This first 10 minutes went surprisingly fast. The first minute or two I was thinking, “My god, this is going to take for over.” About 40 seconds before my timer went off, I was finally in the swing of things, and deep in my breathing.
I had been encouraged by my “guide” to visualize my breath in anyway I wanted, so that I could see it come in my nose and out my mouth. My original vision was of a white scarf, which sparkled as if it was frozen. I used that a few times for quick practice runs, but as I got into my full 10 minutes this morning, the scarf started to feel like a towel and began to create the pseudo sensation of dragging through me and stuffing me up.
My mind wandered a lot as I started, mostly to the things I had to do today. Then something extraordinary happened. I began to visualize the scarf as a whole bunch of words circling through the air like a ribbon. These words, hundreds of them, represented all my thoughts and stresses, the things I was thinking about and the things I had to do. They weren’t words I could necessarily read, but they were letters strung together that left the obvious impression that they were words.
I told myself that there was no way I could address or accomplish all of those words. So, I started to breath them in by the hundreds and then breath them out in a single string, 10 and a time. I let my mind continue to breath them in, so that I could whittled them down even more as they came out. By the time there were five words coming out on my exhale, I had a clear sense of what was really pressing in my mind. I knew in a general sense what those words or feelings were.
I committed to break those five words down to three, and then to one. And right before my timer went off, I knew the one thing I absolutely needed to address and complete today, and all those other words, tasks, and feelings disappeared. If one did creep back, or a new one entered my word cloud, I simply “ate” it, telling it, “another time.” This was pretty incredible, as not only did I awake relaxed, I had clear purpose – where before I had stress about what I needed to do and how on earth I would get it all done (and perhaps a feeling that this 10 minutes might be better spent in front of my computer).
Now, I suspect my “guide” would not be terribly thrilled to hear that I turned my first meditation into a strategy for simplifying my to-do list, but at the very least it DID get me into, and, committed to my meditative space, and that is certainly worth celebrating.