Meditation is so important – there’s tons of research on it and you can definitely find more about why it’s so good for your brain. For me though, it’s selfish – it makes me a better me. I have to meditate in order to find my center, my core, my peace. And I have to do it everyday. When I first started meditating, waaaaaaay back in high school, I struggled hard. I didn’t “get” it. I really thought that eventually my thoughts would just slow down or stop – they didn’t. They actually seemed to get faster and more distracting. So I put meditation on the back burner for a long time. It returned a few years ago when I was training for Lake Placid (a bit here and here) and it came exactly when I needed it.
I use an app called Headspace – it’s wonderful. Andy Puddicombe is the founder and he has this incredible history of meditation – if you want to know more about him, listen to Rich Roll Podcast with Andy on it. Andy’s voice is very pleasant and he guides you through the meditations. There are options within once you’ve completed the initial days – which are super helpful too. But there are many many options within the meditation app world and I have heard lovely things about them all. This one works well for me so I’ve stuck with it.
All the while, using the app, creating the time for the practice – it’s still not easy. It truly is practice. Some days (like this morning for instance) I sat and struggled. My brain was a million miles away and a million miles an hour. When Andy brought us back to our bodies, I thought, “Oh Crap, I didn’t even listen to my breathing for a second.” But I also didn’t beat myself up about it. I stood up and went to write for a bit. I will probably try to meditate again today to try to ground myself, but if I don’t it’s ok too.
I’ve been trying to incorporate some mindfulness into my classroom too. This is our favorite thing to use. This triangle breathing technique works wonders. We use it many many days and even within just one minute, our brains can calm down long enough to take in information. It’s also great for me (because remember I’m selfish) because I get to do this focused breathing quite a few times a day – which brings me back to my center.
How do you create the time to find your center? Do you meditate? What is the best method you’ve found?