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Just Breathe...

So you meditate, that’s, um, interesting? That was the response I used to give. Not because I was passing judgement (though I am sure that is how it was perceived), but more because I didn’t really understand it.

My first experience with meditation was in high school. My religion teacher would take us down to the chapel once a month to meditate. She would lead us in a mantra for about 5 minutes and then send us on our own way for the next 30 minutes. She always used to say it was okay to fall asleep, if that is what your body needs. My 17 year old brain just laughed and snoozed away.

I didn’t really get into meditation until about 4 months ago. We were well into the depths of COVID-19, my husband was on an unintentionally prolonged deployment with the US Army to the Middle East, and my 5 year old son (my mini me on EVERY level) and I were just going at it all the time. I tried peace, I tried anger, I tried scolding, I tried compassion—NOTHING seemed to work. So finally one night I pulled out my phone and said “WE ARE WATCHING THIS…” I pulled up my Peloton app and found a meditation. Ross Rayburn to be exact (as my son now asks for them by name), for 5 minutes—changed kid. His breathing relaxed, he listened, he fell asleep (and stayed asleep), more soundly than he had for months. Here’s the kicker—he asked for it the next night…he continues to ask for it every night. Ross Rayburn or Cody Rigsby.

Not only did this help him, but this helped me too. I was in a low place, I needed something more than just the exercise I was doing with my Peloton. This was my missing piece. Meditation may have the same ability to reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety and pain as anti-depressants. Who doesn’t love an option to not have to take another pill?

If nothing else, grab that glass of wine and take 5 minutes to yourself—it could really improve your health. Whether you actually find a guided meditation, or you just close your eyes for five minutes, just take some time for you. It will help you move mountains.

…until next time, #IrishDoc07

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