This year instead of lofty or repetitive goals for the New Year I had one simple goal. Meditate everyday for one straight year. I started in November for very practical reasons. In November I had an injured foot and needed to take weeks, which led to months off of running. I picked up meditation as a way to stay married and employed. I downloaded the Insight Timer and I have to say, after day 183 that is by far my favorite app on my phone. Surprisingly it is also the only one changing my actual life. Nope, not Facebook.
So this post is not to pat myself on the back but rather to reflect on a very surprising result of this experiment. I only focused on one thing, meditate everyday. In the weirdest set of cosmic karma I got improvement in so many areas of my life. These are just a few things I have noticed since adding daily meditation.
- I have an inner calm instead of an inner critic.
- I have self-control! Turns out I don’t have to say exactly what is on my mind at every moment and the world still ambles along just fine.
- I have time for everything that is truly important to me.
- I am comfortable with silence and find I crave it more.
- I can, for periods of time get control of my thoughts by focusing on my breath in the moment. I thought those things were wilder than a mustang!
- I don’t drink anymore. I used to unwind with a glass a wine. Now most days I am not wound so no need to unwind, and when I am wound sitting is far more helpful.
- I have more clarity about what is important and it helped me clear physical and mental clutter.
- Cut way back on TV because I want to be present with my loved ones, experiencing, growing and learning, not zoned out.
- Our finances were never out of control, at least not since we both got grown up jobs in fulfilling fields, but now I am more conscious of what we spend money on. I set up an additional retirement investment account to work toward our long-term goal of retirement in 8 years and a move to the western part of the country.
- I am more grateful and hubby and I have instituted the three things we are grateful for exercise before dinner.
- I was always a doer and could get things done but there was a certain panic and inner turmoil and dialog behind it. Now I can handle a single task complete it and move on. I am more focused but it is a peaceful focus. Surprisingly, I get more done with less inner chaos.
- I am a better listener, but still have to work on that.
- I got back to writing and that is a creative pursuit I let drop because I thought I had no time.
- I increased my volunteering adding a no-kill cat shelter to coaching a run club at hubby’s school and volunteering in professional water organizations
- I have even said “no” and guess what? The world did not actually spin-off its axis.
I don’t know how meditation led to all of this. I only know that the thing I consciously decided to change was to meditate and on that road the rest of this fell into place. Who knew all I needed to do all these years was shut up and sit down. Well some people probably knew.