Sunday, January 4, 2015

"Doubling down on the Zen sh*t"

It's like freaking clockwork, I tell you.

Every December, I lose my mind a little bit. And by "a little bit," I'm not engaging in some kind of reverse hyperbole. It's just a little. There's no freaking out, no substance abuse, no meds required, but there are levels of stress that I just don't have at any other time. And there's acid reflux/stomach pain that comes along with that. My stomach is like a near-instant barometer of my stress levels.

I could blame it all on something predictable like "the holidays" -- and there's probably a grain of truth in that -- but mostly I think it's because I invariably I get sloppy with my meditation practice by late fall.

Summer's my happiest time. Vitamin D in sunshine form is readily available. I'm at my most physically active. Hell, this year I was in California for a full month of the summer --- 15 days of hiking in the Sierras with my kids and an epic L.A.-to-S.F. trip up the coast with my wife for 15 more. Outside. In California. Every day. It has a lasting effect (for a while).

By October, I was killing it. Work. Home. Band. Everything. Awesome.

By November, I was so killing it that I was barely meditating at all.

Because, really, who needs to meditate when you're killing it?

By mid-December, I was slightly miserable, letting stuff bother me that I never normally would. By late December, my stomach was bugging me more regularly. Lately, even a little more....

Like I said, this lesson repeats itself yearly: Mindfulness isn't a destination. You don't get there, put away your stress and hang out for infinity. It requires a little regular self-maintenance.

So the answer to the above question is: Me. This guy. I'm the one who needs to keep meditating even when I'm killing it.

Like the title says, I'm doubling down on the Zen shit for January. (No, actual Buddhists probably don't use phrases like "the Zen shit," but I'm not one of them; I just like a lot of their ideas). Daily meditation. Twice if possible. No, I'm not running another "meditation challenge" where I try to get you to do it too. Sure you can join me, but this one, from my perspective, is about me. So no cajoling, guilt trips, daily posts about a "challenge." Nope, just some daily (or more often) quiet time to settle my brain down. Join in, or don't. I'm in because I need this. My head needs it; my stomach needs it.

'Cause I really like it when I'm killing it. And I really hate it when I'm not. And right now, I'm mostly not.

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