Mindfulness is a currently a 22 year journey that I have decided to take. I first came across the concept when I was a sophomore in college. I needed to fulfill a humanities credit and I assumed "Meditation in Indian Culture" would be an easy A.
Long story short: I was wrong.
Learning about meditation and how to incorporate it into our lives was a departure for my science-trained brain. I was programmed to look for efficiency and perfection in all I did. Suddenly being required to maintain a meditation journal was not something that computed inside my brain!
Having said that, the class hooked me. I was a horrible meditator but the instructor was mesmerizing. He held such an air of calm and ease, elements that were rare for me to witness as I pursued my science degree.
Class ended and life went on...meditation faded away.
Several years later, I was a new mom trying to get my infant to go back to sleep in the middle of the night. I was filled with anxiety on many levels, most of them concerning how I was doing everything "wrong". Memories of that sophomore meditation class came back to me. Calm and ease were no longer something I admired but something I desperately needed. I bought some books, created a book club, and became serious about my practice.
My infant grew. I became more confident as a mom. And life went on...meditation faded away.
Several years later, life collapsed around me. I found a wonderful therapist who helped me to talk through the issues. She suggested yoga. When I started going to yoga, I was reminded of how much I enjoyed meditation.
This time it has stuck. Mindfulness is a practice that I incorporate into my life daily. I enjoy talking about it and sharing my experiences with others. There are still days, inevitably, when I'm not very mindful, when anxiety creeps back in...when I need friends and family to remind me to breathe. It's ok though. I remind myself that this is a journey and every day on that journey will look different.
I share this as a way to tell you that it's ok if you feel frustrated with mindfulness. It's ok if you really want to do it, really want to establish a firm practice but you just haven't figured out how yet. I've been there (and on some days still find myself there).
Mindfulness is not an easy A but once you let go of the idea of perfection, it will suddenly become more attainable.
Just keep going. Join me in class - our practice grows stronger when we share it with others!