A bad meditation I had once
I was trying to meditate and it wasn’t going well. I kept thinking of unfinished business. Mostly it was things that I was behind on. They weren’t just “on” my (very unreliable) mental to do list, they were late. An ETSY order that was 3 days old. (unacceptable) A resume I said I'd send within 2 days, and it had been 5. (I didn't really want to get a job anyhow, but it sounded like a rad place to work so I figured why not send one in, but my heart wasn't in it.)
So not only were these things stressing me out, but I feared that when I was done meditating, I’d forget all of them. They weren't written down anywhere.
I got out a pencil and a piece of paper. Every time one of these things came up, I opened my eyes, picked up the pencil, leaned over, wrote it down, then returned the pencil to the floor, sat upright and reclosed my eyes. I eventually got to a quieter place in my meditation. When I was done, I felt better, and I had my agenda, my to do list for the day, all set to go! I numbered them in order of importance and was able to get to work.
Meditation is supposed to help me feel better. Clear my head of the clouds. I’m supposed to listen, actually, to the things that come up. The best thing any teacher ever told me is to let the thoughts come. Actually, she kind of made fun of people who were “thought swatters”! LOL! That made such an impression on me! Let the thoughts come she said, then, try to step back and notice them. Consider that that thought has something to teach me. That irritation came up for a reason. and I might benefit from looking at it and say, “well, that’s interesting. Let’s work on that. Why do i feel so irritated by that person? Is ti really them? Is there something I can shift aout me that will make them less irritating?” (Cuz let’s face it. Those people are always going to be there, so, figure out how to let them go with more and more ease and detachment will be helpful. Right?!)
So I listened. These were things that were stressing me out and rather than suppressing thoughts about them, on this day, it helped me to put them on paper, so that they wouldn’t be lost, so that they’d be somewhere I could find them once I was done meditating, I don’t want to stop thinking and feeling about them. But after writing them down, the stress of losing them was gone. I needed a break and I need help getting organized, and because I let myself “break meditation,” and write them down, my imperfect “meditation” DID help me! Hell yeah!
Mindfulness means something different every day. Let it morph and change. Sit to meditate, but then use that time to pay attention to the thoughts that come up and work with them. Or don’t. Some days I might just notice. Tomorrow I may come up with a new experiment.