When I wake up in the morning a million little thoughts greet me just begging to be the first one, the loudest one, the most painful, the most blissful, the most heard out of all the others.
Who needs an alarm clock when you have a million little rattles doing the mamba over your mental landscape.
Recently I started to meditate, for the first time really actively and let me tell you.
whoooga, it has been a trip.
In the beginning, like most things, I felt more like a slobbery baby than a poised artist with an empty canvas waiting to be draped in wonderful things.
In my mind, the slobbering child was more likely to stick the paintbrush in its silly baby mouth than it was to create a masterpiece.
Meditation has been a rocky path, to say the least, and not the kind I am used to physically running either.
I have found myself on mountain trails. During 10 mile runs that turn into 20 miles of trail hiking trying to figure out how to get off the darn mountain I supposedly knew like the back of my hand.
But this was so much harder. I couldn’t pick things up and put them down to prove my worthiness, I couldn’t imagine outrunning a bear to pass the time and help me to regulate my breathing, just in case it did actually come to that.
Sitting quietly can be the most uncomfortable thing,
like sitting in a white room with no pictures or conversation starters or distractions or books, or magazines, or odd furniture and then having your estranged childhood best friend who went the traditional route and hadn’t talked to you since braces started ruining your life back in Nam, I mean 4th grade… walk through the bland door way and sit across from you.
The first time I sat down to Meditate with purpose and meaning, I almost started to feel itchy, and just when I would start to drift into thoughtlessness, something would come crashing through the thin paper walls between myself and my life as I had begun to feel it. Noisy, loud, cluttered.
That must mean that I need to clean!
That’s it! I should be cleaning not sitting here breathing.
I got up and walked into the kitchen to find that I had only lasted 5 tiny minutes. But that didn’t matter anyway because I had gotten what I needed. A direction. Out came the rubber gloves and vacuum cleaner and dusting cloths and Mr. Clean and Scrubbing Bubbles.
5 hours later, I was dragging my tired bum up to the hall closet to restore the supplies to their proper place until the next time their distraction… I mean assistance was required.
I remember looking in at the kitchen clock to find it 5 hours different than the last time I had checked it. I looked around at the sparkling surfaces, used the bathroom just so I could soak in its cleanliness. Peeked in on the color-coordinated closets. Dug my toes into the soft clean carpets all along the way.
Over the course of my reflection on how awesome I had done, I found myself doing the opposite of what I would have thought to be the best possible outcome.
I did something good, I should feel good about it.
Instead of feeling gratitude for the work I had completed, I felt myself driving deeper and deeper into what I call, Godzilla Mode.
Instead of relishing in the effect I had on my environment I had a growing urge to rip everything off the shelves and run around the house naked yelling nothing in particular at the top of my lungs.
The picture started forming in my mind, it was only a matter of time, and then suddenly I stopped.
That was it…
The little lightbulb flashed again.
I was going about it all wrong but my inner self was trying to tell me something. My mind was cluttered, in order to make any real progress with my writing, I would need to do a deep cleaning. Down to the gunk built up in the trimming around the kitchen sink I needed to go in and get my hands dirty, dust away the cobwebs of old lingering thoughts and worries that didn’t do me any good anymore.
Thoughts that don’t benefit us anymore are a lot like ghosts, the longer they stick around the more malaligned they become with our direction, and that’s what meditation does. It focuses first on the one thing we can always be grateful for.
our lungs breath in life every single day, and often without much thought from us.
and with those deep cleansing breaths, the meditator begins to refocus their intentions.
away from the worries, away from the things that cannot be changed and toward the things that benefit from the effort they have to extend throughout the day.
Life speaks in soft breezes, through burbling streams, in mountain sounds, birds and the bees, apples falling from their trees…
I had expected a bold and brilliant meditation the first time, and in a roundabout way, I got it. I received ‘profound’ in the form of cleaning out my closets well enough to realize that the beauty I’d created outwardly would drive my cluttered mind crazy until it matched, one way or another.
I wish you greatness!