I was prescribed meditation to help with my mental health by my doctor a few years ago and I didn’t practice with any kind of regularity. There were good stretches, but ultimately I fell out of sync. Now I’m really sinking my talons into a goal of meditating for 365 days in a row. In exploring my relationship with meditation, mindfulness, and treating my brain I’ll be updating under “Anxiety Attacks” along with my ongoing photo-a-day project.
After my post on photography as a way to combat anxiety attacks got such a warm response, it occurred to me to share about why I even had the idea to begin with: taking ten-fifteen minutes everyday and sitting with myself. Meditating. It’s been more than clarifying waking up in the morning and doing my daily ten minutes.
The most accessible meditation guides that I used the most frequently are Insight Timer and, amazingly, YouTube. There’s a plethora of different free meditations from guided meditations to hour-long body scans, which can be particularly healing.
Two weeks in and already a daily meditation practice reminds me that our lives should be punctuated by poetry. Our existence isn’t merely one transaction to the next. Since beginning to sit and breathe everyday life has been easier to flow along with; not stuck in the past, not fretting about the future. Since beginning a daily practice (sometimes now I make time for two) my mind feels exactly like something only a poet could describe. Inspired like:
Quiero hacer contigo lo que la primavera hace con los cerezos*
One thing that I think deserves to be discussed when sharing about how much this kind of treatment of the brain has been helpful to me: Its not always accessible or possible for all to do or even make time for. For me, sharing about this isn’t some kind of patronizing endorsement that everyone must do this. I don’t think that at all.
I consider myself beyond lucky that I have the opportunity to take my time before I start my day with a practice that is actively helping my brain and I can identify how. I think that’s important and deserves attention. We should find things that help us, not what someone thinks will help us. Meditation is teaching me that.
*I want to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees
From: Neruda, Pablo, and Anthony. Kerrigan. Selected Poems [of] Pablo Neruda. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1975.