Our days are filled with responsibilities and tasks and it is common to feel that we don’t have enough time for ourselves in our over scheduled lives. We can cultivate “me time” by establishing mindfulness in our bodies through a steady awareness of our breath or our posture. This gives us the super power of making all time “me” time. No matter what we’re doing, if we are able to stay connected to some aspects of our physical experience, we can be present around the clock.
I constantly struggle to balance and rebalance my life and all the things I’ve got going on.
One of the goals I set for myself a few months ago was to meditate daily. I’ve tried again and again to reboot this desire and each time I’ve failed. Each time I find myself failing, I’m quick to blame time. It just slips away and I’m unable to prioritize the meditation over whatever else it is in that moment that’s squeaking louder.
I’ve evaluated this predicament and asked myself why it is I can be so successful with getting my daily steps in but not meditation. The conclusion again points to time. I already have carved out a dedicated time each day to walking and most days, at six or seven or 8 AM, I don’t yet have anything else that is so pressing that it would prevent me from hitting the treadmill.
I tried setting a time in the afternoon to meditate, but every damn day, when that time arrived, I was right in the middle of something else or rushing somewhere in the car. I know if I was more adept at meditation, I could do it anywhere, even at a stoplight in the car for 30 seconds. But I’m not that good. I kind of need a quiet space and also to be alone.
I could probably try first thing after Jim leaves for work in the morning. Or… I can try to reframe my attempts at mindful “me time” with the approach described above.
Several weeks ago I tried a new exercise venue with different group classes and one of those classes was a “body flow” which is a hybrid yoga, Pilates, and tai chi. I absolutely love the instructor and one of the things she said is that at least once a day she pauses in whatever eyes doing just to take a few really deep breaths.
She has an alarm for 12:15 each day and that’s her reminder. She said that all the rushing and “short” breaths we utilize all day long are invoking the “fight or flight” instinct and taking the deep breaths gets us out of that stressful state of mind. Doing that exercise, just the deep breathing, is enough to feel better and more relaxed. And unlike my issue with meditation, I can do it anywhere.
I can also focus on my posture, or do a quick stretch anywhere. Both of those make me feel so good so why wouldn’t I want to just fit little moments in all day long?
Then I ask myself, how different is this from meditation anyway? Focusing on the breath and how the body feels are the key tenets I’ve learned about meditation thus far, so the only difference is the amount of time and my preconceived notions about when and where.
What better time a there than right now to start treating myself to all sorts of “me time” throughout the day?? There’s not.
It’s Monday again. I’m ready. Let’s go!
Cheers to Today,