I didn’t make it a resolution. I didn’t even talk about it in my post about my 2015 Word. I’m not sure, when I wrote that, if I had even thought about this goal.
Yet, here I am on February 1st, and I achieved it. I meditated every day in January.
10 minutes. I have a timer on my phone, and I set it for 10 minutes. I’m sure there are people out there who can manage without the timer, but for me, it’s a little tool that helps me pull my brain back from wondering how long I’ve actually been mediating. And wondering if it’s time to stop yet. And feeling like I need to know.
Pretty obvious why I need meditation, right?
I got another tool. I downloaded HabitBull onto my phone. I thought, well, I won’t push myself to do this every day, and if I don’t make it every day, that’s fine, but maybe it would be nice at the end of the month to see what I did manage. (And, yes, it was nice to see that I managed the whole thing!) It’s a very simple app, but it does what I need–most of which, it turns out, is just sitting there on the top menu on my phone, reminding me about its presence and my goal. And there were many days the first few weeks on which that reminder was the thing that got me sitting.
So 30 days. Pretty consistently for 10 minutes every day, although there were definitely a few days where I didn’t make the whole 10 minutes. Still…every day, I sat. I closed my eyes, and I breathed.
And when HabitBull asked me if I wanted to keep going, I said Yes.
Here’s the thing I’m thinking about today, as I start in on February. I know I need to meditate. I doubt you’ll find anyone on the planet (okay, you COULD, but why bother!) who would say meditating isn’t a good thing. I know that my brain is a brain that needs not only that 10 minutes of relative calm every day, but one that needs practice in exactly what meditation is for–pulling back out of the world, out of the rush that my brain often makes it–and just breathing. It’s a brain that needs training (yes, still, at my age) in responding rather than reacting, in learning to see the reaction rise and catch it, gently, to observe and think and make a decision around.
But…not seeing it yet. No, sure I’m getting better. I’ve been meditating on and off for a few years now and working on the whole mindfulness thing, and I do see a difference. And believe me, if I can, I’ll keep doing this–through February and into March and so on. Heck, I’d love to keep doing this To Infinity and Beyond! What I’m being curious and observant about is this habit thing. The stages of needing an app to remind oneself, to thinking about it during the day on your own, to having it become almost autopilot–not the meditating itself, but the remembering. I am really, really, really not good at the I Will Do X or Y Every Day. Every Day is one of the things that sends my brain into reaction–and not a good one.
I say, again, pretty obvious why I need meditation!
So for now I’m doing the meditation, and I’m doing the observing. I’m watching my breath and I’m watching my habit form. And I’m watching to see what will feel different about the sitting and when it will start. And how it will move forward. And what will change and what will stay the same.
Which is, I guess, what progress looks like.