After the terrible events in Boston yesterday, my daughter was really upset before going to sleep. She had gone to bed, sneaked her iPad under the covers to look at stuff online and then read the news articles, watched disturbing video footage and came downstairs crying inconsolably at 11pm. She had got herself into such a state that she was even worried about going to school today. I was quite shocked.
When really young children have nightmares, it’s easy to console and comfort them, but when those nightmares are happening in the real world, and a teenager is asking questions and crying about the injustice, it’s much more testing, harder to reassure them and not the pleasantest of tasks to explain how things can happen for the worst. No matter what age you are though, a big cuddle goes a long way and I sat at her bedside watching over her as she went to sleep.
At 4am I was woken by rustling sounds outside which sounded like my bike was being stolen. I was immediately wide awake and alert with adrenaline. I listened intently to the noises, but heard none of the tell tale signs of a theft taking place; no footsteps, whispering cohorts or my gate creaking…what was it I wondered (you can sprinkle this with expletives as you wish). A few minutes later, as my thumping heart subsided, I got stuck into reading a novel to ease me back into the land of nod, it was then that I heard a cat meow loudly and rather happily. When I checked outside this morning, the remains of a chicken carcass was laid out on top the bin; obviously said cat had crept inside, had a good rummage and a scoffed a well-past midnight snack.
Harumph…not a great start to the week all round and needless to say, this morning was a bit of a haze. I was good for nothing, but I’m a girl on a mission, and I can’t bear to waste a day….
A few years ago, just before I started writing my blog, I went on a yoga retreat for a week. It was one of the biggest investments I’ve ever made in ‘mind, body and spirit’ and the benefits lasted for months. I think meditation may reap similar rewards but finding the time to do it has been the biggest barrier.
This morning, some super strength head clearing and revitalisation was needed; it was time to try put meditation to the test. I had two rather big challenges to overcome; not wanting to leave the house and join a meditation group and no spare cash to splash around.
This being the wonderful age of digital, I browsed Youtube for guided meditations and couldn’t believe how much crap there was out there. A couple of videos looked interesting and popular, but once I began watching, I started to
snigger uncontrollably giggle. This wasn’t going the way I’d planned, was I destined to remain in a spiritual wasteland I asked myself?
Swamped with an endless choice of gurus, I gave up on and did a more general search on google for ‘guided meditation’ and discovered the Chopra site. Deepak Chopra is the marmite of yoga and spiritualism, but I’ve always enjoyed reading his work so decided to give the guided meditation, which incidentally is free, a go.
I tried the Abundance audio and have to say it was well worth the search to find this jewel. It’s a mix of breathing and visualisation which has had a profound effect on me for the whole day. My breathing is improved, my shoulders and abdomen feel relaxed and flexible. Even better, I’ve been able to focus; that’s a pretty high return on the mere 10 minutes I invested in the process, this is definitely something to make time for on a daily basis and possibly explore in more depth.
There are lots of different meditation topics available on the web site and you can play the audio from your laptop or download it, so it’s really accessible, free and you don’t have to leave the house. 10/10.