I love the quote, "knitting is my yoga" because it is something I turn to the release my nerves and anxiety from a busy day. Especially when my day isn't going as planned and things feel like their going backwards instead of forwards. I tend to fidget and get restless when I'm stressed and keeping my hands intertwined in yarn helps relief some of that stress I might feel. Lately, I've noticed it isn't enough.
I guess we all have feelings like this in our own situations whether we're parents or experiencing road blocks in our jobs and relationships with friends or family. We all handle stress differently, I know. When things are going wrong for me, I get sad and then I get mad at the world. Then I get angry at myself which makes me into a less productive, less enjoyable person. The cycle continues.
I turned to mindfulness meditation to learn how to find calm in my heart and in my life. It is tiring to keep snapping at things that irritate me rather than deal with the situation like a rational person. I found that I've become so overwhelmed and busy in my life that my mind was making excuses as to why I can't take a rational approach to dealing with unpleasant situations. Meditation is helping to clear my mind of the everyday clutter and make room to think things through with less mental noise.
To begin, I started with what I like to call '7 Days of Calm'. I meditate for just 10 minutes of each day for 7 days in a row. I find time before my kids wake up (Meditating in the morning can make for a quite peaceful day ahead) followed by a mid-day calm reminder such as this photo and beautiful quote. It serves as a daily reminder/inspiration to be calm and find peace.
During meditation I focus on my breathing while I sit comfortably, legs crossed, back straight. I don't try to float away into la-la-land as some people may think meditation is all about. I simply try to silence my naturally wandering mind from all thoughts. "...did I remember to defrost the chicken...the flowers need water...my nose is itchy...oh, I have to pick up the dry cleaning later...." *shhhh*. Every time my mind drifts away, I bring it back to focusing on my breathing. Breathing in, breathing out, breathing in, breathing out. I feel the breathe travel in through my body and then out. I focus on this for 10 minutes and free my mind from everything.
"The goal of meditation isn't to control your thoughts, it's to stop letting them control you." - The Age of Enlightenment
It is now days 3 of my 7 Days of Calm and I'm feeling wonderful. I look forward to the times I can come back to meditation each day. It truly makes me feel lifted because my mind isn't weighing me down. Your feelings are controlled by your thoughts and if you can learn to control your thoughts, you can better control your feelings. I learned this once from a book, You Can Heal Your Life by Louise L. Hay. Through meditation you can better concentrate your mind on thinking about happiness, thus feeling happiness.
In my next blog, I'll share some facts I've learned about the Benefits of Meditation.