Last year I set myself a challenge to meditate every day for a week in March, and it felt so good that I kept going. I ended up meditating 27/31 days last March, definitely a record for me, so I decided to set myself the challenge to do it every day in March. (Along with my Matcha challenge, because apparently I’m crazy, hehe)
I used to meditate in the shower at least 50% of the time… I felt the sensation of the water running over my head and skin to be this really cleansing process, and because my old shower had 3.5 walls, it was almost like a sensory deprivation tank. But now with the move I’ve got a regular old shower, and one that’s a bit persnickity with regards to temperature, so I’ve had to do it the good old regular way… I have a nook in the office (which I usually use when I’m doing a manifesting meditation) and I do the rest in my bed.
The bed that I share with my cat, Kali.
Kali and Freya are the cats that I adopted after my kitty Daisy passed away 5 years ago. And yes, I named them after goddesses, because OF COURSE. They’re sisters, the first and last born… But they’ve grown apart and Kali in particular became quite grumpy when I moved to the UK and sent them to live with a friend of the family for 6 months. She came back to me quite territorial, she hates my husband, and she’s a bit bossy if I’m entirely honest. She also bullies poor Freya (who is my more sensitive baby) who now tends to stay downstairs while Kali dominates the upper part of our house (and the food bowl, even though it’s on Freya’s turf.)
How does this tie into meditation?
Every time I meditate, Kali needs to get right in there. It doesn’t matter if it’s silent, if there’s music or if I have a guided visualization playing. She’s not content to just be on the bed with me, she needs to be ON me, cradled in my lap. I’ve tried shooing her out – she sits outside the door and cries. I’ve tried getting her to go back to her spot at the foot of the bed, that’s an even bigger distraction. (And as soon as I close my eyes she ninjas back into my lap.) This is what she’s been showing me.
Meditation doesn’t have to be serious.
It’s not all OMing and chanting. Sometimes it’s just creating time and space to sit, undistracted, to breathe and to quiet the mind. That space is a self-care declaration and making the time in itself is a gift to yourself. It’s okay for your meditation to relaxed and open. It doesn’t have to be a strict disciplined event. In fact, the more open and flexible you are, the more likely you are to engage in a regular meditative practice. My personal meditation practice does include OMing and chanting, but it also includes eating mindfully and truly SAVOURING my food, colouring, my tea preparation rituals and more.
Petting your cat can be a mindful act.
So it’s Day 4 of #MeditationMarch and each of the days has seen me trying to have my hands in mudras, and each of the days has seen Kali nuzzle herself into one of my hands. So I’ve been doing one mudra, and struggling with her for the other hand. Today, I gave in and used my left hand to pet her mindfully as Snatam Kaur played. I felt her fur in my fingers (Kali’s, not Snatam’s), I felt the rumble of her purr against my leg, and I basked in her love. And you know what, it was equally refreshing if not maybe a tiny bit more so than when I meditate solo. We exchanged energy. We shared love with each other. And it was very bit a meditation as my regular practice.
The act of surrendering.
Sometimes, Kali wriggles. Sometimes, she flexes her paws and pokes me with her claws. Even when she’s still, I’m aware of a living being snuggled up to my body. It’s a really good practice to remain centred and to just let it happen. I breathe and it helps me return to focus. And if she ever pokes a bit too hard I gently move her paw. Even giving into her joining me in meditation was surrendering because I was originally very hung up on what it was supposed to be which got in the way of it just BEING. And it’s beautiful.
Don’t get me wrong – there’s a certain something something about a disciplined meditation, in total silence, where it’s just you, your body and your busy head melding into one. But if you have a little being who just wants to love you, consider letting them in, because the experience can be a beautiful one, FOR SURE.
Btw, are you doing #MeditationMarch? Tell me how it’s going in the comments!
Sending you warm purr-y love,