The Let Go Challenge: Review
On the 1st of May, I have challenged myself to let go and meditate daily. Let’s see what changes have taken place since that time and what I’ve found out about myself and meditating.
Restless Body, Restless Mind
Quieting the mind on a daily basis had its challenges for me. If you’re not used to it, taking 15 minutes out of your day to just sit and do nothing requires some willpower.
If you’re like me and feel the urge to keep doing something, thinking and planning, you might be very restless when starting to meditate. I was. There were things I wanted to do, ideas I wanted to chase after. But I committed to this practice. It’s only a few minutes a day, after all. But sometimes even 5 minutes felt like an eternity, other times 15 minutes went like nothing.
I think my rest-less-ness lay in me not allowing myself to rest. But it is so very important to allow yourself that time to recharge. We always chase after something, thinking the value is in doing, that that’s the way we achieve.
Having a nap in a day would be lazy, right? Listening to music and dancing instead of washing your car would be procrastinating? We put so much on ourselves that just looking at our to-do list gives us a headache. And then, we feel overwhelmed and don’t do anything anyway ‘coz of that. The story of my life?
We always chase after something, thinking the value is in doing, that that’s the way we achieve.
So, by allowing myself to take 15 minutes a day for doing nothing, I started exploring this elusive balance between the doing and being. Between worrying and allowing. There is time for action but there must be time for rest and fun, too.
Being the Awareness
At times, when I managed to let go of my talking mind, I experienced glimpses of being the awareness beyond the mind. Aware of the mind and body, like looking from the outside, or above. It’s a strange feeling and so wonderful.
I only so far experienced it for a few seconds, if not milliseconds. The moment I got aware of that and wanted to ‘say’ it, name it or acknowledge it with my mind, I was back being the mind, duh. This is probably the time when I’m closer to my true self or being it fully without the grounded part of myself.
Sometimes I feel like part of me wants to go beyond, while the other holds tightly to the thinking mind. It is scary to let go of oneself, of the concept of oneself rather, to step into the unknown. But only when we let go of the old can we experience the new. I guess here comes the trusting part…
Body Feels and Remembers
From around day 14 of the challenge I started to pay attention to how my body was feeling and how incongruent the feeling in the body was to what I was doing. There was tension and nervousness in my body though I wasn’t feeling like that consciously in my mind.
I heard Dr Dispenza talking about body remembering certain trauma and carrying it with which then results in an inadequate body reaction to the situation at hand. The point is to go through with it in the meditation, tell your body it is safe now. Just breathe through it and sooner or later your body will learn that there really is no need for such reaction. I may not understand this concept fully, but I believe relaxing into it is helping.
When I managed not moving throughout my meditation and get beyond the mind chatter, I experienced nice bodily sensations, like tingling in hands, and wave of love and appreciation in my chest area and lower belly. Sometimes I could even feel the energy going through me.
When breathing in, I could feel as if rising above my physical body. Also, I tend to have cold feet and hands even when I’m hot otherwise, but when meditating I found my hands got nice and warm.
Challenging the Trust
At the time I was starting this whole meditation challenge, I was actually going through a sort of a big change (and still am) in my life. I decided to quit my current job and do something new, something that’d make me happier.
It was a hard decision and it was difficult to not fall into thinking about some sort of a plan. Little panic attacks of, “oh my God, what am I gonna do now,” came occasionally and still do, but I knew worrying won’t get me far and I had to let go of it.
I definitely became more trusting by practising meditation every day. Don’t get me wrong I still think about things and sometimes scare myself with not knowing, but I am more likely to calm myself down and ease into it nowadays than I ever was.
I became more at ease with relaxing and not forcing myself to do things. I’m practising the belief that I will do what I’m inspired to do, not what I think should be done. It’s a work in progress to do that without feeling guilty.
How to Enjoy Meditation
Here are some tips of what helped me to enjoy the meditations more:
- Rather than suppressing the thoughts and images that come up, try to simply observe them.
- Focus on the breath – either on a specific breathing pattern or just prolonging and deepening the breaths or visualising energy in, negativity out.
- Positive self-talk, affirming for example. I love doing this when I cannot shut up that inner voice.
- Guided meditations – another wonderful tool to go around just ‘doing nothing and thinking nothing’. With the guided meditations you are guided to visualise certain places and things. I happily use Kireiki meditations.
- I found meditating in the mornings the best, evenings being close second.
- If it’s too much effort to meditate, just take a nap. It also helps to calm you down and stop the negative thoughts you are having (if you are having them).
- In case of disturbing visions, embrace them as a non-harmful part of you and send them love (I got this approach from Charlie Morley talking about embracing your nightmares). This definitely made it go away faster.
How Is Meditation Helpful
Speaking from my experience, meditation can help take you away from the struggles and emotions you are feeling at the moment, giving you a broader perspective from which your problems may seem not so serious and terrible anymore.
You may realise that all is well, in fact, you always have this calm place to go to, right in your mind, no matter what is going on outside of you.
BEING IN THE MOMENT
I became more appreciative and present. I may have started the meditation feeling annoyed and by the time I was done (if I managed to get my mind off the problem), I started to appreciate the beauty around me and all the little things.
It really is as Abraham‘s saying – if you don’t hold the cork under the water, it bobs up and you feel wonderful.
ALL IS WELL
At some point, I thought what if things really are as they should be? What if nothing’s wrong here? I’ve always felt bad because something’s not how I would want it to be, but really, maybe it’s just right, it’s all part of the process, part of my growth.
It feels great to stop fighting your life and allow the perfection of life to unfold. We cannot see/ know it all and perhaps we do not know what’s best for us all the time. Our higher selves do.
Here are a handful of wonderful things that perspired during the last few months:
- I got mobile data for the summer for free just as I was going to Prague.
- An interesting ‘business opportunity’ came my way.
- I found 400 crowns in a book.
- All my doctor appointments went great.
- I quit my job but got offered a part time instead which is exactly what I wanted and got a pay rise.
- I’m becoming more relaxed and confident in conversations with other people (something of a big issue for me).
- I met an old friend by total ‘accident’ and we had a great chat together.
- My partner is growing and changing (in a good way).
At the moment, I don’t meditate daily. It kinda fell apart after the challenge, and being in Prague. Now I meditate occasionally and I’m doing it in my own way – whatever feels good at the time.
For example, today I did some breathing exercises, then talked to myself positively and then did yoga, which is a sort of meditation, too 🙂 All in all, I guess I’m more allowing and less restricting myself.
I hope this article brought some inspiration and motivation for your own journey. Write you later 😉