Breathe In, Breathe Out

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buddha-meditation-image-quote-pictureI got all Zen’d out (my made up slang word!)  this past weekend at Kripalau, a well known yoga retreat center in the Berkshire mountains, where I attended a nutrition seminar on food and mood.  Kripalau is a place to relax, rewind and reground yourself – lots of yoga, meditation, silent breakfasts, quiet.

If you asked me two years ago to go to Kripalau, I would have politely declined.  “I don’t do yoga.”  “Meditating is something I try to do every once in a while but I just can’t seem to get it off the ground.”  My back issues, my busyness, all holding me back from gaining traction in what I feel like are two extremely important areas of my life now.

After my back surgery in October, I vowed that I would make meditation a priority.  I knew from all my research and trainings that meditation helps with anxiety (certainly had that during recovery) and, in our distracted, crazy world we live in, letting our brain take a break could lead to less stress and more awareness and mindfulness in our everyday lives.

Sometimes, in order to gain momentum, you need a certain amount of openness to wonder that goes beyond studies and research. One door opens many.  But you need to open that first door.

I started with guided meditations (there is actually a few ways to meditate) and discovered I liked that. Sitting by myself in silence? Not so much.  I like a theme to focus on and a little music. Repeating a mantra to yourself helps – such as “Om” or, in the case of this meditation, I was repeating the other morning “Sheevo Hum” (sanskrit for “I am infinity”).   Some of the mantras sound a little silly and are difficult to pronounce, which makes it kind of fun too.

This morning, as I sat in quiet contemplation, trying to remember the mantra I was told to repeat “ahem prema” (sanskrit for “I am love”), my cat Marshmellow (note spelling, my daughters choice) started meowing.  Loudly. Every 5 seconds.  I quickly forgot the original mantra and my mantra became “meow”. I became afraid that she would silently pad in and jump on my lap, but I was determined not to break silence.  It became all too distracting, my thoughts about love and peace muddled with “meow” and “please let me outside”.

It’s okay.  I have learned that there is no perfection in meditation, just like there is no perfection in being a mother, the star student at school or the healthiest eater.  I am a work in progress. I will simply start again tomorrow.

And like the masters say: I will breathe in, breathe out.

Ready to enlighten your eating and your life? Join me for Reset and Renew, my online retreat beginning April 23, 2015.  Click HERE for all the details.



4 comments to " Breathe In, Breathe Out "

  • Heather- I am enjoying your posts. Great guidance for all of us trying to re-focus and re-deifine our efforts and direction with the arrival of spring and the re-birth it inspires. Best of all: your reminder that we are all a work in progress. Perfection is not instantaneous. It’s ok to zig zag!!

    • Heather Carey

      Hi Karen! Yes, it took me a long time to learn that perfection is an illusion, we all have to simply do our best!

  • Heather – your posts makes me feel “normal”. I really look forward to them and to your wise words. Thank you for being so open,

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