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Preserving a daily meditation practice is tough. You would think that teaching yoga would instill a staying drive and discipline in you, but I have to say, while teaching has deepened my personal practice on the mat and sharpened my awareness off of it, I have not yet solidified a regular meditation practice for myself. But I do have a goal – to make my meditation practice a more consistent one by the time fall rolls around.
I don’t expect to sit every day, at least at the beginning of this earnest venture; for me, starting with smaller steps will more likely build a stronger foundation that I can carry forward. I’ve undergone spurts of meditative zeal in the past, but the fire always died gradually or I would become so consumed by daily life that seated quiet time just didn’t seem like it could be fit in.
Participating in Oprah and Deepak Chopra’s 21-Day Meditation Experience, with its focus on discovering and empowering personal truths and uniting our flowing life force with that of the universe, prompted me to once more recognize meditation’s power. I’ve become addicted to the twenty minutes I’ve allotted to that series every day for the last three weeks. Maintaining a steady practice for 21 days sharpened my focus and enabled me to be present more often than not, clarified the emotions and thoughts coursing through my physical and mental bodies, and strengthened the personal choices I made in that time because I felt more in tune with myself, my surroundings, and my circumstances. I love the physical practices of asana and pranayama and find that such work on the mat can rid us of the gritty residue that settles as we pass through each day, so that we are left with a stronger sense of who and where we are. That being said, I deeply appreciate and seek the balance meditation presents between controlling what we can and letting go of the rest.
If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you’ve probably discovered my affinity for collecting all the pieces of inspiration that have popped into my realm of focus recently, in an effort to connect them and consequently see the myriad of ways they are guiding me and secretly – or not so secretly – interacting with each other to ground my way of being. So here are this passage’s motivating factors, pieces of my mind’s puzzle lately that have shed light on this balance that meditation puts forth:
- It’s wonderful to get up in the morning knowing you’re doing all that you can do (latest quote of the month from my bedroom’s wall calendar)
- My Lovin’ Me 365 app’s affirmation that read, ‘I focus on the essential’
- Oprah and Deepak’s suggestion (as a part of their 21-Day Meditation Experience) that we relax into existence so that grace can emerge and lead us (I just love this idea)
To focus on what is essential, what I can do, gives a certain weight, a special value to my daily decisions and actions. This notion encourages me to be present and gives credence to moving slowly, living with a diligence, sensitivity, and thoughtfulness that really could alter the fabric of a life.
We do have control over certain pieces of our human lives, but much of what we will undergo will not be of our direct choosing. While letting go of what we can’t control can be incredibly challenging, I find a stark beauty in knowing that we can just never know why or how matters have come to be. And yet, it’s helpful to consider that our intuition, faith, and passion can carry us forward towards our goals, as big or small as they may be. I may not always be onboard for the often blind journey forward, but I do hold onto the hope that a steady meditation practice could carry me through the wild tour of life with mindfulness and awareness, so that I can continue to be as present and grateful for every moment I breathe as I can be.
written by Liz Beres
dancer, singer, piano player
New York transplant, proud Wisconsin native
yogi & art-maker
writer & traveler
a lover of learning - and ice cream