What I Learned From 30 Days Of Meditation

30 Days Of Meditation.

That was the goal for my October Challenge.

Contemplation.

As this post goes to print, I will have or will be completing my 43rd consecutive day of meditating.

My main thought as I contemplate the experience is…

Why didn’t I start this sooner.

 

Oh, I had the litany of regular excuses. The main one being that I couldn’t make the time.

 

Pelicans in flight… Pt 2 . .Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too a high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense. -Ralph Waldo Emerson . . . . . #fiftyshades_of_nature #sheisnotlost #wearetravelgirls #travelgram #travelblogger #travelawesome #instatravel #destinationearth #roamtheplanet #optoutside #birdsofinstagram #pocket_beaches #pocket_allnature #rsa_outdoors #ipulledoverforthis #naturehippys #naturelovers #livefolk #lifeofadventure #liveauthentic #stayandwander #visitnc #exploretocreate #beachvibes #staysalty #modernoutdoors #forgeyourownpath #thehappynow

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Making Time.

The challenge forced me to make the time.

Meditation Tools.

On October 1st-8th, I used a variety of 10-15 minute YouTube videos during my meditation time. Some were guided meditations and some were only music.

Starting on October 9th and for the ensuing 3 weeks, I participated in a meditation challenge that was lead by the teacher, Light Watkins. The challenge was mantra based.

I found the mantras to be extremely useful because my mind has the tendency to wander…a lot.

October 22nd-October 31st and since, I have once again returned to YouTube videos. I tend to pick music based ones and then use a mantra to bring back my focus when my mind begins to wander.

Mantra.

I Am Committed To My Personal Growth And Evolution.

This was one of the mantras that resonated with me. Meditation for me began as a way to grow and evolve. I’ve also occasionally employed this mantra during my runs in training for a 5k. In moments where I wanted to stop, repeating this mantra was a reminder that I am challenging myself to growth.

Nature.

Spending time in nature has always been a grounding place for me. A place to calm my overactive mind. The mind that is always analyzing everything I say. The one that is critical of my decisions. The internal chatter that is rarely quiet. The monkey mind that ramps up my anxieties and causes me to climb down the rabbit hole of “what-ifs”.

Mindfulness.

Now I have another tool for grounding myself. A way of keeping that wandering mind from spiraling down the never-ending cascade of thoughts. A way to stay in the present moment.

To focus on the now.

This Moment Is Perfect, Whole, And Complete.

This is the mantra that I find myself returning to again and again.

It’s easy for me to often get lost in the… “when I check off this box” or “complete this list”…then I will enjoy this moment.

Often, though, that is a neverending litany of things. All the while, moments are slipping by unnoticed. We only have so many breaths on this earth and we don’t know how many. Isn’t that time much better spent recognizing that THIS MOMENT… the one RIGHT NOW is where you are existing?

Not the past, not the future…but NOW.

I get that those words are easier said than done. Boy do I ever get it! I’m pretty sure that why meditation and/or mindfulness is a practice, not another achievement that culminates in a completion.

I am still a baby in the world of meditation. Slowly walking through which forms and messages resonate most with me. I think whatever path you follow is very personal.

Let yourself silently be drawn to the strange pull of what you really love. -Rumi

I mentioned that during my 30 Days Of Meditation that I also read Dan Harris’s 10% Happier. He mentioned a form of meditation that I had not heard about.

Metta Mediation.

One particular day during the 30 days, I decided to try it. I found a guided version. If you aren’t familiar with it, it’s a loving-kindness meditation that directs well wishes at people, including yourself.

The one that I did has you start by focusing on yourself and mentally repeat the following:

May I be well.

May I be happy.

May I be peaceful.

May I be loved.

Then you move on to somebody that you care about and focus on the same message. Then somebody that you don’t really know (for example, a cashier) and then for somebody that you have friction with (this is obviously the hardest one). It can be a very emotional meditation as you go through this process.

For me, I had been in some recent conflict with the person I chose for the the last one. I’m not very good at creating physical images in my mind. But on this specific person, they immediately came into focus. Strangely they were standing in a field of wheat or savannah grasses and they were offering something in their hands. I tried to see what it was, but I could not.

Emotion.

This was very emotional for me, especially because I was not expecting to visualize them standing in this field. This type of field (I just know it’s golden, long grasses and not something I’ve seen in real life) played prominently in a dream that I had in my mid 20’s. I was going through a stressful period in my life and one night I had dream that I was walking along a boardwalk built through these grasses. I came upon a gazebo-type structure and as I stood in there, I could see a light coming in toward me. Somehow I knew that this was God and as the light passed, I felt an unexplainable peace unlike any I’d ever felt before or have ever felt since. For quite a time after that dream, I was able to draw upon that feeling during moments of stress.

Have you ever had a dream that was so rememberable that it spent days on your mind?

This similarity created an emotional release during this part of the meditation and I felt better for having gone through this process.

Visualization.

Are you good at visualization? I’m very good at imagination and descriptive thoughts, but not so much at being specific about what I want my mind’s eye to create. Do you find that it gets easier the more you practice?

Life.

Our lives are seasonal, just like nature.

There are times when life feels like the sunny-filled days of summer and other times when the despair creeps in and feels like the bitter, gray days of winter.

It’s in those moments that I will now have a new thing to repeat to myself.

 

My True Happiness Is Sourced From Within.

Habits.

They say it takes 21 days to create a new habit.

I feel like meditation has firmly found a place in my life. I love watching it spill into my life outside of my meditation time. In those moments when I pause, reframe, and then respond instead of reacting. In those moments when I am able to quiet the “what-if” spiral. In those moments when I recognize my true nature. In those moments where my light shines brightly.

While I have read other (probably more accurate) meanings behind the word Namaste, I have never forgotten that decades ago I was given this definition:

The Light In Me Bows To The Light In You.

Let your light shine!

Amy

33 thoughts on “What I Learned From 30 Days Of Meditation

  1. i’ve always been visual, so that made meditation easier for me to begin with, but here I am about 22… 23? years later, and yes, meditation gets better and easier all the time. I often wish I could relax or sleep as well as I can meditate! My husband often falls asleep during meditation and he gets upset, feels awful about it, and I’m just jealous!
    Meditation is something that makes me feel connected to everything and everything, including God — not in an overwhelming sense, but peacefully, with love. And it’s such a certain, specific feeling, I often ask atheists what they feel when they get a good meditation going. They say peace and love, but to me, it’s God. Belonging to God and God in everything, everyone else. Visually, yes, light. If you’re seeing light, you’re on the right track to more lightwork.
    It’s really hard to talk about it without being hyped up. As often as I dream solutions, I meditate them. It’s pretty effective anger management, that feeling of connection.
    i had the most amazing dream recently, just the most amazing, and it was during meditation that I remembered I dreamed it. More connection.
    I love the chakra meditations because it sorts emotions for me, sorta like your Metta.
    I’m so glad you’re doing it! 😀

    • I was very visual until I hit my teens years. Now, I can see painted pictures in my mind, I just cannot control the conjuring of a specific scene.
      I do love how I feel during meditation. That peace and lightness. I’m rarely ready for it to be over once it is. Sometimes I do have a sense of light, other times I see things that I think may be important, but am not always able to fully process or “see” the larger part of the picture. A door…a face…etc.. that I do not recognize.
      I have always been conscientious of my dreams. They are often long, drawn out tales where I search for processing and answers. I like having this new element for more understanding.
      I find it to be very good for anger management. I still have a ways to go in that area, but I can see improvements in just my nominal time practicing so I suspect it will only get better.
      I tried a chakra meditation during the 30 days. I did like it, but still had a struggle with visualizing the light, like seeing green over the heart. I could pull that up for a second, but then it was mostly thinking the word. so I was a little frustrated. I wanted to see the spinning colored energy. I tried one again today. A music one versus guided. I didn’t necessarily visualize the colors, but I could “feel” an open pathway from root to crown and eventually a white light spilling down from above.
      It made me feel very connected!
      I do like the Metta as well. I probably would like almost any type that I participated in… as long as, if it’s guided, I enjoy the voice. 🙂

  2. I’ve never had a go at meditation. I’ve read several books over the years that talked about it in some depth, but never got around to it (as you said – always too busy getting this, that, or the other done first). I might just give it a try…

    • I have read about meditation over the years. I am cleaning up some notebooks and have found notes that I took about meditation and was wondering why I did all that and still didn’t start!
      I am a believer in “when the time is right”, but I’m a person who often has a tendency to look at the world in a magical vs. logical way. My tendency to “trust my gut” is usually in opposition to the analytical Virgo that I am. 🙂
      I knew that I wasted more than 10 minutes a day, so I knew that I could make that a priority. Now I tend to meditate longer because I enjoy it so much, but I have a lot of flexibility to my day. One app even starts at 3 minutes.
      I think if you are interested you should definitely give it a try.

  3. What an absolutely beautiful post Amy and one I can fully resonate with. I’m now into my 76th consecutive day of meditation, as part of the 90 days change or create a habit challenge. I feel it’s finally integrated into my life after years of thinking I could never sustain it or make it a lasting part of my life. I love all the different aspects of meditation you’ve mentioned here. Like you I’ve tried many, the guided meditations I find are often the most effective but I do like to mix it up a bit. I also don’t tend to meditate at a regular time like I was told you’re supposed to. But it always fits in with my life regardless of the time of day. I think that’s one of the things I’ve discovered is that meditation is different for everyone but ultimately so worthwhile. I loved your post. Congrats to you for making it a part of your life. What a wonderful habit we’ve both established. 🙏✨

    • I do enjoy the guided versions, but I have found that I do like music, so I’ve enjoyed finding guided ones that also include music. I don’t always meditate at the same time of day, but my preference is for when the house is empty. I’m so glad that we’ve both found this wonderful habit! <3

      • Oh, it’s definitely better when the house is empty, no doubt about that. And yes, music is very nice to meditate to, I agree. Happy meditating into the future for both of us. ❤️

  4. I’m currently trying this right now! Only on day 5 but fingers crossed I can make that 21 day cut and hopefully turn this into a habit and a new way of life. I really struggle to stop the mind chatter but I’ll definitely be trying a few of your mantras. Thanks for the post!

    • I’ll be hoping for the best for you! I struggle with mind chatter, that is why I think a mantra works well for me. When I discover that my mind has starting spiraling, I can bring it back to a place of focus with some of the mantras that I’ve learned.

  5. You might enjoy centering prayer, which is part of the Christian contemplative tradition. Like meditation, but intention is slightly different that you are being with God and giving even discursive thought to God.

  6. Good one . Your post is really detailed & very informative.

    I too would like to share my article on meditation as there are certain things that you write not for acknowledgement but to reach out to maximum people.Here it goes

    #AnsweringTheUnanswered #Meditation

    While I am certainly not a spiritual Guru and definitely not an enlightened being , but I have every reason to be grateful to the nature or to the divine for helping me to be continuously on this auspicious path of seeking thyself for quiet sometime now.

    The very purpose of writing this blog is to answer, based on my own experiences , based on what exactly I have actually felt and subsequently understood so far , some of the very basic questions/doubts which usually bother the beginners as I sincerely wish that whosoever flag starts his/her spiritual journey ,finds absolutely no reason to quit this path.

    Hope you too will find this write up worth reading and worth sharing so that it reaches the right seekers.

    https://the-passport-souls.travel.blog/2017/12/02/answering-the-unanswered/

    • I enjoyed your take on the process.

      Having no expectations is one of the hardest parts for me. When I find myself there, I tend to repeat on of the mantras that I learned in the 21 day part of the challenge “I have no expectations of any result.”

      Thanks for stopping by!

      • For expectation, Osho has put down some words beautifully- “ As long you wish to seek peace & bliss through Meditation, it won’t work Because of your desire for peace & bliss…What to do then, why & how exactly do I even start meditation then..there lies the answer…You can’t remove expectations as such..Start meditation expecting it to bring happiness & peace and eventually,over a period of time, your inner voice your conciousness will automatically help u realize that these expectations are roadblock on your spiritual path and then all these desired will automatically vanish”

  7. […] Meditation has definitely worked in helping me draw deeper into that space. But also yoga and pilates. They have shown me that my body is strong. That my body is capable of doing so much more than I thought it could. I realize my form could be better in the photo (that’s what happens on a 10 second timer), but I can actually do side plank crunches (yes, at some point I have to do them from my elbow because my shoulders can only handle so much work in a session). That is something that I never dreamed I’d be doing. […]

  8. I loved this post! Have been meditating for about a year now. It’s hit and miss but I do it each day. A lot of time I wonder what the hell I am doing sat cross legged and others I feel a bit light headed afterwards. My thinking has become clearer and my anxiety has gone to a low level. This post was great to read.

    For me the hardest bit is when my mind wants to stop. This is when you have to carry on. Tough!

    • Thank you! I have found many benefits in the process. Carrying on when you want to stop is definitely a hard part!!

  9. How great is Metta. Personally, it’s one of my favourite forms of meditation. I try to do it 2 to 3 times a week. Hope you’re still meditating regularly. Cheers

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