Where Growth Happens

Until recently, I had never really sat to meditate in my life. A long believer in “action meditation”, I find martial arts and running and hiking meditative. The thought of sitting cross-legged on the floor, pond-still, for any length of time sounded to me like some kind of prison rather than a space where I would free my mind. I know that doesn’t sound very evolved, but what it lacks in spiritual maturity, it makes up for in honesty.

I tried meditation in earnest at a week-long outdoor yoga and meditation retreat in the middle of Cambodia. Just being there was a privilege. While so many people were hard at work, I was taking an opportunity to do some internal work. The yoga was enjoyably challenging. The meditation part was not. But that doesn’t mean I am not glad I did it.

Back straight, eyes closed, I tried to focus on breath alone. I counted four beats of inhalation and four beats of exhalation. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale.

Thoughts…
Realization of thoughts…
Don’t think.
Inhale. Exhale.

Mosquitos buzzed my ears…
Flies ran along my bare arms…

Thinking about critters…
Twitch…
Focus.
Inhale. Exhale.

The challenge of the so-called “monkey mind” where thoughts jump around rather than focusing on breath or nothingness was only part of it. My brain went to the pain associated with just sitting so still — knees, ankles, back, neck, then mosquitos, flies, geckos, spiders, and monkey mind. I wanted to move.

I realized as I tried to walk this mental tightrope that it is always in the space of discomfort that growth happens.

Whether it is mental perseverance, or physical stamina you display, growth happens there.

Whether it is getting vulnerable as Brene Brown has researched so thoughtfully, growth happens there.

Or if you are sitting on the floor and doing the thing you think you cannot do as Eleanor Roosevelt beautifully advised, growth happens there.

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About Stephanie Himango

Welcome to Another Door Opens. I'm a freelance writer and television producer who loves stories, photography, people, fitness and design. In Another Door Opens, find short stories about your fellow man that will inspire and inform. Please add your email to Follow and receive a notice with each new post. Welcome. http://anotherdooropens.net -Stephanie
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