Glasgow, Scotland, UK • March 2014 • Length of Read: 2 Minutes
Challenge: Meditate for ten minutes per day for thirty days in a row.
Like most people when they initially hear about meditation, I was under the assumption that it was all a bunch of airy-fairy, Buddhist, new-age, free-thinking nonsense. How can sitting cross-legged in silence help you find enlightenment?
I then read a book by Jon Kabat-Zinn called Wherever You Go, There You Are, however, and my perspective completely changed. A medical professional, the author laid out how meditation can be practical in everyday life to help reduce stress, worry, and anxiety; a few negative traits that I quietly held onto for quite a while. I began to understand that slowing down and reflecting on things was greatly beneficial not only to my health but also my understanding of the world as well. Therefore, I decided to set myself a challenge of meditating for an entire month straight and downloaded the much-acclaimed Headspace and Calm applications onto my phone for assistance.
At the beginning, it was not simple. The minutes passed like hours and I honestly thought at some points that the timer on my watch must have frozen. Slowly and surely, however, I got into a good morning routine of meditating on my thoughts for ten minutes before work and very quickly noticed a change in my attitude towards certain things. I would never say that I was one to cry over spilt milk, but I have been known to get worked up over situations that really turn out to be nothing. Now, as Mark Twain said, “I’ve had lots of worries in my life, most of which have never happened.”
I can’t say that I still meditate on a daily basis, although I would like to get back into this routine at some point, but having completed this challenge I have a newfound understanding of myself and a more tranquil aura and attitude towards things. And if that’s not a great takeaway from the completion of a bucket list item, then I don’t know what is.