Dana learns to let go.
Do you ever have one of those days? Or weeks? It seems like every time you turn around, something is going wrong? This was my week.
I started out dislocating my kneecap. I wasn’t running, or practicing yoga when this happened. No—I was putting away laundry. I somehow got it caught on a piece of furniture and the next thing I knew, I was lying on the floor in pain trying to shove it back into place.
The very next day, after returning home from the grocery store, I unlocked the door and while opening it I sliced my toe on the corner of the screen door pretty badly.
Soon after that incident, while letting my exuberant golden retriever out, he bounded after my next door neighbor (as golden retrievers typically do). I yelled and chased after him, accidentally missing one of the front steps.
So there I am, sprawled out on the front walk, right foot all bloodied up and pride smashed to pieces.
The only thought I have at this point is, “Wow. Where the hell did all my mindfulness go?”
Over the past few years, I have attempted meditation but would give up after a short time. I was determined to make a commitment this time.
The goal was to meditate every day for 21 days. I have been using the book Headspace together, practicing the exercises laid out in book to promote this habit and help solidify it into a real bonafide practice.
Some days I couldn’t control my thoughts and they ran wild, and other days I felt the warm glow of inner peace buzzing through my body. Some nights I dozed off into a long tranquil slumber without finishing the meditation, while other nights I burned with irritation for making this commitment in the first place.
What did I learn?
I learned I that I scatter myself way too much mentally and emotionally.
I learned that when I push too hard in my quest for perfection, I usually fall short. Most of all, I learned that by gently releasing that resolve to be the perfect meditator, I make more space for growth.
Everything we do, whether it be yoga, meditation or everyday tasks like driving to work, has a ripple effect.
I’ve noticed that in my yoga practice already, and I can see the potential for it in regular meditation. Taking a few moments out of the day to sit with yourself and just be present fosters a peaceful attitude, which in turn influences those around you.
As for my accident-prone week, let’s hope in this meditation quest, I become a lot more mindful of my surroundings. I am learning to step gently and with purpose, and that while falling can hurt, I can gather my pride and get back up.
It’s all part of the journey.
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Ed: Dana Gornall