Wednesday, February 5, 2014

February Meditation Challenge - Day 5

Image courtesy of Craftyjoe / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
I'm finally getting into a groove now. I found some free online meditations and podcasts from the UCLA Mindfulness Research Center (MARC) that I really like, specifically the Loving Kindness Meditation.

Here's what I've been doing:

Every night before bed I choose a meditation to follow in the morning. When I wake up, I walk my dog then come back and sit on the bed (not lie down) and listen to the guided meditation. I meditate for about 10 - 12 minutes. Then I go on with my day. Keep in mind I am NOT a morning person, but I've been really good about doing this every morning so far.

What I Like
I like starting off the day by redirecting my thoughts to the present moment. I say "redirecting" because as soon as I wake up, I immediately start thinking things like, "I'm tired. I want to go back to bed. I don't feel like going to work. I don't have anything to eat for breakfast. I should have packed my gym bag last night. I wonder if I'm too dependent on coffee. I need to pay some bills..." They aren't the most negative thoughts in the world, but they certainly aren't very uplifting. Meditating seems to help me get to a more positive place in my brain. Seems like a good way to start the day.

What I Don't Like
I seriously cannot follow a meditation where all I do is pay attention to my breath. It is boring as hell. It think it's helpful to start off that way. Or sprinkle it throughout the meditation. But I much prefer a guided meditation that asks you to think about certain things. For example, the Loving Kindness Meditation I mentioned asks you to think of a loved one or pet and focus on the joy that person or pet brings you. I love that.

I'll check in again in a few days. Hope your practice is going well!


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