It has been nearly a year since I began this meditation journey. My life has definitely changed in the past year, some of it due to meditation, and in other ways in spite of it.
Growing up, I was a sports fanatic. I emphasize the word fanatic. As a life-long California Bay Area resident, I’ve always been a fan of the Golden State Warriors (yes, even before they won their NBA championship a couple years ago). I owned their merchandise and I would attend a few games each year. In fact, I was such a fan, that a few years ago, I even got the same exact tattoo as one of my favorite players. Yes, you heard that right. The same exact tattoo, in the same exact body part. Oh man, how I would slap myself if I could go back in time when that idea initially came into my head.
Nowadays, it doesn’t take much for me to sit and meditate. Once I decide I want to, I go and do it. It wasn’t always like that. When I first started meditating, it took a lot for me to decide on a time and actually follow through with it. Being able to sit for more than just a few minutes at a time was another problem I faced.
This is a continuation of Expectations Vs. Reality, Part 1.
I encourage you to read Part 1 before reading this entry. The second example I will write about in this Expectations Vs. Reality topic is concerning material things.
Sometimes our expectations don’t line up with reality. When that happens, we can be in for a rude awakening. Meditation and mindfulness has helped me curb that expectation to lessen the blow when reality doesn’t turn out the way I hoped.
To state it briefly, mindfulness is about being present. Being aware of what is happening and what you are feeling in the moment here and now. When you are taking a walk outside, what are you usually doing? Are you looking at the trees? Smelling the fresh air of flowers and grass? Or are you looking at your phone? Scrolling through facebook? Checking how many likes your latest instagram picture got? Browsing snapchat to see what everyone else is up to?
Zzz. Zzzz. Zzzz.
RING RING!! RING RING!!
Laying face down on my bed, my body lays motionless as I snooze the phone alarm with my left hand. It’s 6:07am. Snoozing my phone gives me an extra 8 minutes. I close my eyes again.
RING RING!! RING RING!!
This time I get myself up, grab the phone and shut off the alarm for good. One of the cats is at the foot of the bed sitting up, staring at me. I pet him on his furry blackish brown head; he happily lets out his patented purring. I stand up and head to the bathroom to wash up.
I walk back to the bedroom, get dressed and go to the kitchen as I make my way past the other cat resting on the three-story cat tree. As the coffee is brewing, I set myself up on the yoga mat to perform my daily stretching routine. It consists of several stretches, focusing on each part of my body one at a time. It takes about as long as for the coffee to be finished.
“If you are thinking too much about the past, and you are worrying too much about the future, then you are not living in the present. And in the present, that is all there is.”
A quote I read recently went something like that. I don’t know the exact wording, but the whole idea behind that statement has stuck with me. Ever since I’ve been meditating, I have had this new positive outlook on life. I do my best to stay in the moment; I do not worry about the past, and I do not worry about the future.