I recently participated in an Oprah and Deepak 21 day meditation. I almost always sign up when they’re available because it’s free, they have a theme, and are generally limited to 20 minutes. Regardless of the topic there’s something within the theme that applies to me and I welcome the opportunity to change up my solitary meditation practice.
This meditation was titled “Making Every Moment Matter”. I was pretty sure this was THE ONE that would be highly relatable. There’s a lot going on in life that makes this useful but then again that’s the catch with these mediations – they’re crafted to appeal to most people, most of the time. Smart move, Oprah and Deepak.
A few of the things that grabbed me on day 1 were the following (and I’m paraphrasing just a bit):
Decide for yourself what’s worthy of your time
Determine what matters most, create a different relationship with the time in your day
Allow space every day to restore yourself
The best time of my life is now
I’m thinking if this is day one and it resonates with me so strongly then the next 20 days are going to blow my mind. I was sure this new perspective was going to tie up any loose ends regarding my purpose on this planet, finances, health, and politics. Of course politics, because I’m living in a dysfunctional political shit storm in which 20 minutes a day with Oprah and Deepak will to solve it ALL.
Instead what happened was for most of the 21 days I struggled to stay focused. I would click on my phone during some of the introduction to scroll Twitter and give a few likes on Instagram. Occasionally I would have to open one eye to rewind and restart. Some days I tried to multitask by scanning email while the spoken portion played in the background. That’s not meditating. That’s not even trying.
I call total bullshit on myself for the expectation that it’s the meditation’s duty to manifest my issues into enlightenment. If I can’t manage to concentrate for 20 minutes to hear the message and work on my soul-light then I’ll just have to settle for spiritual chaos. And that’s the truth.
This example of my scattered focus in meditation at times mirrors my writing efforts. Being a writer is hard. It’s not that I don’t want it bad enough—and the same goes for inner peace—but there’s a consciousness to writing requiring fortitude that’s not always easily accessed. Likewise a meditation that sweeps me into an empowered, creative mindset is the sweet spot that doesn’t appear in every attempt to “get still.”
During the Making Every Moment Matter meditation I decided to take notes while it played in order to be able to stay in the flow. Only after I saw the meditation in my old traditional college note taking format could I reach the zen level needed to quiet my insides. A new strategy was born. Is this what my world has come to? Well, yes! Considering we are all trying to manage families, finances, careers while living in post Trump turmoil, finding inner peace requires extreme measures.
When writing I notice I often have to redirect myself. That doesn’t mean the words don’t get on the page it just means it doesn’t effortlessly flow on a regular basis. Diligence and continuing to evolve my strategies in practice pays off. Sometimes the mechanics of just simply writing words without a story is my first step. I don’t always know where I’m going but I close my eyes to envision white pages filled with thin black ink. At times it’s purely automated. And sometimes the magic of the flow will show up after I’ve completed a conscious, struggling, bitch of a first draft. It’s like the process happens backwards, not the way I set out for it to be. But that’s writing, and also my current version of meditating.
I learned that from time to time it takes first sticking my head into a piece and THEN my soul to show me my heart.
The lesson was to find new ways to be persistent in what I want to achieve, which is apparently inner peace, and to Write Anyway, in no particular order.
This little tune makes me both happy and sad. But for now that’s how life feels.