The wonderful world of meditation!

I scheduled time to do blog posts while I’m hanging out in the car waiting for my youngest to finish with his hip hop class. Today I was feeling particularly scattered and didn’t think I was going to be able to focus enough to have coherent thoughts and get them down. But being generally scattered, I thought it was a good idea to meditate. Side note: I’ve been meditating a lot more lately and finding it helpful. I know I have posted about mindfulness many times in the past. I think this post will have a slightly different flavor.

I was inspired to write this particular post based on a series of meditations I’m doing on my headspace app. They’re designed to manage a restless mind. While I was away at my ADHD conference last month, I was looking for a different meditation in the app to mix it up. I saw this one and thought to myself, “hey, I have a restless mind.” Though I have been meditating more, I haven’t been doing the 10 lesson course every day. Sometimes I’m not in the mood. Sometimes I don’t want to do 11 minutes of meditation. But I’ve been working my way through it. And I’ve been really surprised about the content.

To summarize, it’s not about fighting your restless mind or judging it, or even really taming it. Which I find refreshing, positive, and non judgmental. The emphasis is really just on noticing the state of your mind. A busy mind is not a bad thing. Nor is it a good thing. It just is.

I find this fascinating because taking away my own judgment about my ability to do meditation “the right way” was most of what kept me for meditating for decades. Letting go of that was transformational in my ability to do mindfulness. And to have that further reinforced feels really good. I think it’s probably allowed me to take my meditation to the next level in terms of believing how valuable it is and that I’m doing it right, whatever that means.

I’m always thinking of everything for an ADHD lens. Cuz that’s who I am and that’s my lens. Plus that’s what I do for a living. So I’m helping other people look through that lens a lot. I think I’m actually going to do a post pretty soon about some things that I’ve realized about people that I’m not actually sure are people things or ADHD people things. But I digress. I have adhd. Further digression. Why does my voice recognition sometimes capitalize ADHD and sometimes not? I should write a strongly worded letter to the Evermind…

the point is that I’m thinking about how my Revelations about meditation are fundamentally Revelations about meditation as a person with ADHD. In addition to what I’ve already shared, I’ve had a couple new lesser but important epiphanies lately. In the meditation lesson today, Andy talked about noticing the thoughts acknowledging them and letting them go. That really stuck with me. Because I know that one of our fears is that we’re going to have this great thought swirling amongst the Maelstrom of all the thoughts that we have, but that if we don’t hold on to it it will disappear just as fast as it came.

so for me I’m currently trying to reconcile the idea of having that thought and putting it on a shelf for later, taking out my to do list and writing it down, or letting it go. But I think the takeaway is that to be in a mindful place you can’t be using your executive function and you’re working memory to hold on to that thought while trying to function. Today I practice actually letting thoughts go and it felt kind of good.

my other observation about my practice today is related. I noticed that I was having a lot of really good thoughts. And I think that’s because in the act of trying to clear my mind I’m paring down all of the multiple thoughts to something simpler and when my brain slows down and distills what’s really important, I might actually think of something I hadn’t thought of before or spend enough time thinking about something that it develops further. Or maybe I’m just having good ideas because I’ve achieved a state of more clarity. I’m going to have to keep thinking about this one. But it was kind of nice to enjoy those good ideas and then let them go.

we generally talk about having so many thoughts going on in our head at the same time. But I’m not sure that’s strictly true. I think it’s more like we are cycling through a whole bunch of thoughts. I kind of think of our consciousness as like a hurricane with a whole bunch of stuff swirling around and it may feel like we’re thinking about a lot of things at once. But I think it’s more that we transition so quickly that we’re in the middle of a lot of different things and where flittering back and forth. Maybe a semantic argument. But my experience today was that I had thoughts while I was meditating but they seem to be calmer more enduring, and More in control. I’ll have to check this out more. Today may very well have been an outlier.

Anyway, you know the standard disclaimer by now so I’m not going to bother to copy and paste it. Enjoy the content. Overlook the spelling, punctuation, and quirks of talking this into my phone. And happy meditating my ADHD friends!