A friend noticed that I had recently fallen into my winter funk. Even when I feel depressed, I don’t share my emotions since the mere negativity gets me down. I have observed over the years that the more you remain angry, the more you wallow in morbidity.
My friend recommended meditation for over a year, and insisted that I try the Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey 21 day meditation course. At first I rolled my eyes with cynicism and remarked “Oh God, the Indian Jesus and the Woman Who Taught The World to Read are going to do W-H-A-T for me? Oh, puleeez! After 21 days of sitting still and chanting, will I become all ‘wise and sagey?’
My friend suggested that I try something to put my soaring mind at ease despite my attitude. Relaxing my brain would be a temporary escape to Shangri-La. The only time my brain seems to take a break is when I am in REM sleep. I knew I could gain some benefits that meditation offers: stress relief, relaxation and eventually a path to discovering oneself through opening the door to the spirit and soul; creativity and divine truths such as kindness, joy, peace and forgiveness. So I made a pact with my friend that I would try meditating for 20 minutes a day with Oprah and Deepak.
To begin, I sat comfortably in bed streaming the free 21 day program on YouTube from my Roku player.
Day 1: Question posed, “Who am I?” What is my soul’s purpose? What do I desire? Then I was told to listen deeply from within for the answer. Each day there is a “centering thought.” Day one is “I am my deepest desire.” Deepak instructs to inhale and exhale deeply, let go of all thoughts and relax. Then he introduces the Sanskrit mantra ‘So Hum’ which means ‘I am.’ Whenever you become distracted, you repeat the mantra and try to refocus.
You can’t imagine how difficult it is for me to focus on something for 20 minutes. Twenty thousand thoughts fire across my brain such as “What am I going to eat for lunch and dinner for the next month?” “Why the hell didn’t I buy those shoes I had been eyeing for 4 months? They are gone now and my life will be incomplete for another week”, and “Hum, remember that bitch that wronged me 15 years ago? I hope she is dead.”
However, I forged on and refocused about 15 times before the 20 minutes were up. I felt a sense of accomplishment and felt relaxed. I also figured out ‘Who am I?’ The answer: A jovial fashionable muppet that makes people laugh and reminds them to be grateful for what they have.
Day 2: Mission was to contemplate that ‘I am a powerful creator‘ and that my actions are aligned with cosmic law. What we send out comes back to us. If we are kind and generous we are rewarded with kindness and generosity. If we are mean and shitty to people, then that is how we deserve to be treated. Pure KARMA.
Day 3: The centering thought was ‘abundance flows easily and freely to me.’ I was truly inspired! When people think of abundance they might think of hard work and long hours, struggle and sacrifice they have to put in to achieve success. But our universe operates in the opposite way. Life unfolds with effortless ease. The universe is waiting for us to turn our hopes or dreams into reality. Release beliefs that limit you and you will move with comfort and ease. Many of us are brought up that life is a struggle. But “no pain, no gain” can lead to neglected health and disconnect from our family and friends.
Day 4 – Day 10 continued drawing me in further and strengthening my ability to focus on meditating without being burdened with life’s mundanities.
Even though I have finished half of the 21 day meditation course, I am certain one day I will be able to effortlessly withdraw from the world and sit cocooned in a meditative state of bliss. What a gift it is not be burdened with things beyond our control and concentrate on better things.
When people speak of self empowerment and meditation, they often use the cliché, “life is a journey.” I see life more akin to a Roman feast when the morning after, I awake hungover with a torn toga. So the nausea is mitigated by a pork and cheese sandwich. Once finished, I look down at my ripped toga and remember that I met a gifted seamstress the night before, that will sew my garment back to life. But then I realize that the reason I am limping is because I fell down some marble steps and nearly drowned in the orgy tub. As luck should have it, a strapping man was kind enough to save me from drowning, except that he had a horrible lisp so I laughed in his face. However, he was so kind that he set me down gently, but shuffled away because I obliterated his confidence. When I realized how foolishly I acted, I decided to do jello shots with the narcissist, misogynist Emperor who tried to grab me under my toga, only to find I was wearing grandma panties that were rough as a burlap bag, so he banished me from his decadent feast and told me never to return. Again, I felt alone in the world, angry at myself and staggering home with a ripped toga and one missing gladiator sandal. Bleating and limping along, I looked up to find “strapping lisp man” smiling down at me with his kind forgiving eyes and proceeded to walk me home safely. “Forgive me for laughing at your lisp” I said. “I was cruel and drunk”. He looked at me and said “That’s ok, people do stupid things after a night of drinking. I forgive you. There isn’t enough forgiveness in the world.”
Has your life ever resembled a Roman bacchanal? Whatever lies ahead for me, I know that I will always be a work in progress, always striving for answers and self improvement. I just hope I won’t be one of those unfinished paintings of the depressed, masterpiece painter who committed suicide and my canvas placed in the back of a church room only to be discovered 100 years later at a church rummage sale. Nope. I want a more exciting, auspicious journey. The question is will Oprah and Deepak help me get there? I will let you know how I feel in several weeks once I complete my 21 day journey.
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