All last week, I was in Montreal for a school conference. We had some extra days before the workshops on Wednesday and Thursday, so I was able to have my mom fly in from Toronto and hang out.
I happened to start a free 10-day meditation plan through Headspace.com just before I left. The only thing you had to do was complete 10 days of 10 minute meditation; I stuck with it no matter which hotel I was sleeping at and finish the last day on Sunday. It helped to make set up all the conditions of building a routine; it was one of the first things I did in the morning – before checking into social media – and it was a great start to the day. This morning, it felt a bit odd not to start my day with a meditation.
And of course, the first day coming back to work after a week on the road, there were glitches along the way. The Smartboard was not responding, a few of the Grade 10s were being unruly or I completely forgot to show up for my detention duty until a coworker asked where I was! Yep, it was a pretty typical day at school.
By the afternoon, I felt stressed and realized that it might actually be a good idea to see how meditation could take me in the next year. While I could not say that I noticed an extreme change of any sort, I did feel calm the past 10 days. It never felt like it was a chore and I always came out feeling better. In fact, it’d been getting easier and easier to complete the 10 minutes. I can honestly say that the past two or three meditations found me wishing that it was actually longer!**
So I decided to buy a year-long plan as an experiment. I’ve previously never had any interest in meditation, nor did I have a way to approach it. However, having done the 10 days and seeing how I feel makes me more curious. I mean, it’s backed by scientific data that meditation is beneficial! My main goal of trying this out is to learn how to better manage stress. I’m sure other benefits will come out of this too.
I really enjoy how Andy Puddicomb* runs his program. The app is very clean, simple and easy to use. The animations that accompany some of the meditations work as mini lessons and have good analogies to help you understand how to approach meditation more effectively.
I do also have to say that Headspace is very good at marketing, but I’ve learned that I don’t ever have regrets supporting good companies with good products. If you’re curious about the free “Take 10” program, click here for more info.
Have you tried meditation? How do you approach it? Do you have tips for how to be effective at meditation?
*Check out Andy’s Ted Talk on YouTube.
**Towards the end of the 10 days, I started feeling surprised that 10 minute had actually passed.