Meditation Notes: I Don’t Want to Meditate
I was sick this week. I went from a head cold right into a stomach bug after the kids fully recovered from their colds. Basically they were fine and dandy and active and boisterous while I was flat out miserable.
I didn’t want to meditate this week. I was stuck in my brain too much while being sick. The idea of sitting still purposefully after sitting still while sick in bed was not appealing. This week I skipped regular activities. I didn’t walk the dogs. I let the household chores slide. I didn’t make progress on my garden. All that inactivity led me to get inside my head, and probably led to some self-pity along with the sniffles if I’m being honest.
I’m not saying meditation isn’t good for these times, but it didn’t feel right for me. I really get in my head (not in a good way) when I’m sick or hurt. I think it goes back to the 2 months when I couldn’t walk after getting rheumatoid arthritis. When your whole body is swollen and in pain, you get trapped inside your brain. And it ain’t pretty.
So I skipped meditation (if you’re new to meditation, don’t skip a whole week. You’re more likely to get off track and drop the habit altogether).
WHAT CAN YOU DO BESIDES MEDITATION IF YOU WANT THE SAME BENEFITS?
“Mindful activity”: Staying mindful in whatever I was doing- however small the activity.
Side Note: Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing one’s attention and awareness on the present moment. When the focus is put on the present, it acts as a distraction for your brain.
In the middle of all this I kept an appointment for our dog to be spayed. I made the drive to pick her up at the vet because my husband was still at work. It was day two of the stomach bug so I was recovering but not feeling 100%. A half hour drive spent in your head can be tortuous. I mindfully got out of my head and decided to purely focus on driving.
…sound of the road
…signs along the way
(there’s no way to make it interesting. It wasn’t, but it worked to get out of my head!)
After the drive I felt pretty darn good. My stomach was as calm as I was and my journey ended with a rainbow- literally!
(Poppy chilling after surgery- this look sums up our week…)
When I got home with Poppy, our puppy, I throughly enjoyed petting her. It was soothing for both of us. (Pets are a great inspiration for mindfulness. Otherwise known as “mindful petitations” according to Elisabeth Paige, owner of an organization called Petitations.)
Being sick for me is usually a stuck-indoors and stuck in-my-head time. Plus all the nasty symptoms that come along with it. But the upside is it gave me time to slow down and take this time to be mindful.
If I found my mind wandering to my symptoms or misery, I just focused on whatever small thing I was doing. Really looking at the magazine pictures in an article I was reading. Noting how intricate the design of a simple orange is as I put it in my smoothie. It was very comforting because I was suffering less. I truly get that saying: We can’t always change what’s happening to us, but we can change how we experience it.
You can’t live 100% mindful like this every day of course- try telling your boss how fascinating a pen is! Ha!
Mindfulness is a place you visit that makes your existing world happier, friendlier, and by far more bearable.
When your mind is full of bologna you’d rather not listen to, I have a few Mindful Tips:
Reduce your multi-tasking. Don’t fight me on this! Believe me, it will get done or you’ll realize real quick what your priorities are. Problem is you may think right now that everything is a priority. Don’t fall into this trap.
Mindfully cooking and eating: slow………… down……….. when……….. you………… eat (I have an upcoming post on mindful eating) and try a new recipe with colorful ingredients and vibrant spices or herbs. Smell the ingredients, feel the textures.
Unplug: Almost everything works better when you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.
Use your sense- your common sense of course 😉 but my point here is to use all 5 of your senses (6 if you’re special) to engage you in an activity. Taste, touch, smell, listen, see. Also, use your sense of humor and quick wit in the moment. And the 6th sense? Practice using your intuition- feel with your gut.
Bonus tip: When it comes to mindfulness, start with your fingertips.
In order to activate your mindfulness muscle at will, notice where your fingertips are at in the moment. What are they touching? What does it feel like? What are you doing? Get out of your head by finding your fingertips!
Peace and Be Well,