I begin (again)

by eringoodman on May 23, 2014

in breathing space, energy management

A photograph on the wall at my doctor’s office.

It was part of my annual exam.

A simple question that followed the typical discussion about my anxiety and depression and how I am doing with managing my moods.

“Do you meditate regularly?” she asked.

I wanted to jump in and say, “Oh yes, of course I do,” but before answering I mentally scanned the previous months.

“Not exactly regularly,” I said. “But I do meditate. Er…I mean I know how to meditate and I have taught others how to meditate and I’m very mindful in my day to day life but ummm…I’ve been busy…” my voice trailed off.

I knew where this conversation was going. And I knew I needed to face the truth. I have not been practicing what I teach. I’ve let busy slide in and tucked my yoga mat and my meditation cushion away, waiting for the perfect circumstances to arrive so I could pull them back out.

“You really should be meditating daily,” she said. “Just 20 minutes each day is enough to tell the nervous system that it is safe to relax, which has a ripple effect on all the body’s systems.”

I took my scripts for various blood work and my first mammogram (I just entered my 40s last month!), but it was the prescription for meditation that really stuck with me.

In the coming days, I made an effort, not to sit for 20 minutes, but to pause for micro-meditations throughout my day, to catch myself reaching for my cell phone to fill a void with Facebook or Instagram. I reminded myself that it is the breath that leads me into a meditative state and revisited my own guided meditations on Three Deep Breaths.

Slowly, I am finding my way back to my seat, remembering how good it feels to commune with my own quiet, inner knowing.

Slowly, I begin (again).

How about you? Do you meditate regularly? Tell us about your experience with meditation (or your hesitation to try it) in the comments. Let’s inspire each other!

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Vanessa Sage May 23, 2014 at 1:03 pm

I had this exact conversation with my doctor a year ago!!! Great post :)

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eringoodman May 27, 2014 at 3:06 pm

Thanks, Vanessa. Exciting that doctors are starting to have these conversations with us!

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Kristen May 23, 2014 at 2:50 pm

I’ve been (slowly) reading “The Joy Diet” and step one is meditation, quiet space, and letting go. I’ve been trying but I usually only think of it when I’m in bed. So, sometimes I do it in the morning – sometimes before falling asleep. I know it’s good practice and there’s no “right” time!

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eringoodman May 27, 2014 at 3:08 pm

I’m not familiar with that book but it sure sounds like something I would like! I find in bed before falling asleep to be a good time for me. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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susan catherine May 23, 2014 at 3:08 pm

ahhh. yeah. right on. like everyone else, the lawyer who doesn’t write his own will, the doctor who doesn’t follow her own prescription, the healer who forgets to meditate :) I AM NOT ALONE! Bless you and thank you. Transparency and sharing is where we meet. <3

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eringoodman May 27, 2014 at 3:08 pm

Oh, no. You are definitely not alone. You are very welcome, beautiful one.

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Tina Toomey May 23, 2014 at 4:07 pm

I had a beautiful meditation practice nearly 4 years ago where I sat for 10 minutes every morning which lasted maybe 5 years. Now my daily practice is sporadic sprinkled with a visits to my local Sangha. I am enormously appreciative of what my practice has done for me: Increased confidence, and peace of mind and so I look forward to the day when I can figure out a time to sit every day once again. Peace and thank you for the chance to share. With love.

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eringoodman May 27, 2014 at 3:10 pm

How wonderful that you had a practice that lasted 5 years. Love reading about the benefits you experienced. Trusting that your practice will return to you at some point…

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Karen May 23, 2014 at 6:32 pm

I love “Three Deep Breaths”. So soothing. It has helped me to sustain a practice because of the short durations of the meditations. I love them all and I especially love “I am here” as I suffer from bouts of panic attacks and anxiety and it really brings me back into my body, out of panic mode and back to the here and now. I sincerely thank you, so so much!

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eringoodman May 27, 2014 at 3:11 pm

Thank you for this endorsement, Karen. I appreciate it greatly.

I too have suffered with severe anxiety and panic attacks and I am very happy to read that my words have brought you some relief.

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cindy berry May 23, 2014 at 10:23 pm

Alas, I took a course to learn T.M. and practiced faithfully twice a day for a month. Then too, I got busy — Now I find my mind stopping from time to time as I zone out into a 1000 mile stare–mini meditation, not sure. So, I am resolving to make it a routine again.

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eringoodman May 27, 2014 at 3:12 pm

I don’t actually know too much about T.M. but it sounds like it was a very positive experience for you. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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