Ha ha ha I’m laughing to myself at my title, meditation, that’s what you need, instead of dedication – get it? Hmm, am I sad? Don’t answer that.
Yes so anyway, meditation. I’ve wanted to meditate for years. I knew I needed to, I’m not a very laid back person, I over think everything, I have to be doing something constantly and I can’t sit still for a minute. But no matter how many times I tried, I couldn’t stick at it. I’d sit there feeling positive trying to clear my mind and within seconds a thought would pass through – what shall I have for dinner? – no, no, concentrate, wonder what will happen in Neighbours tomorrow, tut, tut, concentrate, oh man, I forgot to buy bread at the shops. You get the idea, I couldn’t relax and think of nothing for even a minute, let alone the 10 or 15 minutes I planned to meditate for.
I tried different ways to relax into meditation, I have dabbled with yoga for about 10 years but (much as I hate to admit it) I hate it. I wish I was like Jennifer Aniston, all lean and flexible and zen like and I have tried and tried to force myself to like it but I just don’t. I have tried all different types but I finally have to admit, it’s just not for me. And it’s not bloody easy, I did power yoga for a little while and it killed me, shaking arms, wobbly core, legs collapsing, bloody awful. The only time I stuck to any type of yoga was when I was pregnant and that was only for the good of my unborn child.
Next I tried guided meditation in the form of an app on my iPhone, called Headspace. I loved the concept of this and as it started off with only 10 minutes a day it was achievable. I managed to keep it up for a little while but then something happened (I think the time went from 10 to 15 minutes) and I lost it. I couldn’t stay motivated and lost consistency and then that one went out of the window as well.
Then my dad told me about Transcendental Meditation (TM). It seemed like a good choice for me as it’s something I would have to learn to do (don’t ask me why this makes a difference but it does), I’d have to pay to learn (hopefully I would keep at it if money had to change hands) and lots of celebs do it, including Queen Oprah (I’m easily lead and if it’s good enough for my favourite celebs it’s good enough for me).
So I signed myself up to do the four day course in between Christmas and New Year when my hubby would be home to watch my little one. He wasn’t best pleased about me disappearing off for two hours a day to learn to meditate (he’s not into this airy fairy stuff) so it was probably a good decision not to tell him about the £400 it was costing me to do it.
I’ll admit, I found it slightly cringy when my instructor (a lovely lady called Sue) lead me through a welcome ritual (I had to bring fresh flowers, fruit and a handkerchief – I’ll leave it to your imagination) and I found watching some of the years old VHS of the Guru a tad boring but I found I liked this way of meditation. I loved my personal (this is debatable) chant and I was advised that thoughts coming into my head was completely normal and not to do anything about it, which is easy.
The thing with TM is that consistency is key and committing to meditating twice a day for 20 minutes each time seems like a big thing, especially when you have a family and a busy life. And don’t forget before, I struggled with 10 minutes once a year. However, 4 months later I am still going strong. I have meditated twice a day EVERY single day for over 4 months. I love it. I feel calmer, more patient and more positive. Don’t get me wrong, it’s no miracle cure, my husband can to attest to that, I can still be moody if I haven’t had enough sleep or it’s that time of the month but for the most part I am better all round. I haven’t even found it hard to fit it in, it’s like eating and sleeping and exercise, it’s part of my life and I just find the time, I don’t even think about it.
Joking aside, maybe I should change the title of today’s blog, maybe it should be called Dedication, that’s all you need because in this case, that’s absolutely what’s required.