I’d been trying to learn how to meditate for over a year when I came across a video from a yoga teacher who said meditation is more than just having a quiet mind.
She said, “the goal is not a quiet mind. The goal is to be present and aware of what’s going on in your mind long enough to create a habit of coming back to the present moment.”
Because my mind is constantly wandering, that advice has been extremely helpful to me. I’d never been able to achieve true meditation because I couldn’t get to the quiet place. I never believed I’d be able to do it.
Okay Kari, just sit still and breathe.
Here I go.
Breathe in and breathe out.
Just relaxing and not thinking of anything.
Just being in the moment.
Was that a cardinal I just heard outside?
I wonder if I remembered to fill the bird feeder….
Bring it back in to this moment.
I’m breathing in and out.
Focusing on what my body feels like as I inhale and exhale.
Did I just feel a pain in my stomach? I wonder what that was? Do I need to worry about that pain or am I just going to…
Keep breathing and focus on my toes and work my way up to my knees and stay in this moment as I inhale and exhale.
That’s much better.
You know what really creeps me out? Men who smoke pipes.
Where was I?
I truly meditated for the first time in January. It was a guided 10 minute meditation, and I was so excited afterwards
I believe the advice I received from the yoga teacher helped me reach this place. Knowing that it was okay to let my thoughts wander when trying to meditate as long as I gently keep reminding myself to return to my inner home base.
I got stuck on the lie that if I couldn’t sit motionless and be zen, that I would never be able to meditate. Meditation looks different for everyone, and there are many ways of getting to that home inside.
Valerie June’s album, The Moon and The Stars: Prescriptions for Dreamers, is one of my all-time favorite albums by any artist because I could listen to the entire album from beginning to end and appreciate every single song.
I’m sharing this post today because I felt someone could benefit from Valerie’s words and music. It’s nice to have a place to call home on the inside.
At the end of the song Home Inside, there is even 30 seconds of silence. In an interview with American Songwriter, Valerie said:
“Silence is important,” June explains. “At the end of the record, there’s the song ‘Home Inside,’ and then there’s what I call a silence second. It’s 30 exact seconds of silence before the bird songs begin. I think all the songs that I’ve ever written have come from that place.”
It’s nice to get lost inside songs and find some respite.
I hope you’re able to find that respite inside of yourself as well.