How 10 days of meditating changed me. Am I an expert already?

Five days after our little guy was born. Don't worry safety patrol, the big guy is not actually asleep, just wishing he was. The baby? Yeah, the baby is asleep. 

Five days after our little guy was born. Don't worry safety patrol, the big guy is not actually asleep, just wishing he was. The baby? Yeah, the baby is asleep. 

Ten days of meditating. There is no way that I would have woken up on my own this morning to "do" meditation even with my alarm dinging that it was time to "get some Headspace". I love sleeping and ever since husband convinced me to buy the worlds best mattress, I love sleeping even more. You want to talk about self care? You need a new mattress. 

So by now maybe you know I don't wake up gently and beautifully from bed. Having a child that doesn't sleep through the night makes it really hard to set a morning routine, which is what is recommended when starting a new practice. It's recommended that you pick the same time of day every day and intentionally make that the time you do this new habit (can be any habit you want!).  But today my sweet sweet siren of a 10 month old woke me up around 5. My four year old describes his brother's cries as "really loud" and "like a fire truck" and I kind of agree. So after a quick rock in the rocking chair and a little Wubanub time, he is back to sleep and I had to conquer the ultimate challenge- meditating instead of getting back into bed. 

I had to walk past my bed to get outside- the place I had decided to meditate. My cool, crisp sheets and memory foam pillow didn't want me to meditate. But I made it, and feel like a hero. Here is my meditating spot:

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Not too bad for someone who lives in downtown Philadelphia. Sure, I can hear my neighbors taking out their trash and for a whole minute couldn't get the image of a squirrel jumping off the power lines onto my head. I also was convinced that if I meditated I would fall asleep. 

Headspace is an ap that I downloaded to help me get used to meditating. It guides me through the practice each day and I am starting from the absolute beginners section where it's 3 minutes a day right now of making the time, sitting still and not doing dishes. The man's voice who is narrating Headspace is Andy Puddicombe. He is a Buddhist Monk, a Ted Talker and obviously most importantly, has a great accent. 

Meditation makes more sense to me than my other ideas because I'm tired of doing things and staying busy as a way to make me feel better about Mom being sick and Dad being gone. My therapist walked me through the process loop that frequently happens in my head. Here's what it looks like:

“How do you feel after you haven’t seen your Mom in a while?
I feel guilty. 
So what do you do to stop feeling guilty? 
I go over Mom’s house, or call her. 
Do you feel better afterwards? 
So why do you do it? 
Because I hate feeling guilty. ”


Isn't it so annoying when your counselor is so freaking right? She then asked me what it would take for me to just sit with the feeling of feeling guilty, instead of trying to constantly fix it or do something to make it go away. So I've been meditating, trying to "sit with" those feelings and after 10 days of it, I can honestly say it's helping. At the very least it's making me think about what I'm doing to take care of myself. When I was feeling crappy before I would often try and eat something delicious, or watch terrible TV. Meditation isn't the answer all the time. But I really appreciate adding it as an option. 

Patricia Cruz