This morning, I headed out for my usual walk and meditation. Almost from the beginning, something didn’t feel right. My pace was a little slower, the sun was a little higher. But the weather was fine and I was feeling strong.
After I crossed a busy street, the meditation that usually relaxes and delights me didn’t work. Was it the long list of items still to do before the Design Your Life Camp? Was it the new Persuasive Writing Class I’m teaching on Wednesday? I don’t know. I tried following my breathing. I tried listening to every sound on the walk. I tried imagining letting go of each thought. But my mind raced and bounced, worried and fretted. There are sandpipers here in the fall, shore birds hundreds of miles from shore. I felt that misplaced.
It happens. Even long-term meditators have days in which meditation is difficult. I decided to let it go. Instead, I plugged in and listened to a novel that took a bit to get into, but that I am now enjoying.
I wanted to worry about it. I wanted to figure out why. I wanted to beat myself up for . . . listening to my inner critic. It doesn’t happen often, but when I can’t muster the gift of meditation, I move on. Tomorrow will be another opportunity. It’s hard to be OK with not connecting with a practice that is generally refreshing and invigorating. But the more you are OK with it, the sooner the strength comes back. And I trust it will. It’s important not to beat yourself up, not to over-think it (hah!) and not to quit. Other than that, some days are better than others.
—-Quinn McDonald will get up and continue doing walking meditation tomorrow.