If you missed it, first read My 30-Day Meditation Challenge (Part 1).
Is it working?
During the 30 days, people would ask me, “Is it working?” How do you measure if it’s working? What does that mean? What does “working” look like? Do I feel more relaxed in general? Yes. Does that make me happier? Yes. Is it all in my head? Hmmm… I think that’s the whole point.
I’m not saying that I’m happier than people who don’t meditate because I’m sure there are a lot of people out there who are much happier than me and wouldn’t give meditation the time of day; however, what I am saying is that the me that meditates is happier than the me that didn’t meditate. It’s not about trying to be better than other people; it’s about personal improvement and being better than I was the day before.
Originally, I started doing my meditation in the morning for 2 reasons: 1) I felt that this was a good way to start my day… be relaxed and go into the day with an already calm mind. 2) When establishing a new habit, I think it is always a good idea to do it as soon as possible so that it doesn’t get forgotten. I didn’t want to get to the end of the day and skip meditating because I was too busy or too tired.
After awhile, I changed from doing it in the morning to doing it at night and there was a noticeable difference. As I would start the meditation, I would realize… At the end of the day, I end up here no matter what kind of day it was, what mood I’m in, or what events happened during the day. I also started to notice that I would use that realization when I felt myself getting stressed throughout the day… I would think about how at the end of the day, no matter what happens, I will end up in meditation and be pushing away all thoughts of the day. Of course, if I’m already in a good mood when I start meditating, it’s a lot easier to believe the CD when it says, “you are happy and relaxed.” It’s interesting to note that whether my day was good or bad, the object of meditation is the same: gently push away my thoughts, dim out the craziness of everyday life, calm my mind and focus on the moment. While I feel happier when I had a good day, the ability to calm my mind is the same whether my thoughts are positive or negative. Our minds are constantly racing with thoughts about what happened that day, what is going to happen next, our emotions, our worries… positive or not, our thoughts are not easily slowed and controlled.
The beginning of each meditation session has become noticeably different for me as well. I find that I start to relax more naturally just knowing that I’m about to start meditating. I can feel that my mind and body are beginning to be trained to recognize what is happening at that moment in time. The first few moments are the best because I am really focused on what I’m doing, my mind doesn’t start wandering immediately, and I completely forget what day or time it is; all I know is that I’m back here again and it’s like no time has passed.
Check out My 30-Day Meditation Challenge (Part 3)… What Now?