My Meditation Habit + The Results Of My 30 Day Meditation Challenge
On July 16th I wrote a post titled 8 Reasons You Should Meditate + The 30 Day Meditation Challenge. The challenge was pretty straightforward – meditate every day for thirty days. Today I realized that my challenge ended over a week ago and I didn’t know it, yet I’ve still been meditating daily. I suppose that supports the theory that it takes thirty days to establish a new habit. And now that I’ve established this meditation habit, it’s not one I intend to quit.
By the way, if you’d like to learn more about establishing good habits, read what the habit master, Leo Babauta, has to say at Zen Habits.
So, what did I learn from my 30 day meditation challenge?
You can do it anywhere.
When I first began the challenge I was worried about finding time in my schedule to meditate. With a four-month old son, free time is limited these days. Of course there are wonderful benefits that can come from sitting in meditation for longer periods of time, but sometimes our schedules simply won’t allow for it. I began meditating for very short periods. Sometimes I’d just stop and breathe, other times I’d sit for a minute or two. The benefits of these short meditations surprised me. And because they were so short, I was able to do them a number of times throughout the day.
You can do it everywhere.
I also worried about finding appropriate places to meditate, but soon discovered that everywhere is appropriate. I began to practice mindfulness and living in the moment when I was cooking, swimming and doing other random tasks. When I sat on the bus, I’d meditate. When I was stuck in my car in traffic, I’d stop and breathe. I found ways to meditate in all kinds of places and situations throughout the day. Yes, I even took time to meditate on the toilet one day when I was particularly stressed.
One of my favorite forms of meditation became walking meditation. I walk everywhere, so walking meditation became a regular practice for me. If you’d like to learn more about walking meditation, check out this guest post I wrote for Balance In Me.
You can do it with others.
Most of my experience with meditation has been sitting alone in silence, yet throughout this challenge I discovered just how powerful meditating with others can be. A few weeks ago I wrote about the benefits of group meditation, but the most profound meditation I practiced during my challenge was with my son, Caelan. Whether I practiced walking meditation with him as I rolled his stroller down the street, or while we sat on a blanket in a park, meditating with Calean was an incredibly bonding experience for us.
I’ve written about the benefits of meditation before so this wasn’t a surprise, but on many occasions throughout the challenge I was reminded of how helpful meditation is. It helped me to focus, it helped me to relax, it helped me to sleep, it helped me to connect, and it helped me to be more creative. Meditation seems to help pretty much every aspect of my life.
It connects you.
During the challenge I had the opportunity to meditate in some beautiful outdoor settings, including lakesides, parks, woodland trails and in the mountains. It was a beautiful way to enjoy the great outdoors and the beauty of nature. But the most profound experience of meditating outdoors was the feeling of connection. A realization that we’re all connected, not only to one another, but to everything in the world around us.
I have no intention of stopping. I’ll continue to meditate daily and I hope you’ll give it a try too. If you’re new to meditation, you may want to check out Meditation 101: A 10 Step Beginner’s Guide.
Photo credit: wonderlane