MEDITATION HAS CHANGED MY LIFE!
I am excited to say that I have completed my first 30 days of meditation, without missing a day! Saying that meditation has changed my life is not an exaggeration, no other habit that I have adopted in the past has even come close to the positive impact meditation has had on my life.
I am, by no means, a meditation expert, quite the opposite actually. I am a beginner, with much to learn. Please keep that in mind as you read the rest of the review. I am not advocating anything I have learned to be the best way, or the only way to do things, it is what I have found to work best for me.
Insight timer – my source for guided meditations
Insight Timer is the best meditation app available for your phone or tablet, hands down. Its’ only competition comes from 2 other apps: Headspace and Calm. Both of these apps offer a free option, which is EXTREMELY LIMITED on both apps. To really take full advantage of each app you will need to pay.
At the time of writing this review, Insight Timer has 4695 free meditations.
My Daily Gratitude Meditation Routine
Why did I make a commitment to daily gratitude?
I made a commitment to a daily morning gratitude meditation, as I had a bad habit of taking things for granted.
What was I hoping to gain from this?
I was hoping to gain a greater appreciation and sense of gratitude for all that’s part of my life, including the small things I typically overlook or take for granted, and the perceived negatives in my life.
Did I gain what I hoped I would?
I can confidently say yes. Not 100%, and I did not expect a complete overhaul in 30 days, I did notice a remarkable difference in appreciating the little things much more often.
Every morning, the first thing I am thankful for, without fail, is being alive that day. The second thing I am thankful for every morning, without fail, is that Allie is alive that day. I do not force these thoughts, I let them come to me naturally, and they are always the first 2 thoughts in my head to be grateful for.
This daily gratitude influenced me to appreciate each day as it was, without wanting to live in the past or the future.
The 3 Gratitude Meditations I Resonated Most With (All From Insight Timer):
In order from most favourite to least.
- Peaceful and Relaxed: Gratitude Meditation by Melissa Dormoy
A perfectly blended combination on mindfulness, gratitude, and self empowering visualization. The visualization is what I like best about this meditation, it really sets the tone for my day. There is a good amount of silence to allow for reflection.
- Morning Ritual by The Meditation House
A blended combination of mindfulness, gratitude, and intentions for the day. This is a great meditation if you woke up on the wrong side of the bed.
- Gratitude Reflection by Tony Brady
A blended combination of mindfulness and gratitude. Not much silence, and much more emphasis on gratitude, leaving much less time for reflection.
My Daily Evening Meditation
I did not have a set plan for my evening meditation. Below is the 3 different meditation series I used.
The 3 Evening Meditations I Used (All From Insight Timer):
In order from most favourite to least.
- Surrender by Michelle Zarrin
This was a 15 day series that started with 11 minutes of meditation and ended at 25 minutes. I had my breakthrough on the 15th day of this series, in which I outline in my post Day 26. I really enjoyed the progressive amount of silence as the days went on. Her voice is extremely soothing. I will definitely be using Day 15 of her series in the future.
- Gratitude by Michelle Zarrin
This was a 10 day series that started with 11 minutes of meditation and ends with 20 minutes. I was only on day 4 by my 30th day of meditation, as this was the last of the 3 meditations I started. A fantastic approach to gratitude. Each day brings a new aspect of life to focus gratitude towards. This can bring plenty of emotions up if you are not experienced with much meditation, or are someone who avoids their emotions or hardships.
- Seated Mindfulness by Palouse Mindfulness
This was a basic mindfulness meditation, done seated, great for beginners. I am very glad I started with this before moving into the other 2 meditations. I got frustrated numerous times during these meditations, so I couldn’t imagine meditating to Michelle Zarrin’s meditations without experiencing this one first. I learned the basis of being aware of thoughts and being non-judging towards them, very grateful for that.
The Progress Of My Meditation Quality
I distinctly remember experiencing much frustration and anxiousness during the first couple of weeks of consistent meditation. This gradually subsided over the last 2 weeks, progressing to my best day of the entire 30 days on Day 26.
If I were to rate my quality on a scale of 1-10 from Day 1 to Day 30, it would be a quality of 1 on Day 1 and a quality of 7 by Day 30.
What I learned about my meditation practice
My number one takeaway from these first 30 days was not to try and force my mind to go where I want it to. Once I learned to let it be, as is, with awareness, my meditation went to another level.
Forcing myself to try and think about nothing led to a continuous cycle of overthinking about nothing. Thinking about not thinking, how ironic. I have heard many times to be the watcher of your thoughts, be aware of your thoughts, WITHOUT JUDGEMENT. Let them come and go, without immersing yourself into them. Easier said than done that’s for sure.
What else I learned:
- Consistency is key
- Meditating while I am fatigued is not very effective, although any meditation IS better than no meditation
How meditation has changed me over the past 30 Days
- I only reached a point of “anger” or “frustration” once over the past 30 days
- I am much more grateful for being alive
- I am more grateful for the people who truly care about me
- I am exponentially more aware of my thoughts and emotions, and where they came from
- My thoughts have much more clarity
- I have learned what being aware of being aware really feels like, and what it means
- I am much less emotionally driven
- I can make much more sense of the emotions I feel
- I had powerful thoughts come to me that I truly do not feel would have come to me otherwise
- I feel more at one with the world
- I feel much more serene on a daily
- I am much less forgetful, and am aware of living in the moment more often
- I experience much less conflict with my ego, and making decisions more intuitively
- I used to think our cat is annoying, I’d get really frustrated when she would meow at midnight until the cows come home. I would neglect her and rarely express love for her because of this. Now, I actually feel much love for her. I feel a bond, a sure sign that I am becoming love with the universe.
Wow! Not so short after all! 1200 words later…I got a little carried away it seems. I didn’t want to leave anything out, so if you made it this far, thanks for reading my “short” review on my first 30 days of meditation, and I truly hope you enjoyed it.