Monday Meditation Practice
Good Morning Beautiful!
I felt called to write a post on meditation today. I had an awful day by many people's standards. I had a show with Love Jones the Musical. Then a meet & greet for about 30 minutes. I got back to my dressing room at about 11:30 pm. That was fun, right? Then we hopped in the sprinter for an 8 hour drive to the next city. I don't sleep well in sprinters so I dozed off here and there. I arrived at my hotel for a much needed nap at about 6:30 am. We got in the room and it was freezing. I threw my coat on and added a sweatshirt over my top. I went to sleep, too tired to ask them to fix the heat. (Actually they were called, they did come up, they couldn't fix it... Some mechanical thing.)
Anyways. I slept for 2-3 hrs waking up shivering here and there and the great Love Jones crew arranged a trip to the Nike store. I wasn't missing that, so I stood up, rinsed my face off, refusing to shower in 40 degrees and headed out to the sprinters for a little shopping spree.
Got back to the Telly at 12:30, grouchy, hungry and sleepy.
We switched our room to something with heat. I had to repack my bags and un pack the fridge (where I keep all my coconut water, veggies and fruit). We moved rooms. I showered, put on my new sweats, grabbed the almond milk from the new fridge and took a trip to the hotel's sunny lobby.
There were big chairs and an espresso machine. I decided to have a coffee with my almond milk and take advantage of what looked to me like a meditation playground. Soft jazz playing in the Memphis lobby. I needed a minute.
Got my coffee made, added cinnamon and headed to the biggest chair by the sunniest window, praying that I could have 10 minutes of quiet, heated solitude.
I crossed my legs in the big fluffy chair with the sturdy back, laid my hands, palm side up on my knees, closed my eyes and began to breath.
When I was finished, the ends of my lips were turned up. The room was calmer, and my nerves were soothed. My coffee was waiting. I took the first sip and it spilled just a little down my had. The lid wasn't sturdy. I got up to get another. When I returned a little old lady was picking my cup up to clean the table. I waved and said "that's mine, thank you". She didn't hear me. I walked closer and repeated myself. She kept cleaning and moving my cup around the table. I kindly reached over and lifted my coffee and simply sat at the next fluffy chair. She walked over. She asked me what I was doing earlier. She asked if it was meditation and explained that she needed to do "that". Here's what I told her, "Take ten deep breaths". I knew that she watched me and understood the rest. Can I share with you what I was doing? Would you like a quick class in meditation? Here's what I was doing in that chair.
1. Sit in a comfy position. Legs crossed. Palms up on the knee caps. Back straight. I like to be against a wall or back of a fluffy couch for support. Ex. Your living room couch.
2. Take a deep breath in and count to 4
3. Exhale and count to 6
4. On my inhale I said to my self "I Am"
5. On my exhale I finish the sentence with what I am literally doing. "Seated", "sitting in a chair at the Westin hotel", "performing in Chicago", "playing Nina in Love Jones tonight". Ex. "I am sitting in a chair at the Westin hotel."
6. When I am at the top of each breath I give myself a second to be where "I Am". I visualize it. I feel it. I become it. If I'm having a hard time becoming it, then I repeat it again on the next breath. Sometimes, I will repeat something 10 times before I can feel it. Sometimes just once is fine. I don't judge myself. I just experience the moment, freely.
7. When I run out of sentences then I simply finish "I Am" with "Grateful".
8. I try counting on my fingers sometimes. Each inhale and exhale pairing is one finger. Going thru both of my hands 2 times is usually a nice way to begin my day. See what works for you. Some people set a 10 minute timer on their phone. I like to be as far away from anything that feels like technology in this moment. I don't like to be too strict during meditation.
9. Switch back and forth between things that "you are" and the word "grateful". Ex. "I am breathing deeply. I am grateful. I am sitting still. I am grateful. I am awake. I am grateful."
10. When you're done. Open your eyes and take a look around you. Realize where you are literally seated. See who is around you. Be grateful for what you see and practice gratitude towards it. Be grateful throughout your day.
It is my finding that with each repetition of "grateful", you won't just become more grounded in your experience but you will become more grateful for it. That's what tends to happen to me.
I'm now sitting still sipping my coffee, writing you this post because, she was brave enough to ask, I decided maybe she isn't the only person who wants to know.
In 10 minutes I'll head to the theatre and perform the lead role in tonight's showing of "Love Jones The Musical". I'll go out for a meet & greet and then perform in the night show. I'll get to the hotel at 11, get up at 4, hop on a plane to Detroit and perform again for the Milestone tour. I'm so grateful for being the vessel I'm called to be. I'm also very grateful for meditation. It calms and it soothes. Use it when you feel up, down or in-between to balance and calm you.
I love you deeply,