I am facedown on the chiropractor table with lumbar wedges under my hips. This is my weekly meeting with myself as I wait for my body to “release out” as Dr. L says. This is the room where they play generic classical “hits” on repeat. As I try not to focus on the banal performance of Debussy’s Claire De Lune, I find my mind start swirling in every direction. For the next twenty minutes, it’s just me, bad Impressionism, and my thoughts. Dr. L says this is this time when most people nap. NAP? How could I nap!?
For the first few weeks, I used this time to think, plan, strategize, and, well, worry. Later, I decided it might be more productive to pray and have a nice mental conversation with my guides/higher self/angels. Which one is it anyway? (ok that’s a whole other blog entry). Then, I realized this was the perfect time to fit in my daily meditation, so I started bringing my guided meditations on my iPod. But today I even found myself worrying about my meditation. What if I don’t have time to finish? Should I choose a shorter one? Am I even doing this right? And as the soothing voice in my ear buds guides me to take deep breaths, I’m simultaneously planning my dinner, composing my response to my publicist, designing my next custom jewelry order, and worrying about tomorrow’s rehearsal. As I realize my breathing has come to a screeching halt, I’m slapped in the face with the irony that I’m squeezing my spiritual practice into my Dr.’s appointment.
Those of us with busy lives and even busier brains are the first to put their spiritual practice last on the list, if at all. We’ve all heard or said the common excuses; “ I just don’t have time!”. “I can’t sit still that long!”. “My mind won’t shut off!”. “I get so bored”, etc. Which is, in fact, the indicator of someone (like me) who needs meditation the most. As a person with self diagnosed Spiritual ADD, I can spend hours on end researching every facet of Spirituality and New Age thought. For a year after my awakening, I was consumed with learning everything I could. I got to a point recently where I realized all this conceptual awareness, albeit exciting and enlightening, only took me so far in my spiritual progression. I asked, “Well what now?”. I intuitively knew it was time for the work. The meditation. The yoga. The shedding of emotional baggage. The inner child work, The journaling. The terror of staring your fears straight in the face and the catharsis of releasing them. The three weeks of crying every time I meditated or wrote in my journal. I didn’t know this would happen. I didn’t plan this. I hadn’t set out to work through the past or my inner demons. It just happened. I used to think they’d just fall away like tiny scabs. I was too wise now. I was too “aware” to let all that bother me? I could just let it go. Right? Not so much. The minute I decided to begin my spiritual practice was the minute my emotional life seemed to collapse.
Luckily, I am not alone in this experience. A series of synchronistic events occurred and articles and youtube videos on this phenomenon fell into my lap. New, like-minded friends with similar experiences came into my life right when I needed them. This combined with the innate wisdom from my higher self made me realize I wasn’t spiraling out of control, and no, there was nothing really wrong with me. This was the mud I had to trudge though on my path to higher awareness. This was the work every spiritual teacher and guru had to do in order to fully realize their innate power as an infinite being. This was a massive blessing in disguise. An ugly, smelly disguise.
As my guided meditation comes to end, and Beethoven blares in the background, I realize the last twenty minutes were more like barrage of needy thoughts all screaming for my attention than any sort of calming meditation. Instead of beating myself up (old Jamie), I decide to write it down as soon as I get home. There is still work to be done. There are so many questions to ask and answers to dig out of myself. I am on the path. I am doing the work. I am evolving. It’s working. No mud, no lotus.