A Pledge to Meditation.

Picture via The Darjeeling Limited.

“I pledge to practice living in the moment.” My third pledge for 2013 was aimed to help me step out of my busy mind, breathe more, think less, and maybe try meditating…

Since I work in a yoga studio, meditation isn’t some foreign concept to me, but it’s also not something I regularly practise. Having a psychology background and an interest in the field of whole body wellness, I’ve often questioned the benefits of meditation. Something about it scares me though. It’s almost as if the word itself is somewhat pretentious. What exactly does one do to meditate? Do I have to be flexible and sit with my legs crossed under each other? Do I have to believe in anything? The photo above is from one of my favourite movies, The Darjeeling Limited, and this is where my pledge for March began.

I did a little research and found a guy named Andy Puddicombe that I’d like to introduce you to, if you haven’t already heard of him. He’s a Clinical Meditation Consultant and a former Buddhist monk. He lives in the UK and put together a program called Headspace. He designed this program to demystify meditation and make it more accessible, relevant, and beneficial to regular people like me. Brilliant! I downloaded the app for my iPhone and completed his ‘take 10’ program. Ten minutes of meditation a day for ten days. I encourage you to download the app, you deserve it, and it’s free. He guides you through the ten minutes, so don’t worry you won’t be left to figure this out alone. I loved it, I have a totally difference perspective on meditation, and it’s not only because of Andy’s wonderful english accent. I won’t lie though, that did help.

With technology at its finest, it’s almost rare for people to be in one place at a time. Right now I am on my computer writing this post. I am also having a conversation through text with my brother in Victoria and thinking about that email I still need to respond to. I am pinning a recipe to make for dinner, browsing through the latest posts on bloglovin, and you get the point by now. Humans are adaptable. We have adapted to manage being in several places at once while still functioning at a high rate. But how do we tag where we are on Facebook when it only allows one location?

Print by Rui Molar.

This is why meditation is more important to us now than ever. Multitasking is just something that comes along with owning a smartphone, computer, or television. It’s not a bad thing, as long as you balance it out and practise living mindfully. Meditation allows us to live in the current moment and be present in the single location of our own bodies. Meditation doesn’t have to be a formally guided practice where you sit with your thumb and pointer finger touching in a large empty room filled with candles. It can be done anywhere and in many forms. You can sit and meditate on the bus on your way to work if that’s the only time you can afford right now. Whatever you need to do, try and find at least five minutes in your day to just sit and breathe. Taking the time to clear your mind and reset your focus will help you think more clearly. I found it helped me envision my goals better and find more gratitude.

So the ‘take 10’ program lasted until March tenth for me, which made me a bit nervous by the last day, wondering what I was going to do for the rest of the month to meditate. I still didn’t feel confident enough to do it on my own. So I searched “guided meditation” on google and the universe responded. Well, Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra responded actually. These two paired up to put on a free 21-Day Meditation Challenge for the month of March, running from the 11th to the 31st. Seriously? That couldn’t have worked out any better for me. Each morning a 15 minute meditation was emailed to me with a mantra for the day and something to focus on. I really enjoyed listening to Deepak talk. I even re-listened to the meditations so I could take notes afterwards. Nerdy, I know. I won’t bore you with a whole bunch of quotes, but I would like to share two excerpts from the meditations. If you’re interest you can check out the website here. All 21 meditations will be available for another couple of weeks so if you have the time you should check it out.

“As human beings with conscious awareness, we are the only creatures on the planet that can change our biology through our thoughts, feeling, and intensions. Our cells are constantly eavesdropping on our thoughts and being changed by them. The slightest shift of mood is picked up by every cell, which means that we do not think with our brains alone, all 50 trillion cells actively share our thoughts. A change of mind could change your life.” -Deepak Chopra.

“Discover what ignites your passion. That’s your real job here on earth. Let it light you up and then find a way to share that with other people. This way you find happiness and success.” -Oprah Winfrey. I loved this quote because that’s what The Fig’s Heart is all about!

I found getting out of my busy head for 15 minutes a day left me more relaxed and cleared up some space in my head so I can continue to add more. To summarize this post, I leave you with the words of Lil’ Jon:
Get outta your mind!”

Thank you for reading. Namaste.

Why am I doing a monthly pledge for 2013? Read about it here.
Also find: January & February.

(First photo via The Darjeeling Limited. You Are Here photo via Rui Molar.)