Tag Archives: yoga

Week 44: Meditate

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In late January, my sister-in-law L sent me a link to Faith Hunter’s 30-day Meditation Challenge on DoYouYoga.com. Until then, I had no idea who Faith Hunter was (turns out she’s a famous yoga teacher). Also, I thought my capacity for meditation was two seconds. Still, I went ahead and signed up because I felt like taking life by the horns that day.

The challenge began on the first day of February. For each day of February and a couple days of March, I receive via email a video featuring Faith Hunter walking me through 10 minutes of meditation. In some, she asks me to stretch my arms way up while working on my breathing; in other videos, she makes me cross my hands over my heart, close my eyes, and tell myself all things positive. Every video is focused on a specific goal: to teach me how to think positively, to be courageous, to know my worth, etc.

I could have begun this challenge with a better mindset. For starters, I crammed three videos in one day. I wasn’t able to begin on the first day of February, only got around to it on the third day because of all the noisy things in my life. Faith Hunter must have known this would happen. The day-2 video was on breathing meditation for stress relief; day 3 was on calming the mind. Yes, she definitely knew people would be procrastinating and cramming her videos.

For the first few days, I just went through the motions. It was me following meditation instructions from a video. But then, I was so surprised to realize later on that meditating was making me calmer and more present in the moment. Sure, I was still disorganized and tended to get into strange situations–for instance, today, I hurriedly dressed in the dark to begin my day only to discover hours later, in broad daylight, that I’d put on a thin white dress over a bright pink bra with black polka dots. I spent the morning looking like Julia Roberts before she became Pretty Woman. But anyway, I digress.

Meditation has been helping me, and I’m so bowled over by this discovery. I used to dismiss meditating as a hack job to brainwash people. But the breathing exercises have taught me how to breathe properly so even if sometimes I have a hard time catching my breath, I can talk myself through it and eventually find my rhythm again. And the brainwashing part? I’ve found it’s not really so bad if it brainwashes me to be braver, to be more positive, to be more chill.

Throughout every day, I often need to go off by myself even if just for a few minutes, just to be silent and still. But a couple of weeks after I began meditating, I realized that those periods when I was alone were still full of noise. Sure, I was quiet, but I had my phone in my hand and would lurk in Facebook. Or I would reread Stephen King and fill my mind with so many words and terror. Or I would eat chips to escape being referee in a fight downstairs about who gets to use the newer badminton racket.

Meditating makes everything outside and inside me quiet. I’m learning how to exhale stress, frustration, and anger. I’m learning to be right here, right now. And somehow, I’m learning to deal with the fibro pain like Batman deals with his fear: embrace it. Meditation. What a gift.

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Tinatamad Na

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I knew it. After only two “tasks” (which weren’t really performed by myself but by a hairstylist and a tattoo artist – all I did was sit there and babble), Supertamad is once again feeling the tug of the couch. This blog is in danger of extinction due to gravity (by which my butt is being pulled down to the recesses of lethargy).

I’ve always had this tendency of starting things and not finishing them. Let me expound. I like things around me to be neat and tidy (but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they actually are). Once in a while, I become possessed, put all the clutter I can carry into boxes and donate them to the church or my mother, who was a scavenger in a past life. But through the years, it’s become more difficult to manage the clutter – there’s The Hub, whose desk in our house is not really a desk but a bodega; and there are The Hooligan and The T-Rex whose toys and “accessories” I find even in the cats’ food dish. At night, I look at the mountains of stuff closing in on me and I slowly hyperventilate myself into a fetal position while thumbsucking. The next day, you can bet I’d be up early, throwing useless stuff into bags for giving away. But with the mounds of clutter to sort, I soon get tired and lose my steam. When that happens, I just shove the stuff yet to be sorted into closets and other hiding places and then forget about them for the next month or so.

However, because this is a blog devoted to change, I will promise myself to finish it. I originally thought of eating balut for week 3 but just thinking about it made me vomit a little bit in my mouth. So let me see: dead chick, out; climbing a mountain, out for now since my deadline for week 3 is tomorrow; yoga, for week 4.

Hmmm. Let me get back to you tomorrow.