Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra kicked off a 21-Day Meditation Experience this week called “Making Every Moment Matter.” In light of my new work schedule and with the recent change of how time factors in my life, I thought I’d give it a try.
I tried one of their meditation experiences once before a few years ago when my boys were much younger. I think I may have been nursing at the time and all I remember is falling asleep during each night’s meditation. It was my first venture into meditation and I was hoping for some inner peace, but instead I fell into a deep sleep each night. Not sure if my response was a result of the meditation or a symptom of having a young child, but I thought I’d try it again.
The meditation experience started on Monday, Oct. 30, and the title of the debut meditation, was “Where does the time go?” The centering thought was “The best time of my life is now.”
The subject is fitting, as I’ve been thinking about time quite a bit lately. There’s no guarantee about how many years we’ll have, but everybody’s days have the same 24 hours. I’m always amazed how productive some people are with their hours.
One of the messages of the meditation is to be present in the moment, in the now. I love that idea. I feel like I spend a great deal of time thinking about the things that I still need to do or where I am going next and why did I leave the house so late to get there.
My kids are great about living in the now. While I stress out about having to be ready to leave the house in five minutes to get them to school on time, they don’t seem to be bothered by the fact that their lunchboxes are still on the dining room table, a homework folder is on the couch and somebody is missing a shoe. No, they are living in the now and obviously now is the best time to review that Scholastic brochure and announce the books they would like to buy. Or draw a picture. Or play a song on the piano. (All those things have happened in our house on a school morning.)
At what point do we lose that “in the now” mentality? In today’s society, that’s often frowned upon because we have things to do, places to be. Some of my favorite days are those without plans that allow us to “go with the flow.” But those are rare these days with so many scheduled activities on our calendar.
Last night’s topic was about “time sickness,” described as “the psychological and physical pressures that we place on ourselves in trying to meet the artificial demands of a modern time schedule.” And the feeling that “there is never enough time in one day to do everything we need to do.” Then feeling guilty, frustrated and anxious for not accomplishing what you wanted to.
Oh, Oprah and Deepak, thanks for this. It’s a relief to know that this “time sickness” is a thing. And it’s a reminder that sometimes the pressure about how we use those hours in our day is actually self-inflicted and unnecessary.
So let’s all take a deep breath. Namaste.
There are also other 21-day Meditation Challenges available, depending on what areas of your life you want to focus on: Expanding your Happiness, Become What You Believe, Shedding Weight, Getting Unstuck and Creating Peace from the Inside Out.