It happened the other day when I was meditating. I couldn’t sit in quiet or at least it felt almost impossible to stay for 30 minutes. Every few minutes I’d open my eyes to peek at the time slowly passing by. I started putting my hands on my racing heart. When that didn’t work I started counting my breaths. And when that didn’t calm me down, I started repeating to myself, “I am here . . . I am here. . . I am here.” That didn’t even work, (which usually it does) so I finally forfeited all my attempts and for the last 10 minutes I turned on a song and chanted with it. That was even hard and it’s my favorite song to chant.
This isn’t the first time it’s happened in the last several months either. It’s becoming more and more common that my meditation practice is presenting new challenges. It’s not what you think would challenge someone in meditation.
What I’ve been experiencing are simply deep feelings of joy, happiness, blessing and gratitude, but with that comes a vibrant, pulsing heart that is actually hard to be with in quiet and stillness.
It’s a lot of simple things that I am noticing in abundance like looking up at the beautiful sky and trees, acknowledging the blessings of good friendships, feeling grateful for happy and healthy children, being able to swim outdoors during the summer, and being part of a stable and loving marriage. Nothing that money can buy or that couldn’t be taken away in a moment’s time, but nonetheless present in these moments.
I also know from my young life that these are indeed blessings because they weren’t always in the fabric of my life. In fact, I often did not think joy and gratitude were even a possibility. Like all human beings I’ve had struggles and losses.
I also know that this isn’t forever and that in life there is pain, disappointments and challenges and that I am not immune to them just because I feel joy and blessing in this season of life.
I went online to search happiness, joy and blessing and came across a sweet video that documented a group of people who were asked to write about someone whom they were grateful for at any point in their life. After they finished writing, they were asked to call the person who they wrote about and read them their reflection.
The study showed that happiness increased for both the person writing and receiving the reflection. In fact, happiness increased more for the people who came to the study least happy.
Who are you grateful for in your life? Do they know it? What would happen if you took a few minutes to handwrite a note put it in the mail and let them know?