If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve probably noticed my updates from the free Insight Timer app. I’ve recently gotten into meditating, and I’ve been meditating with Insight Timer to help me get into the practice. Meditating with Insight Timer has been a crucial part of creating space to breathe.
I have to say that when I started, I kind of assumed that I’d be super good at it. Like, my brain would shut off and I’d concentrate on breathing and the affirmations for the day. And then, when I was finished, I’d be one hella balanced person.
So, yeah. That ain’t the case.I've been meditating with @InsightTimer to help me get into the practice. Click To Tweet
But even so, I’m enjoying the process of meditating with Insight Timer. And in that process, I’ve learned a few things about myself and how I meditate. That’s what I’m going to share with you today.
001: My brain is noisy.
Generally, I try to shut my head up. But it’s hard. See, I’ve got 60 things on a to do list that’s constantly on my mind. And oh, I just realized I haven’t looked at my phone in 6 hours, gee I hope no one is dead. I really need to buy some lunch meat to make sandwiches. When was the last time Rosie had a bath? Do you think my plantar fasciitis will go away on its own? Did I remember to track my water for the day? Do you think my friends with kids know how bad iPads are for really young kids? I hope I don’t get audited this year. I wonder what happened to my space pen. Mad Pierrot is such a sad character. Are the eggs in the fridge still good? How does international postage work? How much have I spent on pedicures in my life? How many members of the ENHS class of 2004 are now in jail?
And on and on it goes.
When I’m awake, that’s the inside of my head. It’s like flipping through channels on a staticky cathode ray tube TV. (For younger readers, TVs used to be big squares with a tube inside.) Meditating with Insight Timer only magnifies this. The goal of meditation, or at least, the goal for my meditations is to become aware of these thoughts and let them go. I don’t think I have the brain chemistry that would ever let me completely push all thoughts away. So, I’m just trying to hit the down arrow on the volume for now. Because for real, my head is noisy, and quieting it just a bit by meditating helps a lot.
002: There is no such thing as a quiet place.
I usually meditate first thing in the morning. That means that the only people awake in the house are me and Rosie, the dog. (I guess she’s not a person. But she sure does sit on the couch like one.) I pick a meditation I want to do from the Insight Timer app, and then I sit down and start. I usually have the coffee maker brewing while I meditate, just because I think the sound and smell really enhance my experience. Also, it’s nice to know that right after I’m done meditating, I can have a hot cup of coffee.
While I generally try to get rid of distractions, there is no such thing as a quiet place. Right now is mosquito season, and I find that in the middle of a session, there is invariably a mosquito buzzing around my head. And Rosie, though generally the best dog in the universe, has managed to align her genital licking schedule with my meditation schedule. So, while I’m trying to breathe deeply, she’s making the grossest sound you can imagine.
But whatever. I let it go.
Sometimes I stop mid-session to tell Rosie to knock it off.
003: Apps can make it so much easier.
I first heard about the Insight Timer app from Jackie Wolven, and I’m so glad I did. For me, it’s hard to meditate because I’m new to it, and I want some guidance. It’s kind of like how I prefer yoga class to just practicing on my own. With guided meditations for whatever you’re feeling, meditating with Insight Timer is a beginner’s best friend.
I highly recommend any of the guided morning meditations, as well as some of the sleep meditations. For me, I like to meditate at the beginning and the end of the day, so these are perfect. I’m also thinking of adding a small mid-day meditation, so if there’s a guided meditation on Insight Timer you’d recommend for that, let me know in the comments!
004: I need so much more practice.
Sometimes I get mad that my head won’t clear. I know that isn’t productive, but I’m human. And I also know I just need more practice with meditating. For a while, I was getting really good at being present and focused on breathing in shavasana at the end of yoga. But if you don’t use it, you lose it.
So I’m working on getting better at taking a more yoga approach to my meditation practice. But I don’t think I’ll ever see a day when I feel like I don’t need more practice.
005: Breathing can feel amazing.
At the end of a stressful day when I’m so anxious that I’ve bitten all my nails off, meditating with Insight Timer has been a game changer. On those nights, I used to regularly have night terrors. Now, I meditate quietly in bed before I go to sleep. And I have to say that it’s made a huge amount of difference.
(The night terrors aren’t completely gone, but mostly so. And let’s be honest. Night terrors are probably caused by supernatural beings messing with me in my sleep and not so much my anxiety, right? I mean, probably.)
The best part of meditating is focusing on breathing, and noticing how good that breathing can make you feel. Seriously. Try it right now.Have you ever tried meditating with Insight Timer? Click To Tweet
Do you have a favorite way to meditate? Have you ever tried meditating with Insight Timer? Any meditations you’d recommend?
Like you I have a busy brain, more mind full than mindful. I really want to start meditating, even though at first I am going to really suck at it. This app sounds just what I need and this post is perfectly timed! I have to say the image of you meditating and Rosie licking her bits had me laughing out loud!
Hahaha! Enjoy the app. I think it’ll really get you into meditating. And hopefully you don’t have a dog with similar proclivities…
Meditation, as you already know, is not a way to ‘shut the brain up’ but to let the convos and lists go…and continue to sit with the breath. I love my meditation time and no longer see it as something I don’t do well. The fact that I meditate at least once a day is great. I have used insight timer but prefer my paid headspace app with Andy Puddicombe now. Great to meet more people giving meditation a go!!
I’ve heard great things about the Headspace app. I may need to give it a try.
I laughed out loud about Rosie! Buffy does that right when I’m trying to go to sleep! I’ve never tried meditation before but it really sounds wonderful!
I highly recommend it, especially before bed if you have trouble shutting your brain off.