It's Saturday morning, I'm in my favorite spot in the house. Lying on the couch covered in the afghan that my grandmother crocheted for me, laptop on my belly, head propped up by two pillows, cup of coffee on the stool to my right, I'm not sure that there is any place else I'd rather be. It rained this morning and outside it is still cloudy and wet but the birds have started chirping again.
Yesterday I meditated for 3 minutes. I know that doesn't sound like a long time, but it changed my day dramatically. Trying to allow for your mind and body to just "be" is a challenging task. After the short meditation I realized how wound up I am nearly all of the time. Even when I think that I'm resting my mind is active— planning, worrying, brainstorming. In a way, I have become really good at "multi-tasking." No matter where I am during the day, I'm working. I have 10 minutes of downtime waiting for the oil to be changed on my car, I pull out papers to grade. I am eating lunch at a sandwich shop, I pull out that Jean-Luc Nancy text that I am struggling to get through. After writing a couple of paragraphs on the diss at Cream, I get up need to move, pack up my stuff and walk to the car thinking about what comes next.
Lately, the things I do to turn my brain off are not entirely relaxing or beneficial. I do a crossword, I play a solitaire game, I turn on the TV. All of these things still require that my brain be active even if my body is not. The trick is, it seems, is to get both your mind and your body to quiet down for a short time everyday. I'm working on ways to do this. Meditation may work for me. I am going to give it my best try. Though I'm open to other suggestions.