I'm trying to keep my business, my triplets, and my waistline under control. I excel at one of those, fail at another one of those, and one is a work in progress. Which is which is day dependant.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Just Calm The Fuck Down Part Two

This past weekend I went to an "Introduction to Meditation" course. A number of people in my life are meditators, and I've been reading for some time about the benefits of regular meditation practice, so I was pretty keen to give it a try.  Those who have read this blog for a while know that meditation was also recommended to me by the neuro guy, whose official diagnosis was that I was suffering from DTMSS: Doing Too Much Shit Syndrome and that the only cure is to Calm The Fuck Down. I was also keen to find out of I could "Ommmm" with the best of them, and to find out if I was even capable of sitting cross-legged for any length of time. I'm pretty sure the last time I sat cross-legged anywhere I was about 5 years old and even then I was probably complaining about my aching hips.

The good news is, I'm really good at "Ommm"-ing off key but there is no need to do it. The even BETTER news is, meditation does not require actually sitting on the floor unless you really, really want to or you are some sort of over-achieving hippie sort.

3 hours (and okay, some sleeping....sorry, meditating) later, and while I'm no expert, I certainly understand a bit more about what's involved. The basic principle is pretty easy to understand: Calm Body = Calm Mind = Calm Body = Calm Mind. In other words, if your mind is calm then your body can be too, and vice versa. Of course it's getting the mind or body to calm the fuck down which is the hard part. If your mind is all worked up, your body probably is too - so if you can relax your body, your mind will follow and vice versa.

The instructor went through a number of techniques - some physical, some mental - to basically calm one or another of those, or rather really just to 'free' one of those. Some of the physical meditations actually had the end result of making me feel much more alert - not in any distress, and not specifically calm - just more awake I suppose. It was fascinating stuff, really - the way I felt after trying one technique versus another one was very different. I found myself really quite surprised at the entire thing and I enjoyed it. Best of all was discovering that there is no need to actually turn off the endless chatter in your head because guess what? That's actually impossible to do. You can't turn it off even if you WANT to, not matter how hard you try - it's just not possible to have an entirely empty mind (although I can think of some people who certainly try to very hard to disprove this.) I have to say that he managed to shatter pretty much all of the pre-conceived notions I had about meditation, including the bit about the Ommmm and the sitting cross-legged bit.

The night of the course I decided to give meditating a go right before bed. I've not been sleeping very well these past few weeks (and meditation can apparently help with that) so I thought I'd put to use some of the techniques I learned. It was harder than it was in class, especially as there was no gorgeous hottie with a mellifluous voice to lead me straight into the arms of Morpheus, but I still managed to have a good ol' try at it. It's going to take some practice, and a heck of a lot more focus, and some real commitment to it, but I'm interested to see where this might lead (to sleep, I'm hoping.)  I was proud of myself for going along to the course in the first place, and for really remaining open minded about it. I can absolutely see (even just in that one short introduction to it) that it would have very obvious benefits for someone as highly strung as I am.

Now of course I just need to convince myself that there are no prizes for being the Bestest Ever Meditation Student, so there is no need to go all over-achiever on this one and suddenly start finding myself a guru and attending workshops while wearing hemp shirts and growing dreadlocks. I also need to resist the urge to book in to see the physio so I'm actually ABLE to sit cross-legged on the floor. I'm not sure if I'm capable of that though.


Or rather,


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