Becoming Zensational: Putting the ME in Meditation

The first time I heard Justin Timberlake announce “I’ve got this feeling inside my bones” I thought for sure he was singing about anxiety.

C’mon, I know you know what I’m talking about. A slight constriction in your chest. The smallest sense of difficulty in getting air into and out of your lungs. Asking yourself, “How many cups of coffee did I drink this morning?”. Trying to figure out if you’re hungry, tired, or just plain wired.

Yes folks, the telltale signs of anxiety. Anyone with a high pressure job, a lack of free time, heck, anyone with kids must know what this feels like. It’s just inevitable. Most of the time it’s manageable. But sometimes, it gets the best of us.

As someone with a creative mind and a vivid imagination, anxiety snuck up on me without me even noticing. But an occasional sleep aid at night slowly turned into a bit of a dependency, an accompanying glass of wine with a business dinner turned into a bottle (ok not a whole bottle). I was looking for help finding relaxation, looking for an escape from my racing mind.

I went for an annual physical because I am a rule follower and that’s what you’re supposed to do. I asked the Dr- ok not a real Doctor, but a nurse practitioner or something of the sort- if there was something I could take when the nerves kicked in. Being a good not-Doctor she stopped me right there. She asked if I ever tried meditation. I had a flashback to some therapist I probably saw as a moody teenager trying to get me to play a cassette tape on a couch once, but the answer was basically no. That’s not my thing. But the not-Doctor was so nice and so blonde and so smiley I thought for sure she knew the secret to sanity. So I took her advice.

No, I can’t say since that day I have turned into a granola eating, hemp wearing, oil burning hippie. I can’t even say I’m no longer high strung, because I would need a full-on lobotomy for that to happen! But there is something to this stuff. I don’t do it often. If I’m not blogging on the train, or if I can sneak away from my screaming children at night, or on the subway ride to an important meeting, I put on a quick guided meditation from my trusty app. I can’t focus or devote extra time for more than 10 minutes really, but I can see how this could be an answer, if not the answer.

I’m learning words like confidence, trust, and this crazy thing called gratitude has been a huge concept for me to work on. I can get to a place where my mind and body can be at peace. I can ground myself by imagining my feet in the sand, I can summon strength in my solitude.

I am a realist, not a spiritualist. But in my quest to keep room in my life for myself, meditation is something I am going to keep working with. Do I feel silly when I’m doing it? Most of the time. Do I feel better afterward? All of the time. I can proudly say I’ve been sleeping better, drinking less, and freaking out with lower intensity (again I am who I am) since I’ve introduced it to my life.

Ohm my goodness, I can’t believe I just wrote that! Hey, JT next time you can’t stop the feeling try this app!

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