I've long known of the detrimental effects that the overactive mind has on our bodies. Stress, anger, jealousy, anxiety, sadness, insecurity; all of these are examples of emotions that can harm our health. Many times, I've experienced physical reactions to these emotions as I'm sure all of you have as well. Despite my knowledge, I was never able to successfully stick to a meditation practice.
After a particularly dark winter and needing to renew the well of strength within me, I dedicated myself to 100 days of meditation. This was a snap decision, but I stuck to it each and every one of the 100 days (and each and every day since then). Not only that, but I never felt like I was forcing myself to do something. Even after that initial inspiration waned, I was witnessing such positive shifts in my life that meditation became absolutely essential in my self-care regimen. Just the same as I don't skip a day of eating or drinking water because they nourish and hydrate my body, I don't skip a day of meditation because it nourishes me, too.
It wasn't always smooth sailing. That bit of struggle is where the learning really happens. There were a handful of days in which I woke up too late and had a series of unexpected obligations pop up. Some of those days, I didn't have my meditation time until after 8pm, and I could really tell a difference in my mood by that time. Not that my mood was anything negative, but I could sense imbalance within. On other rushed, chaotic days, missing my early time affected me a lot, and I'd need meditation time badly. In those instances, I'd usually find a quiet space or just close my eyes where ever I was to practice mindfulness or do breath work.
Most of the time though, I was able to carve out time for meditation either upon waking or in the mid-afternoon. Sometimes both. Sometimes more than that. I've experimented with different meditation methods and with stimulating various senses. I've made meditation altars. I've sat in silence, clearing my thoughts peacefully each time they appeared. I've gone days meditating on the same focus, seeking healing and harmony. I've meditated in rooms, cars, busy hallways, and in my bed. I've come to appreciate the value of visualizations. I've had lucid dreams, and I read books on quantum physics that have expanded my concept of this existence in major ways.
The biggest gift that meditation has given me thus far is openness which in turn has continued to soften me. When we are open, we can give and receive freely. We are provided for. Our lives bloom into such magnificence that we think it has to reach its limit soon, but it doesn't; it just keeps on growing.
I may have completed my 100 days challenge, but I don't see anything as completed. I felt this way throughout the entire challenge. I never felt pressure to continue, nor did I feel anxious when I neared the end. A friend messaged me on Sunday and said, "Serendipitous that your 100th coincided with Easter and its message that nothing is final." I think that is such a beautiful synchronicity, and I'm happy to have friends who can point these things out when I don't catch them! Meditation will continue to bless my life with its gifts. I have an abundance of gratitude in my heart for this new path that I've embarked on.