There are two reasons why I started meditating with Oprah three weeks ago.
I was a bit overwhelmed with life. To-do lists were becoming excruciating to finish. I was jumping from one task to the other without completing the first. I was second-guessing my decisions, everything from “Should I eat this grilled cheese sandwich?” to “Should I even bother with this writing thing I call a ‘career’?” I was losing sight of who I was. (Having a touch of ADHD doesn’t help.)
The second reason is because a psychic told me to do it, and if you’ve ever been to a psychic, you know that you don’t want to mess around with that cosmic/karmic shit.
So when I saw that Oprah and her pal, Deepak Chopra, were doing a new three-week online meditation experience called Finding Your Flow, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to centre myself, get my groove back, and, hopefully, cease my chattering mind.
It also didn’t hurt that I’ve been a long-time subscriber to the World According to Oprah. Back when I was in high school, Oprah came out with her “gratitude journal” extravaganza and I was all about it. I routinely listed the five things I was most grateful for each day (pizza and “he looked at me!” were pretty much constants on the list). I can’t say enough how much it really put shit in perspective for me as a teenager, though. When I hit university and things got busy (and boozy), my gratitude journal lapsed, like most things in my life. Then, in my mid-20s, I went back to the journal, almost always when I was going through some sort of (love, work, creative, existential) crisis and, again, it helped me to see the bigger picture of my life.
I had faith that O would pull through again. So, (almost) every morning since April 14, I’d sit down at my Mac and meditate with Oprah and Deepak.
What worried me the most this week was the whole sitting down and not doing anything for 20 minutes thing. Like, seriously, I can’t do anything? No tweeting? No checking my email? No mind-numbingly scrolling through Facebook? And, wait, my thoughts have to just float around, and then disappear? Where are they going? I really fixated on that and then got mad at myself for thinking at all. Then I kept picturing Julia Roberts as Elizabeth Gilbert in Eat, Pray, Love and how she struggled with meditation and then I started to beat myself up for picturing that while I was meditating. I mean, why am I thinking of Julia Roberts while meditating? I know she’s a friend of Oprah’s, but still, I don’t think she’d approve.
In week one, Oprah and Deepak asked us to find a lot of stuff “within,” like security, love, happiness, etc.. Those are huge things for me, especially security. I wanted to believe that security and peace are within and not found in a 9-5 job or in a jar of peanut butter, so I really tried to work on that one. The results: I can honestly say that, for those ten minutes while I was meditating, I felt wholly responsible for my well-being and it felt awesome. Afterwards, I struggled with maintaining that sense of peace (especially when a job prospect fell through), but knowing that I had found it made me confident and assured that I could find it again, and made the loss a little easier to swallow. Also, this week, Oprah and Deepak basically said they don’t really like people getting mad at themselves while meditating because it’s about acknowledging where you’re at in the moment, so I reminded myself to keep that in check for week two. I would never want to disappoint O.
This was the Activation week. Now that we had found our security, love, happiness, etc., we were going to activate them with chakra work. For a lot of people, chakras can be far out, granola-y stuff, but if you keep in mind that humans are made of pure energy (remember your physics, people), then it just makes sense we’d have energy centres. This was a powerful week. Just the idea of activating something within myself, especially when I’m usually at home in my PJs on a computer—you know, just your regular sloth—made me feel more accomplished and confident. I discovered that chakra work is something I would like to explore further, and immediately texted my friend who’s a reiki master.
The Expression Week, otherwise known as my Everest. I didn’t complete every meditation this week, mostly because of legit reasons (I’ve had one heck of a cold) but also, probably, most likely, absolutely because expressing my truth can be difficult for me (I mean, without a keyboard and the privacy of a computer screen, of course). I can express confidence most times. I can make people laugh, sometimes. I can call you out on your shit, sure. But when it comes to expressing love and light openly, whether to strangers or people with whom I am close, that’s when I clam up and get super weird and awkward and uncomfortable. But, after doing some of the meditations, I realized why. I had my “aha moment” as O loves to call it. It’s because I’m scared. Scared of being rejected, maybe even scared of being loved. That was one big revelation for me. Once I digested that nugget, that piece of my soul, I became more aware of myself and when I am expressing myself truthfully, or when I am dimming my light. It’s a work in progress, of course. But, so am I.
The three weeks may be over, but my meditation practice is not. I now recognize meditation as a necessary part of my routine, just like the gratitude journal, or brushing my teeth. It soothes my soul, and I’d like to think it makes me a better person.
See. O always pulls through.