I’m trying out meditation. I’ve done it before, years ago, and it didn’t work so well. I’d heard that you should picture a calming environment. I closed my eyes and imagined a beach, bright blue ocean, waves lapping…
How calming, how serene…
But after a minute of that, my mind wandered, probably thinking about what I was going to have for lunch later.
I tried meditating again. Perhaps I needed to change the calming environment. I imagined myself on a hike, with a panoramic scene of mountainous beauty around me. Nope. My mind wandered. How about me kayaking slowly on a calm lake? Nada.
I gave up. I thought meditation wasn’t my thing.
Fast forward years later, and I’m trying it again. That’s because the topic of meditation has been buzzing around me a lot lately. Maybe the universe wants me to give it another shot?
Sure, why not? I have nothing to lose, except 10 – 15 minutes of my time? And I blow chunks of time like that every day while perusing the internet. I decided to try again.
Keeping in mind my not-so-successful attempt last time, I went about meditating a little differently this go-round. Instead of conjuring up a calming scene, I concentrated on the act of breathing—breathe in, breathe out—like I’ve learned through yoga.
Slow, methodical breathing. In through the nose, out through the mouth. And while breathing in, I think of one positive thing. I speak the word or phrase in my mind. I concentrate on the action of taking in that positive thing.
While breathing out, I think of nothing. I just exhale. Then on the next “in-breath,” I think of a different positive thing. Or I repeat what I breathed in before. Here are examples.
- Good health
- Being in my truth
- Being nimble
- Inner strength
- Physical strength
- I can/I will
Because my life is so focused on writing, I’ve incorporated some writer-related specifics into my in-breaths.
- Telling my best story
- Meeting my word count
- Creating good characters
- Creating rich stories
- Selling books
- Getting signed by a publisher
- Making money from my books
- Becoming a bestseller
- Entertaining my readers
- Developing a following
After I’ve done several minutes of positive in-breaths, I concentrate on breathing out. What negative thoughts do I want to get rid of? I speak the following words or phrases in my mind during my “out-breaths.”
- Feeling unworthy
- Feeling incapable
- Feeling stuck
- Writer’s block
- Lack of structure
- Lack of creativity
- Lack of focus
- Feeling like “I can’t”
I’ve noticed that the positive affirmation that I take in outweighs the negative. There’s something to be said for that.
By concentrating on my breaths and affirmations, my mind is engaged enough not to wander. Yet, it’s calm enough to feel more focused when I’m done. And get this…I actually make it through the whole ten minutes, without thinking about breakfast.
Looking for more suggestions? Here are 20 Ideas of What to Focus on During Meditation
And there’s an app. Go figure. Headspace has a free trial, as well as one-minute samples of guided meditations, and a blog.
Where and How?
I’ve been meditating when I wake up, after the morning sleepy feeling has worn off. I set the timer on my cell phone for ten minutes. I sit on my bed, legs crossed, palms up on my knees. I don’t close my eyes. That doesn’t work for me. Instead, I look down, marking a spot to keep my focus.
If home isn’t a quiet place to meditate, here are 7 Places You Can Meditate On the Go by MindBodyGreen.
I’m all for trying new things. Doing something to make life a little easier, a little happier, a little more positive. Restructuring how I start my day. Rearranging the building blocks. Exhaling doubts and fears. Shifting my thinking and outlook toward achievement. And aligning my thoughts to sync up with writing success.
I have no idea if I’m doing this meditation thing right or not. My approach seems more like a quiet session of positive affirmation. But hey, that’s not a bad thing.
Do you meditate? Has it helped you? Has it helped your writing?
Photo by Lesly Juarez on Unsplash, Photo by Fabian Møller on Unsplash, Photo by Simon Rae on Unsplash