Zen January: OHHHHM…

This month I’m de-cluttering. My house, and my mind. At the weekend I took eleven bags of stuff to charity shops. I had to get a taxi, there was so much stuff. There’s still plenty to go, too. I haven’t had a clear out in way too long. My wardrobe is certainly on the hit list. Enough with the barely worn stuff bursting out of it, obstructing my view of what I actually want to wear. I’m editing down to stuff I love and wear often.

Then there’s the small matter of my brain. Lets de-clutter that, too. Meditation is increasingly on my radar as something I should try. In my twenties I wrote it off as a boring waste of time, but in my twenties I was wrong about a lot of things. Now I’m a little more rounded in view and emotional maturity, mindfulness and being in the moment is starting to look more appealing. Potential benefits being bandied about range from the conservative being a bit more chilled out, to the lofty reaching a higher state of evolution (you can thank the ever effusive Russell Brand for that one). As great as evolving sounds, I think I’ll be aiming at the lower end of the results spectrum. Just a little inner peace will do just fine as a starting point.

I’m going to start my venture into mindfulness with the Headspace app. It’s designed by a former monk, who recognised a need for simplified and approachable meditation for people who needed the headspace, but were put off by the hippy dippy stuff (mainly frazzled business executives). Pared back accessibility is something I can get on board with. It starts with 10 minutes for 10 days. That sounds doable. In this Telegraph article, Andy (aforementioned monk) recommends doing meditation in the morning for the best results. Sadly, that seems pretty unlikely. All very well for an ex-monk who used to wake up at 4am to start meditating, but I’m beyond useless of a morning and will cut any possible corner for a few more minutes of shut-eye.

People who aren’t useless in a morning will probably argue that meditation will stop me being useless. Perhaps it would, but it still involves slicing ten valuable minutes out of my sleep time, which really isn’t acceptable. I’ll try morning meditation at weekends, just in case it really does wake me up and I’m missing something life-changing, but I know me quite well and suspect I’ll stick to a non-morning routine far better. I’m scheduling in my first session for this evening. It’s being squeezed in around running, yoga, seeing a friend, and bedtime, so a good test for ease of slipping into my daily routine chaos.

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