So I have now been meditating for 166 straight days. It is no longer a struggle to find the time, in fact now that I am meditating regularly I actually have more time, ironically. I really could not figure that out. As I was sitting down reading yesterday after coaching run club and before preparing dinner I was struck by how on Earth I had time to do that. I never had time to do that before. So instead of reading I found myself sitting silently in the present moment contemplating that question.
Surprisingly, the silence helped me to figure some things out. Here is what I have learned about meditation’s effect on me. Not anyone else, just little old type A me. This is no guarantee that you will find the same things. Make no mistake some days meditation is harder than training for a half marathon. Of course to be fair my body is easier to train than my monkey mind.
- I get up earlier when I meditate at night because I sleep more soundly and fall asleep faster without rehashing the day or planning for tomorrow.
- When I get up earlier I have time to start my day with some yoga to get in my body and then meditate.
- My best morning runs are now done while listening to ocean waves on my Insight Timer and a mantra “run light, run happy”
- I don’t react as often and harshly as I used to. When I do, I sometimes can see myself like a movie and reset my actions. This has caused less conflict and has freed up more time.
- I am more conscious of my decisions and their impact, so I focus on things that matter and choose ways to zone out less. This has freed up time for what matters.
- I spend less time worrying about how bad something could be or rehashing something that happened. It is much easier to just experience it in the present and let it go.
- Meditation led me to a realization that I did not need as much so I simplified and that has led to less time looking for things, moving things, cleaning things, etc.
- I find that when I stopped participating in the drama of some of my relationships they seemed to have less drama. Particularly evident with a challenging co-worker and my mom. The dynamic changed just by me deciding not to take things so personally. This freed up both physical and mental time.
- In general I am quieter. I try and take time to listen and find myself speaking less. This would be extraordinary if you knew me.
I no longer wonder if I will continue to meditate. It is now a part of who I am. I expect this is just the beginning of the journey but I am enjoying it so far.