why am i not a changed woman yet!? shouldn’t i see an immediate difference? a 100% change in my outlook on life, internal thoughts about myself, and desire for the well-being of all humanity? The solution to world peace!?
well i learned that no, im not going to be a changed woman after a week and definitely won’t be seeing a 100% difference anytime soon (or ever). in a world where we expect instant results, this was SHOCKING.
i know. so why bother? i go to the gym to burn off the 5 bagels i ate in one hour and totally see a difference after one ‘fake’ run and a steam room sesh. so ya why would this be different? one, we all know my bagels are still sitting in my body trying to find a way to sabotage me; and two, that mindset of seeing a lasting result from doing something once is f-ed up thinking and needs to end.
in an effort to stop the cycle and figure out what meditation is and if i - a very not low key, mellow, go with the flower- could even participate, i decided to go extreme since obviously that’s the only way. i signed up for a 30 day challenge at mndfl in new york and took the plunge. disclaimer is that i had gone to mndfl about 3 times before making this decision and loved the space (it's gorg), teachers, and ~vibe~ so much that it solidified that choice. they had a january promotion- go to class 30 days in a row (with three free days so 30 times in 33 days) get 10 free classes. that alone could have sold me because i'm all for a good deal and this my friends was a winner.
so i signed my life (or mind) away and my expedition to be the most zen version of myself began.
week one started off and i sat on my cute little pillow, tea steeping in front of me and a perfect free people looking blanket at my side in case i was chilly. exactly how every sunday night should be spent. having almost 20 days down in my 30 day expedition, i'm happy that i not only love it, but am able to share my experience and hopefully inspire someone else to take care of the part of us we often forget to work out: our mind.
i've listed a couple key messages from the classes i've taken that really stuck with me, but before that just another tid bit about mndfl. every class is a guided meditation with an in person teacher and each class has a different focus. you can read more about the different offerings here!
- sound class: take in all the city sounds or sounds around you. don’t judge them and don’t hear them as separate sounds, but rather hear them as one like a song.
emotion class: feel your emotions but detach them from the storyline and situation. don't let your emotions or feelings run you. they are our teachers you just make space for them.
emotion class: imagine your emotions like a big ocean wave. if you try to battle either one and fight it, they'll get harder to deal with. instead dive in and you'll come out on the other side refreshed and at ease.
emotion class: you can feel an emotion without being that emotion. feel sad without being sad. then be a good host of the physical feeling and experience it in the body. you don’t have to react to this feeling, it won't hurt you. take the label off and just feel where it hits you. be okay with it and understand that's all it is is a feeling.
breath class: when your mind starts to wander and you realize this, acknowledge that you’re thinking. then appreciate that you have time to come back to the breath and your relaxed focus.
heart class: you are already happy. you don't need to put constraints on your happiness- "i want this job i want this thing then i’ll be happy". you’ll always be chasing something. instead open yourself up. open up to the happiness.
heart class: be your own best friend. let your mind be a safe place. no judgement on the past and no worry about the future. in the present moment be gracious with yourself.
intention class: have an intention about your practice and about your day. be present in the moment. be more mindful and aware of this moment no matter what is going on.
intention class: stress doesn’t come from the situation at hand. it comes from the feeling inside that is battling us, thus causing us to have an internal conflict with a physical feeling.
i tried not to list out every single thing i've learned and loved because THERE'RE SO FREAKING MANY. but i won't ruin it for you. it's been super helpful for me to take these classes, learn a completely new way of thinking, and workout my mind.
so let me know if you do guided meditation, self meditation, if it's helped you in any way, if you think it's total bs and want to get on with your other mile a minute tasks. whatever it is! love trying out new ways to keep with the theme of loving yourself this year. but i'm off to bed, i've already fallen asleep in one 7 am meditation class & i do not need that embarrassment again...