Do you ever feel stressed out, frustrated and generally annoyed at everyone and everything around you?
I certainly do and I’m quite sure that I’m not the only one who feels like that from time to time but is there a way to avoid feeling that or to somehow turn your feelings around?
Well…I do believe that meditation is the answer. The only thing is that it’s not as easy as it sounds and requires a fair bit of work to get it right.
I went into it with my eyes closed – no pun intended – and thought that all you had to was sit quietly, clear your mind of all thoughts and then 15 minutes later everything would be fine again. Have you ever tried to clear your mind of all thoughts? The minute I start concentrating on clearing all thoughts from my mind, every thought I’ve ever had starts crowding in to my head, all clamouring for attention. I realised what Jim Carrey in Bruce Almighty must have gone through when he began to hear everyone’s prayers. I suppose it’s a bit like telling someone they must not, under any circumstances, think about a pink elephant. Of course, as soon as someone mentions a pink elephant you have no choice other than to think about it.
Also, finding a quiet space where you won’t be disturbed isn’t easy. Our house has a lot of rooms in it and you would think it should be easy to find somewhere quiet but it’s not as simple as that. It’s almost impossible not to hear the phone ringing and equally as difficult to ignore it. As soon as it stops more thoughts start crowding into my head. What if it was an emergency?? Who could it have been? Was it someone wanting me for a singing job? Will they phone back? Did they leave a message? Then, inevitably, the dogs start barking. Believe me, 2 large German Shepherds can make a lot of noise when they put their minds to it. There’s a track running through the woods at the back of the house and it’s very popular with dog walkers. The dogs lie watching at the patio doors, waiting patiently for dogs to go past. When dogs do go past it’s an excuse for them to burst into a barking frenzy which only lasts a few seconds however, it does happen several times a day and there’s no knowing when people will go past. Apart from all that living in the middle of an old wood is pretty noisy in itself. Wind blows through the trees, hundreds of birds sing all day, pheasants screech, cows bellow in the distance – I’m not complaining about it as I love it but it isn’t the quietest place in the world.
But, I’m determined to do this and I’m sure, with a little bit of practice, it will get easier to shut things out and focus on only one thing. On the occasions that I have managed to do it, even just for a few minutes, I can feel the benefits. Apparently, of all the people who try mediation, only a tiny percentage of them stick with it long term. Like everything, you have to persevere and as they say, you have to do something 21 times for it to become a habit.
This year I intend to concentrate on doing things for me. I am going to make sure that I set aside time to do the things that will help me grow into a better, more focussed, contented person but not only that – 2012 is the year I am going to do things that make me happy and not just do things because I think it’s what will make other people happy.
Right! The dogs are quiet. The wind has stopped blowing. Maybe this time…
Until the next time,