28 Thoughts I Had While Trying to be Mindful
Mindfulness is a thing. You see the benefits of it touted absolutely everywhere. In fact, our family has been trying to meditate together every night. I’d say we are about 60% successful. Of that 60%, 90% of the time I am meditating, I am thinking instead. I know I am supposed to meditate away my thinking by concentrating on my breathing, but this is what happens when I do this.
- Breathe in through the nostrils and fill up the belly.
- How does the air get from my lungs to my belly? I’m gonna Google that.
- Is that a fly on my shoulder?
- It is biting me. Do I swat it or breathe through it?
- My shoulder is so itchy. I bet it was a tick.
- Do ticks always leave a ring or sometimes not?
- The dog is scratching. Damn that dog for bringing in a tick.
- Oh yeah. Breathe.
- Am I breathing too fast?
- It feels like I am breathing too fast. Should I slow down?
- When I slow down my breath gets really shallow and I feel like I need to breathe faster to keep up. Now what?
- OK. Concentrate on something other than my breathing and the natural rhythm will take over. But, what should I concentrate on?
- I know, I’ll listen to my family breathing. They probably know how to breathe.
- Who’s stomach is that? Seriously, those kids are eating us out of house and home.
- I can’t hear them breathing. Did everyone except the hungry stomach leave?
- Is that my stomach? Crap. It is. Don’t fart. Don’t fart. Don’t fart.
- Right. Breathe.
- In through the nostrils feels burny. Why does it feel like it is burning? Am I allergic to the air?
- Is my stomach going out enough when I breathe? Now it feels like I’m forcing my stomach out. I bet I’m not supposed to do that.
- Shit. My foot just fell asleep.
- Is it 5 minutes yet? It must be almost 5 minutes.
- I think they all left. I can’t hear anyone breathing and they are probably watching Netflix without me and leaving me to meditate and get all zen so when they tell me they’ve been watching Netflix I won’t get angry.
- I’m angry and I want to watch Netflix.
- Breathe even if it burns. Breathing is good.
- I feel like I need to sigh to get back to breathing normally. That doesn’t feel very meditation-y though.
- It’s not like the family will notice since they already left.
- Wow. 5 minutes sure went by fast that time. What was I going to Google?
Moral of the story… breathing and meditation are good for you even if you find it hard sometimes. Breathing isn’t as hard when you are unaware you are doing it. It is like when you suddenly become aware of your tongue and discover you don’t know what to do with it anymore. Should it be on the top or bottom or your mouth? Touching your teeth? Hanging out in the middle? It’s disturbing, I know.
As an aside, during meditation the family all stick around for the 5 minutes, the dog does disturb us every single time (he sleeps through everything else but our meditation), and I always get itchy. With all of that happening, I still feel better when we are done and I love that we are all learning a new skill together. I highly recommend you try it.
This was intended as a public service message. If I can feel better even with all those thoughts circling in my brain, imagine what your normal mind can accomplish.