21 day challenge

21 day challenge

“They” say it takes between 21 and 60 days to make a new habit. I’ve been trying to incorporate mindfulness into my daily being, and have been relatively successful, but I want more! Yesterday we had an hour’s drive and I was trying to be more aware of my surroundings, but it seemed my attention was continually being drawn to the excess of garbage and litter along the roadside. The same trip in reverse, on our way home, I was riveted to the present, as we were in the middle of the snowstorm and traffic on the highway was crawling at 30 mph. Being alert and present was mandatory. I was able to remain calm, though, and also enjoyed the beauty of the effects of the storm.
My 21-day challenge (I tend towards impatience–thus 21 instead of 60…baby steps!) to increase my mindfulness, is to begin a 15-minute daily meditation practice. Husband and I have tried this periodically, but it is more miss than hit, and only for about 5 minutes at a time. I’ll check back in as time progresses!

Do you meditate? What is your meditation technique or routine? Any advice for a novice?

Related posts:
http://loveisphotoblog.com/2014/01/15/79/

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/4-ways-mindfulness-transforms-your-life-as-it-did-for-the-seahawks.html

https://seezooeyrun.wordpress.com/2014/01/07/minding-the-lyrics/

https://seezooeyrun.wordpress.com/2013/12/24/dp-challenge-ghosts-of-christmas-past/

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About Gail

Genealogist, librarian, traveler, runner, grandma, Mormon, Missionary
Image | This entry was posted in Health & Wellness, Spirituality, Synchronicity, Travel and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to 21 day challenge

  1. you are right, I am not good at meditation, I am lucky as I have the chance to walk by the sea on deserted beaches where I live so I am trying some kind of active meditation, while walking the dogs.

  2. davinnyscode says:

    Hi Gail,
    I actually have a post on my blog about this:
    http://davinnyscode.wordpress.com/2013/12/25/how-to-meditate/

    Doing 5 minutes a day is fine. The most important thing is to keep at it on a daily basis.
    If your goal is to reach 15 minutes a day, then you will naturally reach that stage without having to force yourself, just gradually increase the time.

    Once you have naturally achieved the 15 minute stage, then would be a good time to start forcing yourself to do the 15 minutes (minimum) daily, as you may want to skimp on it (nature of the mind).

    In all cases, once you get the hang of it, meditation will become so enjoyable that once you actually sit, you will want to continue sitting! (just a matter of sitting through the ‘storm’ until the ‘calmness’ settles in.

    I have gotten to the point where I do not need to meditate anymore. I can go “there” anytime I want.

    Tip: Your posture is very important, try to be as comfortable as possible with you back aligned. I explain this more deeply in the post with illustration (whether seated on the floor or on a chair), here’s the link again:
    http://davinnyscode.wordpress.com/2013/12/25/how-to-meditate/

    Best,

  3. Sarah says:

    Hi Gail, I’ve been meditating regularly for a few years now. I meditate with my husband. This helps make it easier to do it more often. We sit for half an hour at a time. We try to sit once a day but rarely manage to do it that often. I’m also trying to develop a mindfulness habit for the rest of the time. It’s hard to sustain for very long. 🙂

    • gapark says:

      Do you have an “om” phrase? Use background music?

      • Sarah says:

        I’ve tried various methods but the one that works best for me is vipassana where the meditation object is usually the breath. I suggest trying different meditation objects (although not all in the same session ;)) until you find one that suits you. I can tell you more about using breath as the object if you’re interested. As for music, I would say that it is great for relaxation but not for meditation itself. It’s too easy to drift away when you really need to be fully present. But that’s just one opinion, I’m not an expert. I find a bit of ritual helpful. We have a space put aside especially for meditation and I start by lighting a candle and some incense. HTH

      • gapark says:

        yes! very much so. As to the breathing, I try to just think, “I’m breathing in…(to a count of 4)….I’m breathing out…” . Is that what you mean?

      • Sarah says:

        There are lots of ways to use the breath. Where do you place your attention? It could be an awareness of the whole body breathing, or your chest expanding and relaxing, or your abdomen going in and out, or your breath passing through your nostrils, and so on. Use whichever feels most natural.

      • gapark says:

        this helps. I guess I didn’t realize how central the breath is to meditation.

      • Sarah says:

        I hope you derive years of benefit from meditation. I certainly couldn’t live without it any more. It’s wonderful. 😀

      • gapark says:

        Tried it last night–5 minutes with Husband. he fell asleep in 2 minutes. Hard to concentrate with him breathing VERY deeply! 🙂 will try again tonight sitting on a cushion on the floor. Hope I can get him to do that, and not be in his recliner, reclined…

      • Sarah says:

        LOL. We invented a word for that – “beditation”. It’s always a mistake to get _too_ comfy! 😀
        Having said that, it is important to be fairly comfy; pain can be very distracting too. As long as you can convince your husband to sit in a position where his back is upright and unsupported then you shouldn’t have that problem again.
        Thanks for making me smile. 🙂

      • gapark says:

        “Beditation”. Love it!

  4. I call myself to prayer three times a day. The practice helps me to come back to center throughout the busiest of days.

  5. randee says:

    I could never meditate. But I feel I am relaxed and mindful and connected with everything around me. I suppose my exercise and prayer helps and both are in lieu of meditation. I wanted to say that your photo looks beautiful, but I cannot see it in its entirety on my laptop screen. I’m wondering if you should post your photos one size smaller? And I am wondering if this happens with my photos when I post them large.

  6. My horse has taught me to be mindful. Horses live in the moment all the time so to be safe in their presence it’s important to be mindful with them. … Another way to be mindful is to focus on your breath and feel what your body is doing. Adrenal fatigue has taught me this as I’ve listened to my body tell me what it needs from moment to moment. … I prefer the equine option, frankly. 😉 … Good luck!

  7. elizabeth says:

    I’m another that needs to be more mindful. I go along on automatic most of the day. Thanks for the reminder that I do want to live a more mindful existence. I will try again. 🙂

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