Once, a few years ago, I tried to meditate and felt completely relaxed and refreshed afterwards. Meditation was one of those things that I knew I wanted to incorporate into my life because of its health benefits—translation—stress reduction. As a mom with two kids, including a tween, reducing stress and adding a little sanity is a must. So late last year, I signed up for Oprah & Deepak Chopra’s 21- Day Meditation Challenge. I was excited to repeat my positive experience and well, it was free. What could be better?
I received my welcome email for Day 1 only to realize that I couldn’t meditate that day. I figured I’d come back to it.
But I didn’t. Then, the challenge was over.
Not to be deterred, I asked for the 21- Day Meditation as a Christmas gift. Surely if I did it on my own timetable I would make it happen.
A few weeks went by and each time I sat down at my desk, Deepak’s face stared at me, questioning, “Tina, why haven’t you started?”
I covered Deepak’s face with a pile of papers.
Then, when I cleaned off my desk, Deepak was put up in a cabinet above it. After all, I had downloaded him into iTunes and there was no need for him to be out anymore taunting me.
Last week, once the kids were finally back in school, I made a renewed commitment to start meditating. I found a quiet, sunny place in my room one morning after they had left. I turned on the track for Day 1, closed my eyes and listened. As Deepak spoke, I lost track of his words. The next thing I heard was a bell and him telling me to rest and gently open my eyes.
In the small span of 15 minutes, I had completely fallen asleep.
Not able to come back to it again that day, I tried again to listen to Day 1 the following day. Deepak’s voice spoke and then I entered into this weird zone where I heard this strange noise. It had a low vibration, like someone snoring. I jolted awake, the noise stopped, and the bell rang to indicate the meditation was over.
I had fallen asleep. Again. And I had snored!
Completely frustrated, and now hyper-awake, I started the meditation over from the beginning.
I closed my eyes and tried to focus on Deepak’s introduction and the meditation intention. I made it through that part and was secretly happy. I could do this.
As the relaxing music began, thoughts fired like popcorn. KC needs her jazz shoes. I need to shoot ‘X’ client an email. CJ needs ‘y’ for his school project. And on and on and on. Try as I might, the thoughts kept coming and then the bell rang.
In a span of 30 minutes I had fallen asleep and run down my entire to-do list for the day. Frustrated at my inability to (a) stay awake and then (b) maintain a clear mind, I felt more stressed than when I started.
The next day I moved on to Day 2. Thoughts of Elizabeth Gilbert and her challenges to quiet her mind in Eat Pray Love bubbled up. I started the music again and before I knew it, the bell rang and the meditation was over. I once again was awakened by the ringing bell.
No closer to meditating than when I first started, I turned the track off and resigned myself to the fact that this was going to take a lot longer and more effort than I realized.
After several meditation mishaps, I am proud to say that I am now on Day 4 and I did not fall asleep—a huge accomplishment. Popcorn brain is still a problem, but the kernels of thought seem to be popping at a slightly slower pace.
All I can do is keep trying right?