20 minutes

I tried to meditate a little last night while wearing this fancy face mask that I found in a box of stuff. I don’t know where the mask came from but it looked legit and I wanted to feel pampered. The directions said to leave the mask on for 20 minutes. I took a gulp of red wine straight from the bottle (what’s the point of a glass these days?!) and threw that sucker on my face. I sat my phone down and turned off my computer. Twenty minutes for a face mask sounded ideal for some basic beginner bedtime meditation. I never saw myself as a yogi or transcendentalist, but I also never saw myself as a single mom, so 2019 is the year for new things.

I lasted 8 minutes. I closed my eyes and practiced thinking about my anxieties and worries like leaves on a river (is that even a thing?). I let my thoughts float by me like fallen leaves on the water. Different colors, different sizes. The idea is to not pick any of those leaves up to examine them but let them float by without analysis or worry or anxiety. To accept them.

I tried. I really tried. I let the damn leaves float by and admit that I maybe stomped a few. I felt all peaceful and thought “Wow, that was great. I’m doing great. It has probably been 20 minutes.”

I looked at my phone. It had been eight minutes, not 20, so I defeatedly laid my head back again and closed my eyes. I lasted two minutes. Then three minutes. With five minutes left, I convinced myself that the stupid mask was burning my face and quit my moment of meditation.

I don’t think I realized how “connected” I was to the universe and how my stress never let me rest. Phone, computer, baby monitor, tv… the list goes on… tons of things to keep my mind on something else. Tons of things to keep my mind from ever consciously resting.

I think some of the problem might be how I tried to meditate. I tried to haphazardly squeeze it in before bed with a face mask that I swear burned me a little. I tried the leaf on a river method and that just didn’t work.

Tonight I tried another way… my way.

I closed my eyes and imagined myself in front of one of those t-ball stands for little kids. Instead of a cute little kid bat, though, I held a gnarled heavy old baseball bat. I made my thoughts stand in line and come at me one at a time. They were thoughts and emotions that were typed cleanly in black ink onto these clean white sheets of paper. I took those sheets of paper and furiously balled them up, one-by-one, placed each one on the t-ball stand, and took a swing.

I hit a thousand home runs tonight, and I “meditated” for a full 20 minutes.

Image by kascreates from Pixabay