I tried meditation for the first time in high school, when my cousin started raving about it. I distinctly remember him trying to explain to me what to imagine in my head, and if I remember correctly, he said something like “Imagine your inside an ornament, and you’re pushing out the watercolors, to keep the paint from dripping on your head.” Well I don’t remember his exact words, I just remember that imagery of pushing the paint away. Anyways, that didn’t really work too well, because I’d push the paint away, then my mind would wander one way, then I’d push more paint away, and then my head would wander another way. I did not feel relaxed or rejuvenated afterwards.
The second time I tried meditating was when I was going through a very stressful time, and someone suggested I do 20 minutes of meditation a day. So I did it for a little while. The problem with that was that my leg would fall asleep by 10 minutes, and then all I could think about was how uncomfortable I was. Again, it was not a relaxing or rejuvenating experience. And even when I did twenty minute guided meditations my mind would wander all over the place, and it didn’t feel any different than any other second of the day.
Then last week, my friend was telling me that she had started meditating to a 6-minute meditation, and every time she falls asleep before it even ends. So I thought, 6 minutes is doable, and I totally need to meditate or find some way to get my brain to signal to the rest of my body that it’s not as stressed as it thinks it is—whether or not that’s true. And the thing is, she and I have both been experiencing the havoc that stress can do to your body. If you’ve been following Love, Justine all along, you’ll remember that I’ve mentioned how out of whack my body has been since law school started, despite the fact that I work out 5-7 days a week and generally keep a clean diet.
So yeah, I’ve been meditating since Saturday and I really like this one. And actually, I realized it is not 6 minutes, but 16 rather. Although, my friend probably falls asleep after 6 minutes, which is great for her.
The first night I tried this guided meditation, I didn’t fall asleep before it ended, but I definitely felt very ready to sleep. When I laid down, my body sunk into the bed like I was sinking straight into dreamland. I kept wondering how my friend was falling asleep before the meditation ended though, and I figured she must be meditating laying down. Or else she is sitting up in bed and then just falling over. So then I tried the meditation lying down and of course I fell asleep before it ended, too. I’m not sure if this is a good thing or not though. I mean, am I really reaping the benefits of meditation that way?
In any case, I think it’s important to find something like meditation, if not meditation, to learn how to deal with your stress. The thing I like about this third form of meditation, is that unlike others, where they try to keep you in a positive, and “forget” your troubles mindset, this one tells you to embrace your troubles, to feel your emotions. As my friend’s doctor told her, “It’s 2013. We know that stress has physical impacts on your body.” And for A types like my friend and I, we tend to push all of our emotions and stress down, thinking that we’re taking care of it and “dealing” with it by continuing to move on and carry on. However, all we’re doing is pushing all of that bad stress down, and we keep cramming them down, but it doesn’t go away like we think or hope it does—it just builds up and then manifests itself in some physical ailment.
So the point is take care of your stress. If you just push it aside, it will find its way back to you. If you try to cram it into the deepest corners of your nowhere, it’ll just build up inside you until it is flowing from nowhere into everywhere. Instead, feel it, embrace it, and then take care of it. Really take care of it.
In case you're interested in trying out a little meditation, here is the link: http://www.unlearnyourpain.com/index.php?Unlearn%20Your%20Pain%20Book.
BIG LOVE & HUGS