Well, if you’re not already doing it yourself, you’ve probably heard that there are many people on the planet who are. I mean meditating! It’s not just for the monks, nuns and yogis. Anybody can download an app and be guided, peacefully and skilfully, by an experienced meditation instructor. You can chose the gender and style of the instructor as well as the time – 5 minutes, 10, 15 or 20. Your call. You can even record the minutes you’ve meditated, share with friends your x number of days in a streak or even download your favourite sessions. There are a couple of apps I’ve been using regularly and today, boy oh boy, I unexpectedly put the practice to the test.
This morning hubby and I went to check-in for our flight to Denpasar. It was the first time that we had used the self-check-in machines at an international airport. No problem. We think we’re pretty IT savy for our generation. Try as we may (three times I do recall), the machine kept telling us that our check-in was unsuccessful and we needed to speak to an airline employee. So we did – three of them. All, by the way, would have made excellent politicians. Each time I asked why we couldn’t check in, I was told that the plane was full and that they had to make some adjustments. Mmm, why would they have to make adjustments when we had paid for our seats months ago??
Okay, so are you intrigued? Stay with me! Please come to the customer service desk in 10 minutes. Fine. Watch people. Enjoy Christmas decorations. Breathe. Send Whatsapp message. Time’s up. Now for the moment of truth. Approach customer service desk.
Due to blah, blah, blah, blah and blah, blah, blah, blah you don’t have seats on the plane and you will have to come back at 5 o’clock this afternoon to catch the next plane to Denpasar. We’re very sorry but there’s nothing we can do.
So, if this has ever happened to you, there’s at least a moment, if not longer, of disbelief, of shock, a moment of resistance and the voice in the head says, either silently or out loud, This shouldn’t be happening. This moment of resistance is then usually followed by unconscious irritability or anger, which is then vented on whoever happens to be in front of you. Sound familiar?
Now, this is the part I want to share with you. This is the part that is interesting and really my motivation for writing this blog. As I heard my nearest and dearest making objections and struggle against the inevitable fact that we would not be flying out this morning, my mind felt (surprisingly) calm and accepting. The weird part is that it didn’t feel like this mental state was something I naturally possessed. It actually felt like I was benefitting from some kind of training. I really don’t think I was fully aware of how much progress I had made with my meditation practice until this situation presented itself today. I found myself having compassion for this poor employee who had to deliver the unsavoury news to us. I found myself wanting to be understanding and kind and to be in the moment without fighting it. I found myself having gratitude as she gave us the two $100 cab vouchers for the return trip home as well as the $300 that would be credited to our airline account for future air travel.
It was undoubtedly the best feeling; not to struggle, push away, argue, get belligerent, blame, complain or object. Right, I’m thinking, so THIS is why so many people are meditating. It actually changes the way we feel and the way we behave! It actually helps you to be mindful, calm, present and kind when the sh**t hits the fan! It’s an awesome feeling. No wonder so many people are talking about it!
Wayne Dyer said, Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change. Spot on Wayne.
So, we left our luggage at the airport and took a taxi to our favourite local café. We enjoyed a delicious cooked breakfast with a yummy flat white coffee. After this, we caught an Uber home. I must admit, it was pretty weird entering the house but I could see the humour in it. The rest of the day was actually delightful. We got to take stuff out of the dishwasher, catch up on emails, go for a long walk, have a snooze in our own bed and, most importantly, do a couple more guided meditations. I was also able to pick up a couple of things which I had forgotten to pack. Yeah!
The two apps I’ve been using regularly each day for the last two months are called Calm and 10% Happier. They are both excellent and are a combination of breathing and analytical meditations. There is always a theme to focus on, like, emotions, tolerance, relationships, kindness, compassion etc. which helps you to reflect on a subject and then feel it at a deeper level. Now, did you know that the word, meditation, actually means familiarisation? So, when we meditate we are becoming familiar with focusing our mind on an object. In most cases it is our breath going in and out of the nostrils. It’s a handy object of focus because it is always with us – if we’re still breathing, of course.
So guys, if you are still with me, I highly suggest you give the guided meditations a try. On the 10% Happier app you can choose from a number of different meditators to help guide you and, no matter how crazy your monkey mind is, believe me, you will benefit from some daily training, even if it is just 10 minutes. I know we are supposed to sit up with our spine straight, however, I like to meditate lying down flat on my back. I’m not sleepy. I’m alert but I’m also super relaxed in this position and being relaxed, I have found, is an important prerequisite for being able to meditate in anyway successfully.
We are now about two hours into our flight to Denpasar and I’m writing this blog in the air. Today’s little episode has really confirmed something I already knew; that the more we practise anything, the more likely we are to feel the results of that practice. Not only do we benefit, but, like that pebble we throw into the pond, those around us also feel the results of our practice. They too become more conscious, calmer, kinder and more present. It’s a flow on effect and a win-win for everybody.