What to do with that SPACE in your HEAD?!
…wonder what she did with that top Quite nice Maybe she’ll give it to me! Feel like noodles for lunch oh wait Ruby wanted sandwiches- hmm, where…? How am I ever going to meet my boss’ deadline What bikinis should I pack for my Bintan weekend Aarghhh forgot to book in my yoga core class for tonight!! There better be space gotta look good for the beach …
I find me talking to myself constantly. Sometimes out loud, mostly in my head; a mixed bag of musings, wonderings, planning the days weeks months, sorting things out, always a constant chatter. And when I do that too much, I start to get frazzled and mildly stressed that I’m running out of time for all those undone things that I’ve thought out in my head.
The chattering stops when I’m catching up with friends over tea & cakes, when I’m rushing out a report, when I’m making dinner. But once they are done, the chatter starts again. And I’m not sure about you, but sometimes even in the midst of talking to friends, I catch my mind drifting – thinking about what time I have to feed my kittens, what’s the last bus or train to catch…
If all this sounds familiar, that’s because our human brain is wired to be like that, to respond to even the tiniest bit of drivel it comes in contact with. It’s no wonder we sometimes feel tired just from a hard day’s work in the office. All that thinking takes energy, and the mind needs R&R just as much as the body needs a spa session!
So I recently decided to download a meditation app. There are a few around, but the one I was drawn to is “Headspace“. Apart from the fact that there are cool cute images & quotes, I really liked the bite sized sessions, and the simple guided structure. You can use whatever app you like, or not at all; the lessons I learnt apply to all!
1. Don’t try to meditate when you’re tired. Or sleepy. I ended up falling asleep, and then feeling guilty that I didn’t actually meditate.
2. Make time for it in your daily schedule. Set aside 10-15 min, this can be anytime you want (seasoned practitioners say early mornings are best). When I simply said, ok I’ll do it tonight, it just got lost in the gazillion other things undone. But when I set it at 10.30pm, it was different immediately. It became my priority.
3. Set a timeline goal. Eg headspace offers a 10-day free trial. Pick a start date, and at the end of this, you can take stock. Was there any difference? How do you feel after each session?
4. Find a quiet comfortable space, where you won’t be interrupted. Diffuse your favourite smell, or light a candle. And remember to switch off the phone! It’s already hard enough to start, so you want to remove all distractions!
5. Don’t have expectations. If you haven’t ever meditated before, guided or otherwise, it’s not going to be easy. Cut yourself some slack. Remember that everything takes time, it’s like learning to ride a bike or swimming. Do it once, & the next time is easier.
6. And finally, learn to enjoy this time, the same way you enjoy a massage (not by falling asleep!). Your mind is like a kitten- with some training, it’ll stop jumping around and learn to bliss out eventually!
I love the brain. It’s an incredible thing. Throw in ‘consciousness’ and we have the even more complex mind. It’s our mothership, our source of everything. So go on! Make a date with yourself, let go & have fun… 🙃