Friday, June 29, 2012

Relaxation & Meditation

It's been awhile since I've posted anything about the Finding Joy / Happiness Project. Truth be told, I've not be doing much (save making the daily goals charts for myself and Ian, which we will start tomorrow). I have some books from the library to go through, but everything has been on hold.

No longer.

I have been thinking about meditation recently, especially because I feel anxious so much of the time. I grew up in an evangelical Christian household, where the word 'meditation' was unfamiliar, and the practice, not exactly acceptable. Too New Age, too cult.

That said, it's taken a little bit of mental adjustment to see meditation as something that could be beneficial to me. And what is meditation, really, besides the quieting of the mind and relaxing of the body?

I did two things today:
  1. I downloaded three mp3 tracks from amazon.com for guided relaxation; they all have the same vocal instructions, but one has no background noise, one has waves, and one has some zen music. 
  2. I ordered Beginning Mindfulness: Learning the Way of Awareness by Andrew Weiss. This book is a ten-week instructional on how to increase mindfulness and learn to meditate. I also picked up a copy from our local library, because I'm terrible at waiting for things I'm really excited about.
I just finished a twenty-minute segment of the guided relaxation/meditation, and it felt amazing. Have you taken a yoga course? If not, I'll let you in on a secret: at the end of any decent yoga class, there is this magical time where the lights are dimmed, you recline on your mat, and you relax your entire body. The instructor has you close your eyes, and verbally works through different muscle groups in your body, helping you to completely relax. You feel like butter.

This track was twenty minutes of this, and I feel a little blissful afterwards.... if feeling like butter is blissful (it is). I was so relaxed, I lost my bladder control! (This didn't actually happen).

Ian has agreed to do the ten-week awareness project with me, and I'm trying to talk someone else into doing it with us. Want to join? Order the book, and let me know you're interested. I'll be blogging as we go and it would be nice to get a discussion going.