Reverb16: Habit

(For the past six years, I’ve used Reverb10 prompts to give myself a question to answer every day of December. It’s a great way to reflect on the year and set goals for the future. I’ve kept my favorite prompts, added a few from other sources, and created my own month-and- a-bit of questions.)

Habit. What habit did you adopt this year that really made a positive impact on your life?

In the morning, before I get out of bed, I turn on the little meditation timer on my phone. I’ve got it set up for 10 minutes. It rings a gong every minute, to remind me to come back to my purpose:

Inhale for 4 counts. Pause. Exhale for 4 counts. Pause.

This has simultaneously been the best and hardest thing to do this year. You’d think that meditating in the morning would be easy. You aren’t even awake yet. How many thoughts could you have? Well, my brain snaps to attention as soon as that alarm goes off. It’s a struggle to sit, breathe, and focus on that breath.

Inhale for 4 counts. Pause. Exhale for 4 counts. Pause.

I am only assuming it’s had a positive impact. They say that meditation can bring your overall stress level down. Who knows. I can’t say yet. I’m terrible at this. It’s been months and I’m not even measurably better at staying focused. But – and this is the key – mediation isn’t about getting better to not having thoughts. It’s about noticing when you are running away with a thought and bringing your attention back to your purpose. I’ve had a lot of practice at that. When it comes to that I’m a meditation master!

Inhale for 4 counts. Pause. Exhale for 4 counts. Pause.

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