ANOTHER AWESOME CHALLENGE is complete! This month I did mediation, journaling and affirmations. I tried to meditate about 15 mins a day, journal as long as I wanted, and repeated affirmations I created at least a couple times a day.
Probably not a surprise that it was quite the refreshing month. These 30-Day Challenges are exactly what I wanted them to be: rewarding and eye-opening. It really allows me to experience the benefits of regularly committing to goals, practices and activities. This one is a little late in coming because I’m on a mini vacay in Minneapolis and have been away from my computer for awhile. 🙂
I wrote a re-cap on the last day that I will include in here, but I also would love to share some snippets from throughout the month from my journal entries. It was quite convenient that I coupled journaling with the meditation challenge. I think these entries make it very apparent how much these challenges, namely this meditation one, are impacting my life in positive ways.
What I had to say during the month:
March 1st: Today I simply focused on my breath and meditated for 15 mins. I absolutely loved it. I really struggled with clearing my mind of intruding thoughts but felt moments of peace that were phenomenal. I felt so relaxed and rejuvenated.
March 2nd: Really struggled with wandering thoughts still. It really takes practice and diligence to keep bringing your mind back, but when you do, it’s very rewarding! I was listening to music again and the song had a lot of nature sounds, and I pictured laying in some grass listening to the water running and the other mesmerizing sounds of nature. I can’t get over how much I love how peaceful it feels. Meditating just makes me feel that everything is going to be alright.
March 3rd: It was very difficult to stop thinking. I seem to always have so much on my mind.. that’s why I know I need this practice. Sometimes I feel like it helps me sort through my thoughts though and think about them in a different way.. like I gain a little more clarity when I’m in such a peaceful state of mind.
March 5th: I looooove when I can focus on my breath and block everything out, even if it’s for a mere 10 seconds. It’s like I feel high, but sooooo relaxed. I know I keep saying it’s so peaceful, but there’s not many ways to describe that awesome feeling. I just feel so calm. Many times in the middle of my meditation I get lost in thinking and forget to focus on my breath (or nothing really), but it’s almost like really pure, serene, balanced thinking. Like it flows together like a river! I just feel level-headed and guided in a way. Like my priorities and pressing feelings surface without distractions. Gets me juiced up (in a peaceful way) for the next day.
March 21st: I’ve been keeping up with my meditation and have started something new that I really really love. I say ‘om’ and hold it out for as long as I can (like a hum) and then wait a couple seconds before doing it again. In those couple seconds of silence, it’s INCREDIBLE. It’s like the feeling at the top of my breath when I take a deep breath, but different. I LOVE it. I have also been practicing more loving kindness towards myself when my mind wanders. Overall, I think it’s helped me become more calm, present and grounded.
March 26th: I realized that measuring or judging a meditation session by how many times your mind wanders and gets caught in a whirlwind of thoughts is counterproductive and reinforces a negative state of mind. Just like in life, if we are constantly focusing on the negatives or what’s going wrong, we diminish or maybe even miss the moments worth savoring the most. That’s going to be something I focus on when I meditate – simply relishing in the peaceful bliss and giving less attention to the mind chatter.
***As you could see in the posts in the beginning of the month, my focus was more ‘the struggle is real’, but by the end of the month, I came to a point where I was able to write that last entry. It was a great moment for reflecting not only on meditation, but on life in general.
My Final Thoughts on the Last Day:
These really helped lift my spirits and give me a little ‘umph’ when I needed it. As the month went on, not only did I have them memorized, but I said them with a little more enthusiasm and intensity. I strongly believe there is so much power in affirmations and speaking things out. I catered them to my present life and situation, which helped me feel more efficient and confident. I will continue to speak these and adapt new ones as my life changes. There is absolutely no harm in reinforcing a positive mindset, and affirmations are ridiculously easy and convenient to implement into your daily life.
I’ve journaled on and off through the years ever since high school and was reminded of the power in reflection. Sometimes it’s a lot better to write things down then talk another person’s ear off about what’s going on in your life. Not to say that human connection and interaction isn’t beneficial, but there’s something different about reflection, both about life and the self, brought on by journaling. Taking time to really look at your present life helps you develop and gain new insights and perspectives. It can help provide balance and promote a healthy temperament by allowing you to sort through thoughts and feelings and by being an outlet for things you wouldn’t want to say to someone. I will continue to journal, especially on emotion- or thought-invoking days. What a great way to become more in tune with yourself, which brings me toooo…..
Goodness me, another one of those things I would like to do in the morning but did before bed more often times then not. Either way, I know I gained so much from implementing meditation techniques into my daily routine. The most notable benefit from meditating was being able to bring myself back in check if I was having an ‘off’ day or my mind was racing or I was anxious or whatever other disharmony I had been experiencing. For me, meditating was a gateway to pure tranquility that I can affirm is something that would not take place EVER in my daily life without meditation. And I believe that can ring true for a majority of the population. Meditating has for SURE made me feel so much more present and grounded. As a tag along to things I learned from the book Mindsight during my reading challenge last month, I am now more able to look at emotions as passing feelings and not be swept away by them. I have a sense of peace that promotes mindfulness and amity in my life. What a difference that is from my life at this time last year. Holy cow. Seriously, do not stall in enjoying benefits like groundedness, quietude, harmony, placidity and stillness that may come from implementing a meditation practice into your own life.
Join the 2015 30-Day Challenge train if you haven’t already! It’s one sure way to continually grow and learn about yourself throughout the year, and I highly recommend it. Check out this video for more details.
Peace and BLESSINGS, y’all! 🙂