This week's poem is Try to Praise the Mutilated World by Adam Zagajewski, a Polish…
Hello! Don’t be confused, it’s still Saturday. It’s also November and that means it’s National Blog Posting Month or NaBloPoMo. What does that mean? It means that I’m making a commitment to post for 30 days in a row, from November 1st until November 30th. I don’t generally post on the weekends but for this month I will be and on Saturdays I’m going to share the things I do regularly for self care.
For today, let’s talk about meditating.
There’s me. And that’s what I look like when I’m meditating. I’m not actually meditating in the photo, of course, because you can’t take a selfie and meditate at the same time. But when I do meditate, which I had been doing before I took the selfie, this is what I look like.
I have been meditating (mostly) daily for almost 3 years now and it has changed my life. When I started meditating I was dealing with some serious acid reflux. I was taking prilosec every day and it wasn’t helping much if at all. I was chewing up rolaids and tums like a squirrel at a bird feeder. It was bad. So bad, in fact, that I had an endoscopy to see if there was something actually wrong. There wasn’t . . . it was all stress related.
And then I started meditating. Not a lot, at first, I would literally just do a minute or two a day. I downloaded the Calm app on my iPhone and I used the guided meditations sometimes but mostly I just sat quietly and tried to not think about anything but breathing. In less than a week my acid reflex was gone. Did you hear that? G.O.N.E. No more prilosec, no more rolaids, I was symptom free.
Let me say plainly: meditating cured my acid reflex.
Now, I’m not a doctor (and my own doctor was pretty skeptical when I had a follow up appointment and told him my symptoms were gone and it was all due to meditation) and I’m not condoning this for everyone or even suggesting that it might work for anyone else. I’m just saying that for me, meditation was the answer to my stress induced acid reflux.
These days I mostly meditate for 10 minutes each day. Ideally I do it in the morning but sometimes I sneak it in at lunch time and sometimes the day gets away from me and I do it before bed. I’m currently on a 70 day streak and I have meditated for more than 130 hours since I started this daily practice. How do I do it? I just sit down and close my eyes and focus on my breathing. I try to clear my thoughts but that’s pretty much impossible as thoughts are relentless, that’s just the way our brains work. When I have a thought I just acknowledge it and go back to focusing on my breath. It is, as Dan Harris says, a little bicep curl for the brain and over time meditating can actually rewire the brain. Meditation has been shown to help with the aging brain, with reducing anxiety and stress, with improving focus and memory and so much more. In other words: it’s good for you. And your brain.
Have you tried meditation? If you have, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this and if you haven’t, I encourage you to follow either of those links to Calm or Dan Harris and give it a shot.