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The Game-Changer: Headspace

2019 January 14

Meditation is certainly not a new topic of discussion but it’s new to me and therefore, it felt right to discuss it. I met with a life coach a few months ago and while we chatted about goals and vision and what kind of path she could potentially help me down (still trying to figure it out, so I haven’t committed to the process yet but will let you know when I do), she brought up two tools she recommended I start implementing immediately, regardless of where I wanted to end up: daily meditation and daily journaling.

You would think that as someone who calls herself a “writer”, I would already be a daily journal kind of girl, but I am not. I have always struggled with writing just for the sake of it. I want to write when I have something to say. Ideally something meaningful or useful or inspired. And when people will read it. And that has been a tough habit to break, even with her sage advice to start pouring out onto paper for ten minutes per day, and not worry about what comes out or who I can share it with.

I have, however, done a really good job at implementing meditation into my life. I started with the Headspace trial and quickly graduated to a full year subscription and now I can’t imagine not having the app on my phone to turn to on a whim (I even gave it as a gift for Christmas). I try to do my meditation in the morning though sometimes it’s easier for my brain to wind down into it in the evening. I’ve done it on walks. In parking lots while I was waiting on something or someone. When I am happy. When I am sad. When I am just looking to take a really good deep breath.

What has it done for me? First, it has taught me how to quiet my brain. I dealt with a lot of anxiety last year (mainly over silly, irrational things) and I knew I didn’t want to repeat that pattern going into 2019. Meditating has shown me how incredibly powerful it can be to try to focus your brain when it starts to wander…and how hard it can be as well. Second, it has helped me with my external focus as well. I have been much better at prioritizing, managing my time, and spending it wisely and with intention. I also think it has made me a better listener. I tune in more because my brain is more alert and better at focusing rather than wandering off to the next thought or moment. Finally, it has shown me how powerful routine can actually be, even when it’s imperfect. You know how they say it takes 21 days to create a habit? I never seem to make it to day 8. I get bored, I get distracted, I get disparaged. But while I haven’t been 100% consistent with a daily practice (yet), I have been committing to it enough to already see how impactful it can be. And I want to see more.

This holiday season was a bit of a strange one for me. While so many were focused on resolutions and change and ambitions, I was just sitting in simple gratitude. I knew that everything I had in my life was just fine. Things can tweak here or there, but fundamentally, it’s all pretty much fantastic. I just needed to teach myself how to realize that. How to believe it. How to appreciate it more. And how to remind myself of it, almost every day. That was the most important change of all. And I think I found it. In my own head.

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