This weekend I finished Dan Harris’s book “10% Happier” and started meditating. Actually, I started meditating last week, but skipped a day here and there, so I’m on day 4. Baby steps. So far, so good though, and I intend to make meditation a daily practice. For now, I’m using the OMG I can meditate app (recommended by Gwyneth herself. Yeah, I know…) and find it really pleasant and easy.
Just in case you don’t know me at all, it’s really hard for me to do something in a way that I perceive isn’t the “right” way, or the way it was “meant” to be done. For example, I always thought that to meditate, you had to sit on the floor with your legs crossed in complete silence, and be really uncomfortable for 20 minutes or however long it took to shut the voices in your head up. I thought that was the “right” way to meditate – the “proper” way. So I tried it, and failed miserably (silence had never felt so loud!), then gave up altogether and thought I’d never be able to meditate. Ever.
As it turns out, Dan Harris is/was a lot like me, and as I got further into the book where he recounted his experiences with meditation in the beginning, and his initial skepticism after reading Tolle, Chopra, et al, I realized that I probably ought to try again. I wanted to try again. And like I said, so far so good.
I’m a long way from enlightenment, if there is such a thing, and throughout most of my meditation I’m swatting away ridiculous or egotistic thoughts, trying to re-focus on my breath (sometimes still failing) but I know now that meditation is a habit, not an innate talent. And practice makes perfect, leading to all sorts of benefits over time.
Why am I mentioning this? Mostly because I wanted to share, to suggest that if you’re like me, and you thought you could never do it – never get the voices in your head to be a little quieter, just for 10 minutes – maybe it’s worth it to try again? I might not have tried again if I hadn’t found someone I could relate to on some level; someone who is at least as skeptical as I am, and as unsure of his own abilities.
Which brings me to relate-ability. I understand the power of it now, more acutely. For years, and most recently since I launched my Minimal Closet series and started taking a harder look at the emotional issues behind why I shop/buy, we have been relating to each other, here on Grechen’s Closet. I write about my journey and you say “I do that too!” And sometimes that’s all it takes to create a shift. A small one, maybe, but knowing that there’s someone else out there who shares your fears and struggles, and who is trying to overcome them somehow, is a powerful motivator.
“I am not alone” is such a simple mantra, but one that takes a lot of effort to believe if we’re not lucky enough to have found a community or at least one person who we can relate to. I know how hard that is. So once again, thank you. I am indebted to you for choosing to read what I have to say every day, and then even more when you take the time to leave a bit of yourself in response.
You are not alone.