At last week’s sack lunch mini-retreat a couple of the women in attendance talked about their desire to meditate. It was something they had been curious about. The desire was strong. The commitment not yet a priority. We had spent part of our time together discussing values and priorities. At the end of the retreat inspiration had entered in and there was motivation to make meditation a priority in a couple the women’s lives.
Back in the 1990’s I was curious about my own non-existent meditation practice. My curiosity was strong, while my commitment weak. I thought about it. I made excuses as to why I didn’t have time. I thought about it some more. I met people in my life who would increase my inspiration, fuel my interest and provide tools for me to begin. After at least a decade of thinking about it, I finally got sick and tired of thinking about it. One morning lying in bed, I thought, When will I ever have time to meditate? The answer was obvious. Now. Instead of beginning each morning wide awake thinking about nothing and everything as I lay there tossing and turning I could use this time to do the thing I have been thinking about doing.
I got up and left my husband sleeping. I sat down on the living room couch. I closed my eyes. Then I open them. I looked around. I got up out of my seat. I thought about meditating some more as I made a cup of tea. The next morning I set the kitchen timer for five minutes and sat down on the living room couch. I closed my eyes. I thought about opening them. Before I knew it I got up off the couch to check the kitchen timer. Four minutes and thirty three more seconds left in my five minute meditation. My armpits dripped and my hands grew hot as I adjusted the time on the oven timer. One minute. Go. I can do this. I went back to the couch. I sat. I closed my eyes. I noticed I was holding my breath. I exhaled. My only focus, my breath. In. Out. In. Out. My shoulders dropped, I allowed myself to relax. When my mind wandered to what I would make for dinner, the email I needed to send, how much time was left on the timer, I came back to my breath. In. Out.
Wow, that minute went fast. I stayed with one minute for weeks. I showed up daily. No judgment on the length of time. Soon I was ready for three minutes. Then five. This is how I started my meditation practice close to a decade ago. Baby steps. A timer. My breath. One minute. Then a few more. Then twenty. Then thirty.
I had to think about meditation long enough until that no longer served me and then my only choice was to sit my but down and begin. And like the retreat attendees I had to decide if I was going to keep thinking about it or make it a priority. When I discovered a more peaceful me inside, a more focused and aware woman, it was clear that meditation must be my priority.
Happy to say I have heard back from those two women at the retreat and they too have began with their one minute. What about you? Have you been thinking about beginning your meditation practice? I invite you to toss out perfection. Stop waiting for the house to be clean or the room to be quiet. Go within and create your clean and peaceful place within. And give yourself permission to begin slowly with 60 seconds. Your soul will thank you.
Hello! I’m Jenny Gwinn McGlothern, Certified Transformational Master Coach for your Life and Spirit. I have been leading retreats for women and coaching them since 2009. One of my favorite ways to fill my own cup is by writing. May my weekly blog give you a sip to reflect, a nugget to chew, a thought to refill. If it is an accountability partner you seek, I offer life and spiritual coaching for women, men, teenagers, and couples, in person in Seattle and by phone. 2017 Mini-retreats in West Seattle 9:30 – 2 pm. Next one, September 15 (3 seats left). Limited availability, register early. email@example.com or 206 255 0463.