The Art of Meditation

A year ago today if you had asked me my thoughts on meditation I probably would have had zero thoughts. I have never considered meditation as a form of therapy or wellbeing. It was something that hippies and monks did, right? 

So wrong. I have been learning more and more about meditation through my yoga practice but also aside. The benefits are HUGE. Some claim it can even cure illnesses. It decreases stress, relieves anxiety, and promotes mindfulness which our society generally lacks. 

But how does one meditate? What is the goal? What is the technique? That’s the beautiful thing about meditation. It depends on the individual. So I wanted to talk about what meditation is to me and how I meditate. 

First of all, I don’t sit crossed legged with my spine straight and my eyes closed. I can.. But after about 5 minutes I get achey and uncomfortable and can’t focus on anything but my legs falling asleep or my bag starting to sag. So I lie down. It’s my jam. I get a little blanket too. I pretty much prepare for a nap. 

Then I just close my eyes and listen. I listen to all the external noise around me. Biggie eating my couch, dogs barking, birds and wind and everything that’s going on outside me. I take note of all these sounds and make a mental list, then I literally visualize me taking this list and putting it off to the side of my head. Then I start to tune into the internal blabber of my own voice. 

This is where I find meditation challenging. The art of listening to your own internal dialogue as a bystander. Letting yourself think of whatever you’re thinking, acknowledging the thought, and letting it move on. Sometimes my inner voice is so loud and so busy it’s draining. Other days it’s like a calm Sunday in Fruitvale. There’s an occasional thought, then just the awareness of my breath. 

Which leads to the best part. Focusing on your breath. Listening to your inhale and taking note how it makes your belly and your chest rise, then observing how your body falls when you exhale. I listen and note the quality of my breath and see if there’s a way to take bigger breaths. Sometimes this is my meditation and after 10 minutes of that, I’m zen as fuck. 

Other days, when my thoughts are running fucking rampant, I focus on my breath, get distracted by thought, and as soon as I let that thought go I focus on the “space” that follows that thought’s exit. That nothingness. The key is to not judge your thoughts. For example, if I am distracted by what I’m going to eat for dinner, I simply say “this can wait, later thought” and as soon as it leaves, I’m left with this blank space. But I can’t think “oh here’s a blank space” because then it’s another thought and I’m back to saying “ok good job but let’s not think about the blank space”. So it’s that fine balance of just being present and knowing there’s space without saying it or thinking it. Just knowing. From like a deep part in your mind and body. The space doesn’t have to be long or stretched out. That doesn’t give it quality. The more I practice the longer I can make these blank spaces go for longer though and THAT is what I’m working on. 

So after I meditate, I feel present. I don’t worry about the rest of my day or what happened previously in the day or week or in my life. I just get this chill “AH-HA” moment where everything just seems perfect how it is. I become mesmerized by simple things and I just feel so fucking happy it would make a goth kid puke. 

So that’s how I meditate. That’s why I meditate. I don’t know if I’m doing it right or wrong and I don’t give a shit. If I could live in that present state for the rest of my life I think my world would change so that’s what I’m working for! 

How do other people meditate? Let me know! I want to eat up all the information I can. 

BAIIII ✌🏻️

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3 Daily Practices I’ve Adopted

I’ve been making a lot of self discoveries lately. Maybe because I’m turning 30 this year and I’ve been reflecting on where the fuck I’m going to go from here. Maybe because I’ve just figured out how to slow things down. I don’t know. But things have started changing and I’ve made a very mental and physical attempt to find spontaneity within my routine. I have been listening to a lot of quiet places and a lot of loud places and have felt this overwhelming need to make more space in my head for all these new sensations and ideas. I have been picking little.. rituals? I guess you can call them rituals. Little things from a lot of different places that just resonate with me. And I’ve been practicing them every day and I think I’m becoming a way happier person than I ever imagined possible. I thought I’d share just a few of them.

Wake up and be still in the morning.

I found myself in this habit of rolling over and grabbing my phone and slipping into the land of social media. I’d lie in bed for at least half an hour just scrolling through shit and all of this, whether I was aware of it or not, was dictating how I felt all day. Most the time, it was shitty or guilty. Shitty that I went another day without hitting the gym and how beautiful my idols looked on IG. Guilty that I ate a burger when I saw pictures of beautiful salads and vegan shit. Lonely when I saw pictures of my friends far away having a fucking blast without me. It really started to take a toll on me. So I’ve made an effort to wake up, roll out of bed, put the kettle on, let the puppy out and then I just sit with my tea. Sometimes I do some yoga. Sometimes I just sit and enjoy the silence. I wait until I’ve worked out and eaten before I look at my phone and am finding I am way more motivated and ambitious. 

Drink hot lemon tea.

It’s my jam. I’m borderline obsessed. Supposedly it gets your poop machine rolling and is good for all your physiological systems. It wakes me up and gives me a possibly false feeling of being healthy. Maybe it does nothing? I don’t know. Just do it.

The grass is fine right where you are.

This is sort of ironic because I literally live in a gravel pit with no grass. But I am consciously making an effort not to set myself up in the following way: IF I do this, THEN I will be happy/satisfied. Things are pretty damn awesome right this moment. It’s great to have goals and plans for the future. I really want to get my yoga business running and have plans on how I’m going to get to that point. But I am also really fucking happy right this moment. I have food, shelter, and so much fucking love it’s grosssss. Some people don’t have any of that. So instead of making lists and formulas of ways to get to the greener grass so that I can be happy, I make lists of things that I already have accomplished and stare at that for a while. Good work, Colleen. You fucking rule. Yes I would be happy to lose a few pounds. Make a million dollars. But a bunch of new clothes. But my gut keeps me warm. I’ve got all that I need. And if I wanted more outfit choices, I could just lose a few pounds and then all my old clothes would fit again. So I have everything I need right now. Except literal grass.  

 
Anywho, as I am writing this we have contractors installing beautiful cork floors in the studio. I might explode with joy. I will post pics once they are done but here are some befores:

   
   
I am going to go get some sun on my see through ass and drink some rosé. 🙏🏻💋🕶🍷🌮💁ૐ

On the third day, it snowed

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NOW I am ready to bunker down and never leave my big beautiful house. FOR 3 MONTHS. It is ungodly beautiful here. I will admit, it was a struggle living in Karlin’s parents basement this summer while we built the house. A REAL struggle. Like I had a few triple Ativan days that I am not proud of. And I wasn’t sure how the rest of my life was going to play out because all I knew was big cities and busy lives. But now that we are in our own house, I think I could really get used to the small town living. I will ALWAYS miss my friends and it sucks I don’t get to see my only niece grow up every week. But one day I will have my own family and that will occupy my time. Fuck do I not look forward to that day when I decide to get pregnant. Poor Karlin. I predict pregnancy being very hard on me, considering I can pretty much feel an advil dissolve and disperse through my veins. Any sort of hormonal change shocks my body. Poor KARLIN again. I was working out in the basement this morning and was blasting music. Karlin came downstairs and came around the corner and scared me (like just surprised me, he wasn’t trying to scare me) and I felt absolute rage course through me. Because he scared me. By accident. I had to remind myself that feeling that amount of rage for that reason was not a normal reaction and that it was probably because I am expecting my period next week. SIDE RANT: I hate women that make pet names for their period or say things like ‘preggers’. Grow the fuck up. You didn’t get “preggers” because a man stuck his peeper in your woohoo. Call them what they are you losers. Cocks and cunts. Fuck. END OF SIDE RANT. Anyways, Poor Karlin! I’m glad he accepts and understands that when I am being crazy, it is not personal.

Oh ya. So I finished my 21 Day Meditation Challenge today. Have to admit, I’m not really sure if I gained anything from it. It was more of an experiment. There were maybe 4 days that I felt like it taught me something and I will say that I have a more positive outlook on certain parts of my life though. Mainly that positive attitudes attract positive results. SO la dee da. Challenge complete. Will I continue to meditate? Maybe once or twice a week. But probably not every day. Will I pay Oprah and Deepak Chopra money to have them recite guided meditations for me? Fuck nooooo.

Namaste!