Most people celebrate the coming and going of the new year on Dec.31st. I’ve never really gotten in to it, though I’ve tried. It just doesn’t click for me. This year I decided to stop worrying that other people might think I’m a card carrying Wiccan cavorting naked in the woods, because I really want to say goodby to last year and hello to this one at the winter solstice. (By the way, if you are a Wiccan or anything else, and want to dance in your birthday suit to celebrate national Ice Cream Day, I say go for it.)
It’s just that a new cycle of going around the sun makes sense to me. It just does…so there.
I don’t know if Dec.21, 2012 was different because the alternately dire and ecstatic Mayan prophesies made me pay extra attention, or if I’m just getting so much better at telling myself the truth, but I finally went with it.
So in lieu of New Year’s Resolutions (something I know works for a lot of people but not for me) I made a list of things that bring brightness to my life. On that list are also things I hope will bring more spark but I haven’t tried them yet, things I want to make sure I do more regularly, or stuff I want to make sure I do at all.
First on the list – meditate.
Just in case you’ve been living under a rock, there’s been a good deal of research lately, scientific, anecdotal, and non-traditional, about the benefits of meditation. Skip the next paragraph if you already know the effects of a meditation practice.
Meditation and other mindfulness practices help relieve chronic pain, bring greater levels of calm, and enhance clarity and focus. Meditation also lowers blood pressure and enhances the immune system. Meditators report greater connection to an inner sense of knowing, and can experience connection to a larger consciousness and a widening capacity for compassion. Overtime too, they notice composure to act in considered and constructive ways and a more stable and balanced personality.
Not news to me either.
Yet, I hadn’t been able to sit and meditate since I first heard about it from Remember, Be Here Now in 1972 (yes, I’m that old).
So after, many many years of yoga asana, cranio-sacral sessions, and Focusing, I decided to start small. That’s the advice I give to clients and I took it.
Two minutes of sitting quietly. Once a week. Then three minutes. Twice a week. Soon at five minutes, I noticed that I wanted to do it more. I actually looked forward to it. Surprise!
That brings me to 100 Breaths 100 Days.
I have made a commitment to myself (and now you’re a witness) to meditate daily, sitting for 100 breaths for 100 days.
Want to join me in 100 Breaths 100 Days? I’ll be writing about my experiences on Meditation Monday, every – er – Monday! You can tell me about yours, or hang out and observe.
Talk to me…Tell me about a practice that matters to you or about something you want to make sure to include on your list of sparks. Do you have a list? What do you call it?
* at the Daum Museum of Contemporary Art