Whatever works

meg happyI have been attempting meditation recently, without discipline or consistency. But I know my ways work for me because I have discovered how to make myself happy.I found a’mantra’, if that is the term, and when I repeat it, it lifts my mind out of my body.

For my first attempts at mediation I listened to a CD and discovered the knack of concentrating on your breath instead of your thoughts.That’s about it. There is no more. If you can do that long enough your brain relaxes.

If you can let your mind rest long enough you are going to relax, gain perspective and lower your shoulders (and probably your heart rate and pressure). That’s it. That’s meditation.

If you are puzzling over something in your life you might come to an answer while meditating. But that is the same thing that happens when you go to sleep and your mind keeps on puzzling.

Let your unconscious have some breathing room and your mind will take a happy break.

Speaking of happy, my own personal mantra came to me the other morning while I was lying in bed. I was day dreaming about a fantastic possibility for my life, and as I pictured my possibility a smile came to my face unbidden!

I made myself smile just thinking about how much fun that would be. And believe me there have been plenty of times when I have made my heart sink down into my body by thinking opposite negative thoughts.

But on this day I felt like a ten year old girl and my heart soared. And because I am not ten years old, I stopped and observed my heart in flight. Huh, I said to myself, I just made myself happy just thinking about a possibility.This is a child like state that I have almost forgotten. Your future can be filled with joy and hope. Just by thinking about fun things you want to do!

I decided there and then that I should think about things that make me happy every day.  And I should do things that make me happy. “I can be happy”, sprang into my mind. When I say those words I smile. I know that happiness is under my control. It is in my mind and my mind controls everything.

Maybe that is not meditation – but it is for me. Deep, clear thinking. I know how it works now and obviously I could learn more or achieve a deeper synthesis with the whatnot of the universe but when it comes down to it, how does anyone know what other people’s meditation feels like?

Why are we always torturing ourselves about the better way of doing things that other people are apparently achieving? It is the same for ‘keys to a happy marriage’ or “how to bring up a happy child’. There are no answers and there is no key. As long as you know that, you might be better placed for achieving happiness.

My lovely dentist who keeps my teeth so clean always concludes by saying that I have healthy teeth and gums. One time the hygienist asked me how frequently I used floss. I said ‘a good amount’  and then she asked me how much was a good amount? I said about once a month (and I was exaggerating).

But my answer stands in for all questions regarding how you are supposed to do things, and how I do things. You are supposed to meditate regularly at the same time very day. The best? In the morning before everyone gets up. That’s not going to happen.

How many children should you have, if any? A good amount. How much sex should you have? A good amount. How many times should you wash your hair?  A good amount!  How long should you write every day? A  good amount!  How many times a month should you vacuum? A good amount!  How much should you exercise? Way more than I do!

I am remembering stressing out about how healthy I should be for my first pregnancy. I should eat more fruit, I chastised  myself. And I really don’t like apples! Oh, but you should eat apples every day, I argued. But then I had a break through. What if I eat pears? I like pears. Oh, fine then. Eat pears.

Just find a fun way to do things you ‘ought’ to do and move on. You don’t have to make life a chore. Eat a ‘good amount’ of pears, too.

My mantra is a reminder to myself;  I can be happy if I want to be happy.  If I am smiling then I am spreading happiness. And in order to smile I need to dream and be as hopeful as a child.

I remember my eldest daughter telling me about a dream when she was only three years old.  She was either dreaming or thinking or meditating about a really good birthday party and it made her smile so she told me “Mama, my face is making me happy”.

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