Do you have trouble getting yourself out of bed in the mornings? Does your body feel heavy, tired, or even a little tinge of sadness or confusion inside? You know you need to get out of bed, but you’ve just hit a rut in your life, and you’re not excited for the day.
This has been one of those weeks where I just don’t want to roll out of bed, and I’ve been feeling tired and drained in my body (hate that).
I could easily fall into a depressed state, but that’s not my style. If something’s bringing me down, I know I need to snap out of it. Sometimes I listen to a motivational audiobook, or I might watch a TED talk. But, this morning, It was clear to me that I needed to devote time to sitting meditation, and make it a regular part of my practice.
It wasn’t until I went to a Vipassana meditation retreat in Twentynine Palms where I realized the effects of sitting meditation.
When you’re moving in your asana practice, at least you can move through the emotions. Every asana is different, so you’re creating new energy and feelings with each movement and breath. In sitting meditation, you have to sit with everything that comes up, and wait for it to float away. It can be extremely excruciating, incredibly joyful, or totally neutral. You never know what to expect, and you have no choice but to deal with it.
I went into my yoga room, and set the alarm for 20 minutes. At the retreat we meditated for 12 hours and 45 minutes each day! No, I am not making that up. And, did I mention it was a silent 10 day retreat? All of my friends freaked out when I told them about the silent part, but it was actually the easiest part of the process.
As I was scanning my body, I noticed my lower back was feeling a little uncomfortable, and my breathing was very uneven. I was also feeling weak inside. I asked myself, how do I wanted to feel? The words that came out were: free, energetic, fulfilled, happy. I asked myself when was the last time I remembered feeling that way, and I traveled right back to Joshua Tree.
It’s interesting. I haven’t really written about that trip. I’ve discussed it here and there, but what I experienced was just so profound that I couldn’t put it into words. It’s the only time in my life I felt completely free inside. When I was there, I wasn’t in my head about worry, money, stress, or anything. I just felt alive. I felt so full of life.
I stayed at the Joshua Tree Inn before the retreat, and the 29 Palms Inn after. I woke up every morning and did yoga and meditated. Then, I jam packed my days with exploring, but it didn’t feel busy or hectic. It just felt free.
I didn’t waste a day or moment. I hiked through the national park. I chose a different restaurant every day. I even went to the laundromat and the owner was so nice. He gave me a bunch of ideas to do while I was in town. I loved the Indian/Pizza place!
The second part of my trip was to practice at the Ashtanga Yoga Center with Tim Miller. I stayed at the Carlsbad Inn which I still think of as my home away from home.
On my last day, I remember sitting at a waffle food truck in Carlsbad. I ordered a peanut butter waffle, and just sat outside as I took in the scenery. It was at that moment that I thought, I can’t believe I have to leave. I don’t want to go back.
I was milking every last minute. I didn’t have to leave until around 11pm, so after that I went to the San Diego Botanical Gardens. Then, I went to a vegan restaurant for dinner in San Diego before I dropped off my rental car.
I couldn’t get enough of the special energy in that place. Everywhere for me was like a breathtaking moment. If I wasn’t in tears over the beauty of the Mojave dessert, I was speechless over the sunsets and beauty of the ocean in Carlsbad.
Usually when you’re somewhere for too long, you want to come home to what’s familiar. I usually think, I just want to be in my own bed. But, that didn’t cross my mind. I was home. And, I want to go back.
My alarm went off. I opened my eyes, and decided if I can’t be there right now, I can create that here. I want to feel that in my body again. I want to feel that in my heart. I thought about all of the pictures I had, and then I remembered that I had a coupon for free prints from Artifact Uprising.
If I’m not living in my home yet, then I figure I can bring my home to me. I ordered prints to surround me of Joshua Tree, Carlsbad, and Encinitas to hold me over until I get there.
They’re on there way & I can’t wait to wake up every day to the dessert and ocean of my favorite places.
Since I’ve started meditating again, I feel happier and lighter inside. I also have more energy. It’s fascinating how sitting for just a few minutes a day can create such a profound change in your mind and body.
Enough about me. I want to help you do this too. I’ve created a guided vipassana style meditation that you can do daily. Click the image below for your FREE guided meditation!
Here’s what you’re striving for:
- Sit in a comfortable position. A cushion helps.
- Try not to move even if you have to scratch your nose. Sit through the discomfort knowing it’s only temporary. Remember, you’ll never injure yourself from sitting.
- Don’t open your eyes.
- When you do the body scan, don’t skip around, and don’t stay in each area the same length of time.
- Don’t try to control your breath.