Christmas Presence Challenge

Meditation is a powerful tool that I’m just learning how to implement. Yes, it’s a TOOL, not TORTURE, like some people believe. Meditation is good for you. It helps you focus, relieve stress, calm yourself, relax, you know… all those things that will help bring more Serenity to your life! Except….
 
I’ve tried meditating on my own and have failed miserably!! I just couldn’t stay focused. With soooo many DISTRACTIONS (oh hello Facebook), constantly available ENTERTAINMENT and DIVERSIONS (every app on my phone), I have forgotten how to focus on a single task for any length of time. So, when I try to meditate I get bored and my mind drifts off and next thing I know, I’m planning dinner or stressing over how uncomfortable the floor is or my feet are cold or the refrigerator is making so much noise…. Does this sound familiar?
 
My purpose for learning to meditate is to retrain my brain to focus and it’s difficult because my brain won’t focus. Yikes!!
Years ago, I could stick my nose in a book and an elephant could walk through the room, the TV could be blaring, and my kids could be tearing around the house (which is way noisier than the other two things combined) and I would just keep on reading, oblivious to everything. Now, I have to be in a silent room with no distractions or I find I keep reading the same paragraph over and over and stopping often to check Facebook. I’ve lost my ability to focus even on the things I love, like my books or painting.
 
Since I’ve been creating challenges for myself lately and inviting people to join in I thought December would be a good time to give up Facebook so I could focus on everything I want to accomplish this month, but thanks to a friend’s comment, I realized it’s a bit too tough to give that up for the holiday season. Last month’s challenge was No-Alcohol-Vember (I’ll be writing a separate post on how THAT went…) and I’ve been racking my brain to come up with a December challenge. 
 
December is a difficult month to get through anyway, without any added challenges, so I considered skipping it and focusing on just surviving the season and planning for 2016. Then, early this morning, while doing my SECOND DAY IN A ROW of Meditation (yay me), it came to me! Meditate!!
 
So here’s the challenge:  5 to 10 minutes of daily meditation!!
Because why?? Because, like I said above:  Meditation helps you focus, relieve stress, calm yourself, relax, you know… all those things that will help bring more Serenity to your life! So….
 
Let’s get through December festivities, the nasty weather, the extra expenses, and all the good times and bad with a little bit of MEDITATION!!
If it’s so hard to focus, how are we going to DO IT? Well, I appreciate guided meditations for this purpose. These are recordings that feature someone talking you through them and telling you what to think or say to yourself or to visualize. I’ve heard some good ones and I will do my first seven days using Marie Forleo’s 10 minute meditation, which is really great for beginners, then possibly move on to something different just to change things up or even ADD TIME TO MY MEDITATION!!!     WHAT?? I know… crazy, right?
In Marie’s meditation, she uses the mantra So Hum Namah (which apparently means “turning back to my true self”). I think it’s easier to repeat a mantra than to try to clear your mind of all thought. Just focus on your breathing and say to yourself So Hum Namah. You could even just play your own calming music, set a timer and say your own mantra if you’d like.
Are you with me??  Do me a favor and just try it for a few days and see how it goes? It’s new to me too, and if you have any trouble or you have questions, just ask me in the comments below, and we’ll figure it out together.
May you find Peace (and Presence),
Sheila
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