Welcome to week two of this Month of Meditation! I'm really glad you're here.
This week is all about journaling. Keeping a journal can be very helpful when starting and maintaining a meditation practice for a few reasons. Before you close your eyes for meditation you can take a few minutes to 'brain dump' meaning write down any lingering thoughts, to dos, etc. Let your mind run wild. Dump the thoughts out of the head onto the page to lighten the load in your mind and create space for focused attention. We will practice this brain dump on Monday, along with a gratitude journal prompt that I will explain in detail, before we take our seat for meditation.
After meditation it is good to have a journal handy to note anything that came up for you during practice. Good, bad, inspirational, or uncomfortable. Meditation is not always relaxation and bliss. Sometimes sitting with our thoughts and being open to whatever arises can be unnerving. If there are aspects of yourself you reject or ignore, meditation will drop them in your lap like an unwanted guest and ask you to sit with it.
Sounds fun, right?
Now this may not happen the first time or even the hundredth time you meditate, but difficult emotions will bubble up to the surface for us all at some point in the practice. When it happens, you have your breath and your journal to lean on. Write down what came up and how it made you feel. Remembering that you can have these thoughts and emotions, however you are not these thoughts and emotions.
Have you ever wondered why the lotus flower is often depicted in yoga studios or mentioned as a symbol for meditation? The lotus is rooted in the most turbid muddy disgusting water, yet somehow manages to rise above and bloom each morning into this beautiful vibrant flower. "This pattern of growth signifies the progress of the soul from the primeval mud of materialism, through the waters of experience, and into the bright sunshine of enlightenment."
Basically, we must first sit with our shit in order to shift.