Will a Month of Meditation Help You Find Your Zen?
Posted June 19, 2017 by Prairie Wife -
I’m the first to admit that I hardly ever have true balance in my life.
Can I hang in there and make it through most days successfully and with a pleasant attitude?
Yes I’d say generally I can.
But do I accomplish this gracefully, calmly, and in the most effective way possible?
No, no I don’t.
Earlier this I year I met a gentleman named Joe Somodi. It was one of those strange but wonderful random occurrences (at a local pizza place no less) that led to something that I never expected…me signing up for a month long meditation class.
Joe Somodi is a certified yoga teacher, life coach and reiki practitioner and the founder of 20/20yoga.com. When I met him it was obvious that not only was this man fit but, his overall vibe was welcoming, strong, and calm at the same time…and I was instantly drawn to him because of it.
Those of you that have met me know that while you can certinaly say my vibe is welcoming, it’s far from calm. My bounce around, can do attitude, can sometimes come across as unorganized and unitellegnet and when I’m nervous I just can’t keep my mouth shut.
I love the feeling that Yoga gives me physically. As I’ve grown in my practice I’ve seen that the breathing techniques that go along with it bring me a sense of peace that can last for days. I began wondering if meditation could offer me that same sense of zen?
So, when I had a free moment this April I headed over to 20/20yoga.com and did a little looking (and tried one of the free meditations), and eventually decided to give the month long Impact Challenge a try.
Here’s how it went.
First Joe and communicated through email I explained what I hoped to gain from meditation (more balance and focus in my life as well as learning to listen to/trust my intuition more) and he responded with a focused email that expressed how he felt the challenge would help me and realistically what I could expect.
Week 1: Show up 4/7 days and make a practicing a consistent part of your day
How it went: Ha…first finding a consistent time was a total bust. Then, trying to get through it without my phone going off was impossible. So, I embraced that I simply couldn’t meditate the same time every day and focused on getting it done all 4 days. I also turned my phone completely off. I could tell I was coming close to finding my zen during the meditations but was left feeling something was missing.
Week 1 Wisdom from Joe: Do your best, and let your best be good enough.
Week 2: Show up 5/7 days and find your optimal seat (location to meditate AND posture).
How it went: I realized it was crazy that I couldn’t find 10 minutes (that’s how long the meditations are) to focus on my mental health…yet still only managed to meditate 3/7 days. As I reflected on the week I focused on how much time I was wasting on other little things (can we say social media) when I could be getting my meditation done. I also found two good spots for me to meditate in the house that were quiet and comfortable. This week I really felt the breathing techniques click and was beginning to feel my body and mind relax into them.
Week 2 Wisdom from Joe: The moment you decided to let other people support you on this journey the easier it will be.
Week 3: Show up 6/7 days and adorn your space with special objects and images.
How it went: I followed Joe’s advice and talked to The Cowboy about what I was trying to do, and how I felt after I completed the meditations (more focused). His support definitely helped me to feel less guilty about slipping away and made this the best week yet with 5/7 days! I’m learning to move deeper into the breathing and starting to focus on “perfecting” it like unclenching my jaw and keeping be back straight the whole time. I started doing Yoga again at home to help keep my focused Zen feeling lasting longer, and the time spent reflecting on my experiences has helped me to see where I am I struggling and what I’m succeeding at.
Week 3 Wisdom from Joe: Meditation (and the inward reflection it brings) often results in a “truth-call” and can help lead you to a fuller happier life.
Week 4: Show up 7/7 days (or set a goal that realistic for you) and find your WHY to motivate you to practice beyond this month.
How it went: Epical fail…sick kids, busy week at work, and an injured Prairie Wife meant I only meditated 2/7 days. But…I could tell my mind was missing my meditation time and when I felt stressed, I took a few moments to close my eyes and do a few of the breathing exercises. It helped me keep focused and moving forward.
Week 4 Wisdom from Joe: You need to know it’s called “practice” for a reason. Learn the value of the practice and while you can sense some changes early on, it’s an ongoing process that will allow you to keep developing and learning more about you and your mind as you delve deeper. It takes a while to commit to the practice, it isn’t normal for anyone to pick up a practice and effortlessly make it a habit.
So after all that…did a month of meditation help me find my Zen?
Yes, but it also did SO much more!
I loved doing this meditation challenge for the peace it offered me as I meditated and the moments spent utterly peaceful when I found the breathing zone (there is that Zen I was looking for). Unexpectedly, it helped me to see that I need to work way more than I thought on getting my balance back in my life. I knew it was off when I started this, and even communicated that to Joe in my emails but, what an eye opener that I can’t consistently find 10 minutes to dedicate to doing something that not only is good for me but, that I truly enjoy!
As far as the program itself, it’s incredibly well designed. The mediations and weekly intro show up right on schedule in your email. Joe’s intro to each weekly meditation is helpful, and the length of the meditations is perfect. There is just the right balance of communication. His emails were helpful and supportive but didn’t put pressure on me that could have turned it into a guilt fest (though I did a pretty good job of that all on my own). Joe’s clear answers to my questions and ability to explain how things should be done without sounding scolding is definitely a wonderful balance and helped me to feel successful and empowered.
Do you think meditation would help you?