Life has a way of handing you a curve ball that you instinctively know has always been part of the path. It’s like a big sign that comes up on the road pointing you to a fantastic farmers market just when you were thinking of what you were going to make for dinner. The synergy of stuff in the universe has always seemed a bit kumbayah to me. While I can often intuitively feel that things are going the way the should – it is the intellectual side of me that just battles like hell. I was recently “restructured” out of my job (sounds like plastic surgery gone bad) and found myself like many others – trying to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up. At 45 that may sound odd, but I wanted to capture that wide eyed innocence of my child’s mind to find the work I admired. Sure I am going through the methodology of updating the resume, speaking to a career coach or two, reaching out to my network on LinkedIn – but I am looking for my passion as well as a paycheck.
As Life would have it, a lunch a few months ago with a former work colleague, Monica Maurin brought me to her passion – mindful meditation. At the time last year I put it on my “should do” list, but did not have the time or the motivation. Fast forward six months and I have lots of time, and curiously the motivation – which is in perfect alignment with Monica’s schedule.
So today I embark on my first lesson and thought I would share my journey. Am I a bit dubious – perhaps. More accurately I am a bit frightened that I will be running around hugging trees, sharing my feelings and extolling the virtues of quinoa. At the moment, I believe I must trust in Monica and know that the time for this has come.
The meditation lesson started after the preliminary questions and the settling in. I recently re-purposed our spare bedroom, turning it into my personal dressing room/meditation space. The room has 3 windows and a skylight. With lots of natural light pouring it – it felt like the right quiet space. Do I sit on the couch or on the floor? I don’t know – and apparently it does not much matter according to Monica. The key is being comfortable and open. We settled in and started with our breathing. Having done a bit of yoga in the past – it was a solid way to focus and get into the moment. Posture, sounds, feelings, heat all started to tickle at my brain as I took those deep breaths.
Then came the raisin excercise (which curiously my mind went to reason and starting firing all kinds of weird connections). Focusing on the raisin with all our senses, we seemed to be testing how the senses were aware to the simple raisin. An interesting exercise that did not require any awkward posture or funny sounds emitting from deep in the chest. As a foodie when I finally was able to put that little raisin in my mouth, I started to think about how things might be if we examined each bite in exactly the same way and with such intensity. No more robotic snacking to get things into the mouth!
Monica then guided me through the meditation with her soothing voice. It felt like no time had passed at all when we finished. What I noticed most was the feeling of falling 2 or 3 times. Almost like suddenly taking a step down a stair unexpectedly, or suddenly falling asleep and waking quickly. It felt like for a moment my brain nodded off. So far this is not too weird.
So time will tell over the next few days how I fare on my own and if I have the ability to sit still without the hamsters in the brain running of that wheel of lists of things to do. If you see me staring at a raisin – just ignore me.