I started doing 5 Minute Meditations as part of my Daily Practice a week and a half ago, and wanted to write a little update about how they're manifesting, because truly, it's been quite a crazy result. If you aren't sure what I'm talking about, you can check out more information here or here, and if you're just tuning in now, I'll fill you in really quickly.
Each day, I sit down, set a timer for 5 minutes and 30 seconds, and meditate. I do one meditation centering my mind and feelings around love, which I send to my students and coworkers, and then I do another 5 Minute Meditation of Gratitude. The gratitude one is simply me praying profuse thanks to God for whatever comes to mind. Sometimes I sing it, sometimes I say it as poetry, sometimes if I'm having a hard time mustering anything specific, I simply say, "I am so grateful," or "I love you," over-and-over again. The intention here, is to practice what I've believed for many years now: that the power of the mind is greater than anything else we've been given, and thoughts can change everything. So, I'm putting it to the test, to see what can/will happen if I meditate love and gratitude for five minutes apiece. And I've gotta be honest, the results so far have been a huge surprise!
In the high school, I have two groups that are particularly difficult to try and teach/interact with, and another couple that have some shining students in their midst. But when I say shining, I don't mean that their light is so bright and beautiful. Instead, it's the shining look of f-you they wear on their faces, and their light is burning quite bright with arrogance and cockiness. For that, it can be difficult to tap into the love I know is there inside.
Some days, it's really hard to believe I can find the love in me that deserves to be sent to them. And believe me, it does deserve to be sent. I am a firm believer in that those who are the hardest to love, are the ones that need it most. Also, since I have been that age before, though it may have been a decade ago, it all still feels fresh enough for me to understand that they are just lost, confused, and overly-influenced by media and the fairly close-minded society that surrounds them. So how can I really hold it against them? They're just living from a place that is not their true essence, and will hopefully awaken someday.
I don't really have a strict method for doing the 5 Minute Meditations. They might be more effective if I did them at the same time, in the same sequence, every day, but that's not really how I live my life, so it's not really how they've happened. I try to always do the 5 Minute Meditation of Love in the morning, and it's even better if done before the high school has started. I think that once they are in school (a place they seem to hate) and surrounded by their peers, their energy and attitude kicks up a couple notches, and it's harder for me to access the unlimited reserve of love that's within me. Especially since I live so close to the school, I don't doubt that their energy and mine can too-easily penetrate one another's from this distance. (And now I'm actually really curious to know what the other teachers observe/feel when they're with the group I'm meditation love towards at that moment. Hmm... would be pretty cool to find out!)
As for the 5 Minute Meditation of Gratitude, sometimes I do it before the Love one, to get me in a great mental state, sometimes after, sometimes at night, and sometimes not at all, because I've spent most of my day in moments of over-flowing gratitude, and feel it's been done in its own way. But I think the gratitude one is even more important than the love one, because when you are living from a place of gratitude, you appreciate all the things that are good in your life, which causes more to come about, and when you are noticing all the beauty around you, it's hard not to be full of love.
What I've observed so far is this:
- I am much happier, and when I see students who have that "I am so cool and don't care about you or anything because I'm hot" look on their face, it's easier to not tense up inside, because I just think about my practice.
- For example: Just yesterday, I saw a group of boys from the most draining group, and some of the cockiest, I'm-the-cool-est, everyone else is ugly, lame and stupid-est ones, and they started laughing at me, because I had my hair in a ponytail on top of my head, like I always do when I wear a ponytail, and was sporting a Pocahontas scrunchy I've had since I was a child, purple tights, combat boots with striped socks pulled up to my mid-calf, a black dress, and a bright blue polyester coat I got at a second-hand shop in Brussels, that is also, literally, from the 80's. (I have spent a lot of time getting laughed at, judged, and criticized by Jr. high/high schoolers this year.) And yeah, at first, when I saw them, my instinct was to put on my attitude/tough, I'm-the-boss face (we tend to match that which we see), drop my smile, and not engage them. But instead of glaring at them, I just decided to keep my smile on, and walk by. (Not smiling directly at them probably wasn't the best way to handle it, but I didn't want to entangle my energy with theirs. I was in a great mood!) But after I'd walked by and been thoroughly laughed at, I processed the, "Are you kidding me, are you seriously that rude and insecure you little sh--," emotions, I just thought about the love I've been sending them, and while I felt a little defeated that it clearly doesn't seem to be working (I'd expect we'd share some smiles, not judgment), I felt better, knowing that at least my emotional/mental/energetic state is in a positive place. And, I even felt a little sympathetic for the kid, because I know he's just going through a tough age, and probably, will have a bit of a tough life, because he is really good-looking, and that usually means high levels of insecurity and self-imposed expectations for yourself and others, as well, his actions just mean he is not happy with himself or his life. So it became hard to be pissed at them for all the trouble they cause us teachers, and easier to just be glad that I'm a happy, loving, smiling person. And that's the whole point with these things anyways: To elevate and take your State of Being to such a good place, that the things that bothered you before, start to lose their grip, till they die off completely.
- Everything in my life seems to be falling into better alignment. The books I'm reading, the quotes I see, the messages that I get from everything around me, they all are starting to tell me the same things, on the same days, and usually, within short periods of time from one another.
- Because I'm focusing "so much" energy on love and gratitude, even when I enter a class that's not behaving so well, I care a lot less, because I'm in such a great mood, I don't care that their hormones are trying to run interference on my day, and then the class actually ends up going a lot better than I would have expected/it would have a couple weeks ago. (Related to the first bullet.)
- I haven't had any classes with a couple of the groups I try to focus most of my love on. It's incredible. I thought I was going to be softening them up, preparing myself energetically, and enter the classes to discover that, "Wow! All of a sudden, we're great together!" but instead, I just haven't entered with them. The teacher has a quiz, the class is on a field trip, the teacher needs to switch hours, they've got more field trips, any number of things have been happening to "keep me" from having class with them. This whole time, I've been trying to send love and gratitude out, and God just keeps the love coming back around, and giving me more to be grateful for. Who knew!
So, in short, I highly recommend taking up this practice if you have any sort of struggle in your life. It can be directed at anything, not just particular people. Your job, your town, any part of your circumstance can benefit and improve simply from sitting down, setting a timer, and Being silent or singing, focusing all your energy and thoughts on love and gratitude. Even if you feel full of detest for whatever it is, this will help! You know the saying, "Fake it till you make it"? Well, that's what we're doing here! And it works! And truly, you'll be amazed to see and feel how much love is locked up inside of you. Once you start to release it, it won't be able to stop. So let's break down those dams, and let the love flow!
Write me if you need any help, you have any questions, or you just want to say hi. I'm going to try and figure out how to use the camera on my computer so I can make some guided meditation videos, and then I'll share the links here. :) I hope you have an amazing day, night, afternoon, whatever, wherever, and smile and shine through everything that's going on!
I love you, I'm happy to exist with you!
Blessings, Love, Light & Wonder,