Well, I'm now into the beginning of week 5 of my meditation practice. I can officially (and happily) say that this is the most, and longest meditation stretch I've EVER done! And I'm loving it.
For those who have been following along, or perhaps who joined my Facebook group "Mindful Energy", you already know where I started. I began with 2-min sessions. My aim was 3 days per week initially, and not to be picky about the type of meditation practice. Just do it was the goal.
How my weeks unfolded in my first month;
Week 1: 2-min sessions / 4-days
Week 2: 2-min sessions / 4-days
Week 3: 3-min sessions / 5-days
Week 4: 3-min sessions / 4-days
Total volume completed;
Week 1: 8-min
Week 2: 8-min
Week 3: 15min
Week 4: 12min
4-week meditation practice total volume completed = 43-min
I'm excited about these numbers! Do you know why? Because if we compare to past months where my total volume practiced was..... ZERO minutes, this is a HUGE success and leap forward (and by only doing 3-min at the most per session). Once again this proves, little bits of something consistently, can equal big results. And SOMETHING is 100% better than NOTHING. (Less TALK and more DO really seems to work!) ;)
So how do I feel???
I have to be honest, I feel good. To me, the thing I've noticed most in the past 4-weeks was the amount of times I got worked up, agitated or pissed off at the world. It felt like much less. I felt a more "mellow" feel throughout the day. More relaxed overall (even on busy days).
That's not to say I wasn't tested. Last week (week 4), I had a long and stressful week. Did I get worked up and stressed out? You bet! BUT, what I noticed was it didn't seem to last as long as it might have in the past. I seemed to move on from it quicker. I honestly was reminding myself to just LIVE NOW. Nothing can be done about what's causing the stress, in this moment, so relax. When I think back, it's a real "wow" moment to me.
I'm not totally sure if it's the case, but I'm going to attribute my new practice to my consistent workouts the past month as well. I really needed to just get back into a rhythm with them and I'm finding my way back to being active regularly once again, and it feels good. I say I attribute it to my meditation though, because of the fact that I have that calm feeling more often throughout my days so my mind is flying a 100mph every minute. So when the time comes where I can fit in a workout/activity, I'm not exhausted to the extent I was the past couple of years.
I definitely want to continue this practice. I'm excited to see what the next 4-weeks might bring if the first, four weeks were that good. When you look at the numbers, my week-3 was my "best". Although, I'm still approaching this with NO PRESSURE (that's important). Week 3 had 1-min extra added to each session, and had an extra day in the week. This wasn't planned, it just happened. And that's ok!!! But notice how such subtle changes, almost doubled my total weekly volume. (Reminder - this can't be seen or discovered if you don't track/log what you're doing!) Yet within each session itself, it really didn't feel much different.
I'd like to aim for 4-min sessions by the end of my 4-weeks. 4-days a week will still be good, but 5-days would be awesome! I'm going to play with that a bit. I believe I said it in a past post, that by increasing slowly and gradually the session duration, you can really achieve some great consistency. If I continue on the path I've set out on, and add 1-min duration to my practice each month, I'll be doing 15-min meditation sessions by the end of 2018. Very cool.
Toying with Timing
Today I didn't do my meditation early in the morning, as I have been over the past month. This was the first session I did after I was done working out this afternoon. I have to say, it felt great!!! After a workout, I feel more focused and more relaxed naturally, so to move into a post-workout meditation session afterwards is a pretty natural and great feeling. I'm going to experiment with that a bit more if I can in the upcoming 4-weeks.
****I feel really good about accomplishing something I never have been able to do before! Despite several efforts. I found a simple way, and it's stuck. I love it. If you are interested in getting your own practice started, feel free to check out a couple of my other blog posts ("Mindfulness" label) OR feel free to email me with any questions regarding what I did to get going.
You can also join my Facebook group on the Living Energy Facebook page; Mindful Energy. ******