My beloved daughter introduced to me to Headspace. Headspace is an app that urges the person – the listener – to carve out “me” time…just ten precious minutes of quiet time every day…to meditate.
I don’t know if you’re like me, but I always scoffed at the concept of meditation. For some reason, I mocked the seemingly new obsession with “mindfulness.” Honestly, I didn’t understand what the terms really meant. Even more so, I rolled my eyes at the way “millenials” talk about techniques for reducing stress (how much stress could they possibly have in their twenties???) and the importance of using all of their vacation days (I was proud of the number I used to roll over!). It all seemed a bit “froo froo” and “new age”…even a bit self-indulgent.
But I’ve changed my tune.
The world is full of daily activities and challenges. We over-schedule ourselves. We over-promise. We over-commit. We try to control or busy ourselves with things that perhaps we shouldn’t. The more we take on and the busier we are, the more pressure we feel (whether or not we realize it) and the more our health – mental and physical – suffers. Why do we feel we have to be busy every minute of every day?
The result of extreme busyness is stress. Some would say it’s rampant. Many people pop pills just to get through a day. There is a constant, relentless stream of attractions, abstractions, and distractions that keep us on – or throw us off – course. The term “24/7” itself is indicative of a treadmill that’s impossible to get down from (remember George Jetson?). We’ve trained and enabled others to believe we are always on call. As much as I personally love technology, the iPhone and iPad and MacBook and the ever-present urge to “check in” takes its toll on the mind and body.
That leads me back to the sage advice of my daughter. She told me that I needed to “let go” of certain things; that it was time for me to “not care” about other things. She reminded me that I had reached an age and place in life where I had earned the right to decide what I do or don’t want to do and with whom. She told me to download the app and try it. So, I did.
Now I’m hooked. For ten minutes a day. Everyday. I do it in a hot bath. I do it on my deck. Other times I just plop down on the carpet in my office. (I have yet to do it in the car.) Regardless of where or when, I do it daily.
I’ve learned that meditation is to the mind as a chiropractor is to the body. It offers and enables a type of adjustment or realignment; a re-centering and a re-focusing of the mind that actually corrects the body as well. It’s a great way to “unplug” and it’s remarkably easy to do. You just have to make it a priority and if you do, you won’t be sorry. Only ten minutes of quieting down the mind – freeing it from worry, business, random junk, and noise – has a lingering positive effect on how one feels about things throughout the day.
So, here I am. New house. New job. New Headspace. My friend Eileen says she likes “this version” of me best. So do I.