I did it. I made it. I meditated for a minimum of 10 minutes every day for 30 days in a row.
Whooopy fucking doo da is what I just typed and I have no idea why. I just did. So in the interests of being transparent and honest I am going to leave it there. It is ridiculous as I should not be taking the piss out of myself about this. This is a really awesome achievement. I’m not often that great at sticking to things so the fact that I stuck to this, regardless of the experience, is an achievement in itself.
Yet I’m all whoopy fucking doo da. *sigh*
Some people are hard to please eh? I think this is more about the fact that I was dead sick and tired of reporting in to say I’d done something every day. I’m not on parole people but it was starting to feel that way. Or maybe I just felt like I had a wife. I felt harassed and nagged.
This final week was a much better week than the previous one (remember, the one that sucked) so yay for that. Thank you to all those who commented on that post. It really helped. Really really helped. And those that mentioned running as their meditation, well you just rock as you, along with Rose over at from2to3kids who has recently started the Couch to 5k program, really inspired me. I actually used running as my meditation for 3 out of the 7 days this last week and I found this to be really helpful and kept me a bit sane.
For those of you that are poo pooing running as meditation then poo poo no more. There is such a thing as moving meditation. At the beginning of the challenge I had a great comment from Urban Paleo Chef all about them and have been meaning to look into them in greater detail. I guess I put it off as it wasn’t relevant to the process I was using at the time but that has now changed and I am going to be looking into them in greater detail. There will be a post about them in the future for those interested (and you thought you were done with the meditation posts haha). Here’s what he had to say about them:
First, ask yourself this: Have you ever done an activity, any activity, which was routine enough that your mind began to wander? If so, did you wander to such a degree that you lost track of time, and maybe even space? That’s a moving meditation, regardless of the activity.
Tai Chi is one of the most commonly recognized forms of moving meditations. Additionally, if you ever speak to a runner, most of them will have “Moving Meditation” stories, though they’ll likely call it something else, like “I was in the zone, and time just flew by effortlessly”.
I engage in several different forms, depending on the day: I run, and I manage to get meditative value out of running at least twice per week. I juggle – this was a very important centering activity for me throughout my childhood! I also do Kung Fu; and if you ask most martial arts practitioners, they will tell you that a martial arts workout is very meditative.
Also, I know people who do gardening, dish washing, and other home-cleaning as meditations.
Sounds pretty cool if you ask me. So I’ll do some digging around (aka research) and get you some more hard data on the subject.
So let’s wrap up the challenge then.
- In the glory weeks (weeks 1 and 2) I had this grand vision of going on to do a different challenge every month. Down Under Dad is doing just this. He has committed to doing something every month for the next year!!! I was considering joining him but I’m really off that idea now. Being forced to do something every single day and log it did start to irritate me and I suspect this would be the case no matter what I chose for the challenge. Lesson: being forced to do something every day pisses me off.
- I’m not sure I’d use the 30 day challenge website again because of this. However the flip side is that it kept me committed. Or did it? I think publishing here is what kept me committed, the website just kept me reminded. I’m on the fence about this in the future but simply because of my personality type. It would be awesome for others. Don’t knock it until you try it. Lesson: find something that keeps you going.
- Regardless of all these negative things I am harping on about it turns out that meditation does seem to be really good for my temperament. Lesson: if it has a positive effect on your life then it is probably good for you.
- As I seem to find sitting there and meditating so difficult on an ongoing basis, finding something like running as a moving meditation is worthwhile for me. I think I just have too much energy to burn. Lesson: there is a way you can do this that works for you.
In short, I think it’s really beneficial to my mental health so I’m going to keep doing it in a way that suits me. I might not do it every day but I will do it most days and that’s ok.
The Way Forward
The plan so far is to run 3 days per week and hit the gym for 1 or 2 other days. The running days will definitely count as meditation. The other days I will aim to do a meditation at home. Meanwhile I am going to do some more research into the moving meditations and see if I can’t incorporate this even more into my life. At least twice per week I will aim to do a sit down session. I do think there has to be some value in just sitting down for a second and letting some calmness into your life.
Thanks to those who followed my challenge journey and to Jen over at More Than An Expat who also participated. Jen is a machine and has recently started doing the Deepak / Oprah 21 day meditation challenge. After doing this for the last 30 days the idea of that just scares me so I take my hat off to her completely.
My next challenge is completing the Couch to 5k program so you may hear me go on about that from time to time in my posts. At the moment I’m completely terrified as my next run the increments increase from 60 to 90 secs running. Yikes!
Last but not least, while I was going through this whole process I came across an awesome poem on meditation by the lovely Scottishmomus. You should totally go check it out.
Thanks for tuning in. You guys rock. See you next time.
Whoopsie, one more thing! I kept a journal each day of the challenge. If that sort of detail is your thing then you can check it out here. I’ve just transferred it all to my blog.