I skipper a beat or two. I don’t think I did Day 4, and I’m doing Day 5 a day late. In a way, this is perfect. First, it’s typical for me; I struggle to be consistent when I commit to disciplines of self-care. Second, today’s meditation was about the way we bring ourselves back to our center during meditation—do we do it with a harsh adminition (“you’re always so distracted and unfocused—do it right for a change!!!”)? Or do we do it with compassion and non-judgmental Care (“everyone’s mind wanders—that’s what minds do”)?
So, I’m going to treat myself with compassion today and say, “don’t worry about Day 4; you can come back to it later if you want to. Just do Day 5 and Day 6 today—not because anyone’s taking attendance or giving you a grade, but because you want to do this 28-day meditation exercise.”
During today’s meditation, Sharon asked us to attend to the voice we use when we bring our wandering focus back to the centering breath. I realized that, today and other days as well, I don’t really use a voice when I notice this happening. That’s odd because I am *very* verbal and keep a running monologue, dialogue, or committee meeting running in my mind at every waking moment. But during mindfulness meditation, when I notice my mind wandering, I bring it back with a quick snap. At first, I didn’t think there was any emotional content there. But as the exercise continued, I noticed that even in the *snap* itself, there was a tone of harshness, and later I realized that my face scrunched into a kind of growl. So I guess there is an angry, admonishing coach present in my kind after all. I will pay more attention, and see if even that brief moment of bringing my attention back to the point of focus can be gentler, softer, more gradual, and more filled with compassion for myself. I guess there are more ways to be a self-critic than to use harsh words or a charged tone of voice.
Incidentally, I also notice that, during even these short meditation periods, I gradually lose my upright posture. My head lowers, and my chin moves toward my chest. It may be that my upper back lowers as well. That, too, is something I bring back with a quick motion. I’m not falling asleep. I wonder what is happening there? I don’t know.