Just breathe

Do you ever get the feeling that the universe is trying to tell you something? In a clobber you over the head kind of way? Sometimes when the same thing or theme keeps coming up from different places, I recognize that it might be a nudge from God. Maybe the signs or messages have always been there, but for whatever reason, you’re in a place to receive them differently, and more directly.

I’m asking for a friend, of course. And that friend is me. In the past few months, I’ve read a number of books or articles that keep pointing to the scientific benefits of meditation, including prayer. I know this isn’t new, but I’ve been feeling more certain that it’s something I should be incorporating into a regular practice for myself. To be completely honest, there is some shame for me in addressing this, because I feel like as a pastor, especially, I should have this meditative and contemplative practice down, right? But I don’t. Far from it.

Some of this is just life, right? Finding the time to turn everything off and find silence, peace, and space can feel totally impossible most days. Some lives are much more conducive to deep, contemplative practice. Those individuals don’t regularly care for young children, I’m guessing.

But even now, as my children get older, as they are in school, as there are more opportunities where I could, in theory, make the time and space for meditation, I still struggle to do it. The other day I was prepping to lead a longer meeting, and I thought it might be helpful to find a short guided meditation to use to help center myself before the meeting began. I searched and found one that looked promising. 10 minutes. As it started playing, I googled “five minute guided meditations” and jumped to a different video. About 2 minutes in, I started making notes while trying to tell myself I was still following the meditation. At least I spend a few minutes breathing more deeply?

​ Still, I feel the nudge to give this a good try, at least. I know if I want to do it, really, I need to schedule it. And then do it. And shut the door. And close my eyes. I need to just take the leap. Just do it. Stop thinking and overthinking, or worrying that I’m doing it wrong. Even if I am. And then give myself grace in it all. Pray for me?

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