Thursday December 24, 2009: When I started this challenge, I thought the hard part would be continuing to meditate as the holidays got closer and things got more and more hectic. And while a few days it has taken some mental discipline to park myself on that meditation pillow and get to work, these past few days I’ve found it harder to make time to write about my mediation experiences. So, I’m catching up today with my meditations on December 24 and 25. On December 24, I meditated as soon as I woke up because I knew the rest of the day would be crazy and I hoped the meditation might set a tone! I did a short yoga practice first and then sat for meditation. I decided to use the ham sa mantra because I felt like I needed to raise my energy level. We had been up late the night before preparing food for our big family holiday celebration on the evening of the 24th (it’s an Italian tradition) and we had a long day of cooking, decorating, and welcoming guests before us. My mind was full of “mental checklists” for everything from setting the table to finding sushi grade tuna. So, needless to say, it was a bit of a challenge to clear my head. In fact, I think it’s fair to say that my head did not exactly “clear”. What I was able to manage was to turn the volume down to a dull roar. And if some days meditation just allows you to take a few deep breaths and turn off some of the voices in your head, perhaps that’s a success? I was able to step outside of the swift moving current of the moment and to slow down a little inside. I wish I could say that, thanks to over 2 straight weeks of meditation, I never lost my cool that day and I was always in harmony with my surroundings. But, I’d be lying 🙂 What I can say is that I was a little more aware of the shifts in my mind and my body when I did start to get frustrated or anxious and that awareness is perhaps a step towards not getting so caught up in these emotions?