you can identify.
On the other hand, I’ve always been pretty good at “napitating” – as Dr. Mark Hyman puts it. The practice came in especially handy back in the 80’s when I was writing my dissertation. Whenever I’d get stuck in the writing process, I’d take a nap. When I’d wake up, I’d start writing again before my thoughts got too tangled up with each other. At one critical point, I remember actually having all my note cards spread out around me in bed. Nap, write, nap, write. For days. It worked. [A few months later, during the final typing phase on my very first computer, it felt as though I drained out my “nap” account as I’d get lost in the keyboard as hours sped quickly away with no time available for sleep. But, I digress.]
A quick bit of context setting
When I learned about Focusing just over 10 years ago, I quickly realized that I had actually been a “closet” Focuser my whole life. However, I had never been encouraged to develop and nurture this exquisite natural capacity for body-based, experiential felt-sensing. I was intrigued, delighted and affirmed. I sailed through the certification process and quickly integrated Focusing into both my personal life and professional work.
Early on during this same time period, I had also become aware of HeartMath, the concept of “coherence” and the use of biofeedback to identify and measure periods of coherence. The relevant point for this discussion from my Heartmath-based learnings was learning that coherence is not necessarily a desired “permanent” state. Rather, what truly matters is our ability to recognize when we’re “in coherence” and to reliably find our way back to it when life inevitably pulls us off-center.
As part of my ongoing Focusing routine, I have developed a successful “throughout-the-day” practice I call “Pause. Turn. Listen.” It allows me to “get present in the now” really well—whether for just a momentary check-in or for a longer Focusing partnership session.
About 6 weeks ago, I had one of my increasingly frequent, seemingly random and out-of-nowhere “early morning wonderings”. This one stopped me in my tracks.
A rather cheeky “inner questioner” unexpectedly emerged with a question about whether and why I might actually need a regular “sitting” practice. Especially if, during multiple moments throughout the day, I am able to “come back” to grounded presence (as with my coherence exercise experience). Yet, I also welcomed a deeper curiosity: If one equates a meditation/sitting practice as a concentrated effort to “stay with” centeredness, what happens “off the cushion” in real life? I had no ready answer and the rough notes from my wondering sleepily remained on my IPad.
Fast-forward 6 weeks. My email inbox included Dr. Mark Hyman’s weekly podcast announcement. Its click-bait title, One thing you should do every day got me to open the email. But, when I saw the topic was about meditating, I hesitated. And hesitated again. Something in me clearly didn’t want to revisit my meditation-failure days.
Finally, I gave in to the little voice inside that was encouraging me to listen. To stay curious and maybe learn something new from his guest, Emily Fletcher about how she combines the concepts of mindfulness, meditation and manifesting into what she calls the Ziva Technique. She’s also just released her first book, entitled Stress Less, Accomplish More.
So, yes, I tuned in and listened to Mark Hyman’s “The Doctor’s Farmacy” [45 min.] podcast entitled “Why Meditation is the New Medicine”.
I was hooked! Devoured the book and have just completed my first three days of twice-daily 15-minute meditation sessions.
And, yes, I know I’m sort of gushing away with delight. It makes sense. Finally. I think I’m a convert!
Of course, only time will tell. And, I’ll be sure to share what happens along the way!