Skip to content

Next Stop Wonderland

nantucket

My favorite off the beaten path discovery with Ryan in Nantucket.

I’ve been known to moan and groan about taking the long way or driving aimless – something my husband loves to do. Without fail, a five-hour drive always takes us 7-8 hours. That’s a lot of time to smell the roses. Sometimes I have to be forced to see and experience this kind of beauty or peace. But 9 times out of 10, we often discover a hidden gem that was totally worth the ride and I am proven wrong yet again. It’s usually something small like a new breakfast place or a great cup of coffee at a roadside farmer’s market.  For me, these experiences are like remembering to breathe – an act that many of us really don’t do. Sure, we are “breathing” and living, but too many of us fail to consciously take a deep, mindful, and memorable breath. But when I do remember to breathe, I start to become aware and really start to take it all in.

Two and a half years ago, after a really devastating personal loss, I took up mindfulness meditation. And I didn’t start small. I actually enrolled in a transformative program – the Penn Program for Mindfulness. This eight-week course was a life changing experience for me. It taught me that the endless play of thoughts in my head were just that – thoughts. The only power they truly had been the power I gave to them. And guess what? I could just choose to ignore them too. When my head fills with these thoughts, I start to focus on the heart and listen to it. While my head may lead my astray, my heart rarely does.

So I started to do just that. Are they still bigger than me sometimes? Do I still get taken down by these thoughts and anxieties in moments of weakness? Yes, but at least now I have the tools to deal with them. I take a step back and do my “three breaths” – probably the most useful tool from the course. We don’t always have time to pull out a meditation pillow and sit for 20-30 minutes especially if we are at work. But we do have time to close our eyes and take three long, hard, deep breaths. You can do those once a day or 10 times a day. It’s like a little battery recharge.  It changes my perspective every single time.

Mindfulness has taught me to appreciate taking the long way home or finding joy in a few spontaneous excursions. Believe me, I still whine and complain over some of them, but I’m learning to see many in a new light. Most importantly, I am remembering to breathe.

My Favorite Books on Meditation & Mindfulness

I’ve read a lot of self-help books over the years and very few had a lasting impact. For some reason, these did – and still do.

And if you are looking to explore meditation for the first time (or the fifth!), the Oprah/Deepak Chopra 21-day Challenge is an excellent way to start and it starts tomorrow. No time like the present (a little mindfulness humor…)!  

 

Advertisements
2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Michelle #

    Love this!!! I’ve started doing Abraham Hicks guided breath” meditations for that very reason.

    November 10, 2013
  2. Erin Goff #

    So many good points here. I need to get into meditating again – starting tomorrow!

    November 10, 2013

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: