Meditation always felt like a chore to me. Maybe it had something to do with waking at 5:30am and aiming to leave the house by 6:40 for work. Maybe it had something to do with not enough sleep. Maybe it was the cold winter. Maybe it was fear.
What I found helped was lying down on my back, lighting a small votive candle (scented… an extra treat), covering myself with a nice fleece blanket, setting a timer on my iPhone or a separate timer, and adjusting the time to a smaller amount if I was running late. I was aiming for 20 minutes a morning, but sometimes only did 5 or 1. Hey, it was something!
Lying down helped tremendously, and I did not find that I fell asleep, even with being a little groggy. However, the meditation sessions felt a little sudden and abrupt, and still like a chore.
That is, until I found Headspace. My friend recommended this app to me last summer, but I never downloaded it or tried it until this spring.
I downloaded the free version (“Take 10”) and what I discovered right off the bat was that this guided (mindfulness-based, secular) meditation brought me to a deep state of peace and well-being that I had previously only associated with or come in contact with during my meditation sessions at Ananda Ashram (the local yoga and meditation center I frequent). It was like I had discovered a new key to unlocking my depths that did not entail driving twenty minutes, parking, coordinating my schedule so I could be there for their 9am or 7:30pm group sessions. It was readily available to me. I ploughed right through all ten days (ten minutes each).
When the time came to decide whether or not to purchase (about $90 for the year), I pondered it for about three days, discussed with a friend, and came to the rather easy decision that this was too good to be true. And too useful to pass up. (Plus they offered a small incentive if I purchased within the week after completing the “Take Ten” - smart marketing.)
I completed a fifteen-days-in-a-row streak and got this sweet email from Headspace congratulating me and offering me a “Get Some/Give Some” incentive. The email included a gift code to share with a friend to give them one month’s free access.
I love the well-thought-out curriculum, the way they seem to run their business, the reasonable price. The guidance starts at the beginning, very basic, and builds on prior knowledge and experience. I’m currently in the “Stress Pack” and love the visualization of liquid sunlight pouring in through the crown of my head, filling up my toes and the rest of my body. Try it!
If you’re interested in trying Headspace, please let me know and I’ll share the gift code with you! Private message me on Facebook or send an email. Then friend me on the app and we can “nudge” each other on to peaceful awareness. Om shantih!