So my office is really obsessed with 30 and 100 day challenges. The 100 day challenges are definitely more on a more personal level, but we tend to group up for 30 day challenges.
The curl challenge was super fun and definitely an eye-opener. It also felt good to actually stick with it. I didn’t even use our one “It’s Okay to Straighten for New Year’s Eve” cheat day.
I was really looking forward to our latest 30 day challenge. Maxie and I planned to meditate every day for 30 days. We were inspired when a career coach gave us a quick and easy 10-minute guided meditation. I’ve done mediations from time to time in the past, especially during extreme periods of stress.
I thought that committing to spending a month getting in the habit of meditating that I would be much happier, more relaxed, and generally feel better.
We both failed.
I tried to carve out the ten minutes every day to meditate, but it ultimately started to feel like a chore. And I simply began dreading it. It was a chore and I was absolutely horrible at it. I would sit down in a comfortable position, close my eyes, and follow the meditation guide.
Then the thoughts would start…. and they were loud, clear, and oh-so-annoying. I would ask myself how long had I been meditating. When was the ten minutes up? What should I wear in the morning. The tape tells you that it’s okay to have wandering thoughts, but to try to pull them back in to be centered. And instead, I would start thinking how dumb I felt sitting in my room with my eyes closed.
Meditation certainly works for some people. I’m not going to write it off completely, but this 30 day challenge definitely didn’t work for me. Three weeks in, I sent a text message to Maxie asking when this whole ordeal would be over… even admitting that I’d skipped a few days. I felt so guilty to let her down, but it turns out that she was similarly struggling as well.
What I did learn though was that it’s important to figure out the best way to sit down and think or let go or be present.
For me, I find that true-zen-tuned-into-myself mode when I’m showering and when I’m working out. (SoulCycle was the best meditation I did this month, but even just walking through the park alone is wonderful.)
Have you ever meditated? What’s your method or trick? Do you have any great apps or podcasts to recommend?
PS Read Maxie’s interpretation on the “Meditation Meltdown.”
PPS Here are my five best places to think!