Random Thoughts: The Meditation on Meditation Edition

(First order of business: My good friend @mattieflap came over to take some pictures I could use for my headshot for Listen To Your Mother. She also caught the moment above, and it’s too adorable not to use.)

My new habit/Lenten commitment has been going mostly well. Once I made the time, about 10 minutes a day, and found some good resources, I was rolling with it.

YouTube, of course, has proved invaluable. It took a couple of tries to find two or three guided meditations that didn’t irritate the shit out of me, but I did it.

I also used the free trial of the headspace app, which definitely helped me find a good grounding. While I would love to sign up for the year, I don’t have $80-$120 to spend on it at this time. The 10-day trial, though, was helpful for a beginner such as myself. It helps set up goals and reasonable expectations, and gives one permission to let one’s mind wander. It’s very calming and low-pressure.

That said, my practice has not been perfect.

My head feels really heavy when I meditate. So I try to sit comfortably someplace I can rest my head — the glider in Michael’s room, the couch with pillows behind my head. If I don’t support my head, I notice my neck and shoulders getting tenser and tenser instead of being able to relax.

I have fallen asleep a couple of times. I’m doing this meditation at 9:30-10 o’clock at night, after the children are in bed. Most of the guidelines I have read say to get up and meditate in the morning, but I’m already getting up early almost daily to either clean or exercise.

Plus, meditation works better for me in the evening because I can really let go of the stress of the day. The first 10-14 days I was doing daily meditation, I was sleeping great!

And at some point last week, sleep got derailed again.

Starting last Thursday, I haven’t been sleeping well at all. Waking up two, three times a night. Sometimes staying awake, sometimes falling back to sleep only to wake up again an hour or so later. And it’s not fair. The children aren’t waking me up. Dan is no longer snoring the way he used to (having lost nearly 40 pounds in the past two years — go, Dan!).

I can’t figure it out. Am I too hot or too cold? Am I stressed (ha! trick question, of course I’m stressed)? Should I meditate immediately before bed instead of reading a book or watching Sons of Anarchy? This just sounds like a way to guarantee that I’ll fall asleep before finishing a meditation.

Anyway: Meditation gets a big thumbs up in general, but I need to get back to sleeping through the night. Yet again.

This is one of the meditations I’ve been using. It’s on YouTube.

How do you successfully de-stress and sleep through the night?

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