30 Day Meditation Challenge
If you follow me on Instagram you will have seen that throughout September I took it upon myself to accept the challenge of meditating every morning for one month.
My meditation practice had dwindled recently, which can happen quite often with the constant changes that everyday life throws at you & so I felt I the need to kick start a daily habit again.
Between rushing out the door every morning and the all important crash & binge in front of the latest Netflix series, it can really feel as though there is very little time for meditation.
Most of the time I'm too busy making myself busy to even think about sitting still for 10 or 20 minutes a day, so I can't imagine the average household with young kiddies feel like they have much time either.
I set myself this challenge to help focus more on my own self care, to get inside my head in order to get out of it! Plus, I'd had a twitch in my eye for a week telling me to slow down!
First, I needed some ground rules, to ensure I kept to my daily practice; I told myself that my meditation had to be a minimum of 10 minutes, longer would be fine but no less! I had to meditate once per day at least, noon or night, so long as I gave time towards it in the day. Lastly, I wanted to document my meditation in some way (I chose to post this on my Instagram stories, but journaling or marking a calendar would have been equally as effective should you be on a digital detox).
My first morning; the 1st September.
I used a 'go to' guided meditation by the lovely Aubry Marie on Alo Moves - "From Fear to Love". It was the perfect length & each day it worked towards breaking down the internal barriers that can hold us back within our daily lives.
As I tried to settle into a semi-comfortable position, I realised very quickly how rusty I was at settling myself. My mind felt cluttered, I was uncomfortable, my breathing didn't feel right & my chest was tight. I knew straight away that I needed this.
I stuck with it, gently reminding myself that it was OK to feel frustrated & stiff. The next few days that passed I slowly started to ease into into the meditations.
After a week it started to feel like a normal routine, I'd meditate before breakfast after getting ready for work so I knew timing wouldn't be an issue. It still felt like hard work, my mind wondered more than usual & my thoughts turned to worries. I again reminded myself each time, this was OK & brought my attention back to my breathing.
I started to realise that I had held onto the expectation that I would feel better within myself straight away, I had to let go of this & lead with an open heart. I started thinking more about compassion & love for myself.
Towards the third week I felt a shift starting to happen, a lighter feeling inside, as though colours had become more vibrant & brighter. I started to look forward to my 10 minutes of calm every morning, I craved it.
My once clouded, cluttered mind was becoming a little clearer, I was more alert & able to recall things quicker. I was less forgetful & I noticed I was more relaxed towards the smaller, insignificant things.
Those 10 minutes everyday actually gave me more time as I was able to prioritise my thoughts. I let go of anything that didn't offer any purpose or that I didn't know to be true & I spent less time chasing down 'what if' scenarios.
My mind was once again focused on the present task in front of me & it felt great to feel back in the driving seat.
I think we could all use a daily meditation in our routines, whether that be sitting quietly in our homes or somewhere peaceful. Just 10 minutes a day can have such a huge difference on our quality of life. It could be a guided meditation or just tuning into the sounds & senses around us. Whatever meditation looks like for you, give yourself the time & time will come back to you.