Three weeks ago, we had our first group of meditation challengers- amazing people who committed to three weeks of pressing pause. Read about some of their experiences below:
Name: Angela Hollett
I decided to do a meditation challenge as a part of my mental preparation to declutter my mind and harness the ability to focus and stay calm in stressful situations (Read: in the labour room!). It was refreshing to wake up before most of the city and start the day off with intention instead of the stressful rushing that has become the norm of my life: pressing snooze, walking the dog and inevitably rushing to work and then having breakfast at my desk while I read emails. I came into the challenge with no expectations, just curiosity to see what 3 weeks of meditation would do to my body and my brain.
The most challenging part besides waking up in the dark and trying not to wake my sleeping husband was staying present during meditations. I would find my mind wondering and there were days where I dozed off for a few moments. Committing to doing a 5am wake up call 5 days a week for 3 weeks was also challenging. It definitely helped to have a friend join the challenge with me so that there was someone there to keep me accountable, and it was great to share our experience together.
My "aha!" moment was one morning when Anita told us how long we had been meditating for and it felt like that time had just flown by. I think we were doing a body scan where you bring awareness to each part of the body, and at the end of it, 15 minutes had passed but it felt like the blink of an eye.
My favourite part of the challenge was the art of noticing. I loved the practice of being able to notice something and then let it go: Everything from parts of our body, to the sounds around us. One of the bonuses also of doing 7am meditations at the darkest time of the year is that at the end of our meditation session, the sky would be bright as if we all awoke from a beautiful dream.
Moving forwards my biggest takeaway will be the art of noticing without judgement. To acknowledge the presence of something without passing judgement by making it into an adjective has helped me stay more present and grounded, but it is definitely still a work in progress, and I hope that taking away what we practiced in class will slowly permeate into my every day life.
Name: Emma Andrews
Instagram handle: @emmamazing_life
Who am I? Holistic Nutritionist, Co-Founder at Pineapple Collective. An endurance athlete passionate about longevity!
This has been a very powerful three weeks for me. I actually didn't know what to expect, because prior to this I had only ever meditated for 10 minutes at a time, and never a consistent daily practice. I've always had it in the back of my mind to try incorporating more deliberate mindfulness into my routine. Being an entrepreneur and an athlete means I deal with my fair share of anxiety and stress (we all do). I had a feeling it would be beneficial towards finding a great sense of presence and ease. It delivered all that and more.
I've felt ripple effects in so many areas of my life. I've felt more in control of my emotions (my husband noticed too!), better able to observe thoughts and feelings and not get as overwhelmed by them (this is huge for me). I've become much more aware of my surroundings, things like colours, sights and sounds that become more vivid. I've noticed how I stop sometimes just to soak in a moment.
I've slept better, been able to wake up easier, met new friends, and cemented a new routine around daily mindfulness. There's no doubt that I'll keep coming back to Moment.
Name: Molly Greene
Instagram handle: @bobollywood
Who you are: lady lawyer, math enthusiast and badass MC
My mind never stops. Ever. My goal for the three week meditation challenge was to literally "take a pause" and get my brain to shut up for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. I'm happy to say that it was a success! I've been feeling more relaxed, focused and ready to tackle my day after a morning meditation. The challenge left me feeling so good, that I've committed to making meditation a part of my every day routine!
I saw the 3-week Challenge and decided I wanted/needed to make time for it. I was tired of being busy all the time. Tired of talking about how busy I was. And to be honest, I think I was just tired. The Challenge took place during a particular hectic time at work and seemed like a solution to slowing down.
Each meditation begins with a mindful activity, which I really like. I've always been more of a wader than a diver so it was a nice way to feel the temperature of the water (so to speak) before starting in on the meditation. Each session, despite that I always sat in the same spot (creature of habit!), my experience really varied. Sometimes the chatter in my mind was full on and other times, it was barely a whisper. What was consistent, was the way I felt when I left, definitely more relaxed.
Having just finished the Challenge, I notice that I sometimes still use the word 'busy', but I catch myself and try to think of other ways to describe my day or how I've been. It will take time to overcome, but I plan to continue meditating, I'm curious to see what other things I start to notice.