Deep inhale, deep exhale. The palms of my hands rested on my knees, I flutter open my eyes, the words from my guided meditation still echoing in my head: "Treat today as if everything that happens is a miracle."
Sophomore year in college was a journey – spiritually, emotionally, academically – and in attempts to find a place to belong, a community, and because I had no plans on the Sunday of Presidents' Day Weekend, I found myself at SCU's 9 pm mass that night. Soon, I recognized a cute guy from my ECON 1 class walk in and sit two seats away from me on the aisle. His name was Mach*. We had never talked but he asked a lot of questions in class, so I knew who he was. At that moment, I nearly started talking to him, but then I became shy so I kept my mouth shut and stared straight ahead, waiting for the service to begin.
After mentioning I had seen a cute guy at mass to my friend, a few weeks later, I returned with her, secretly hoping to run into him. And we saw Mach! Of course, because we go to SCU, my friend knew him. (That's the world of SCU. Everyone has mutual friends.)
After mass, she said hello and then we learned that Mach had started meditating within the past year using the Headspace app. Since becoming more in touch with my spirituality, I had been fascinated with meditation and impressed that people could sit still, envious of them being so at peace. Inspired by Mach, less than 24 hours later, I downloaded Headspace. Two weeks later, I was an official subscriber. And so began my daily routine of meditation.
It's now been over 5 months of me meditating every day (more or less). I meditate in the morning for 10 minutes to start the day off with a more calm mind. Sometimes, there will be mornings when I'm too stressed, and I'll meditate at night before going to bed, which eases me to sleep.
However, I've found that the mornings I meditate, it's like I am planting my two feet on the ground, ready to jump, spring into, and welcome the day, prepared for whatever happens in the world. The days I skip meditation due to stress or feeling rushed, I've found are more unsteady, like I'm starting my day with two uneven feet, off balance.
I started meditating to have something in common with the cute guy from church. A crush had developed; the fact that Mach meditated made him fascinating, and I was curious to understand him more. Plus, the thought of meditating sounded fun and peaceful as well as a challenge. Could I keep up meditating every day like Mach?! Moreover, it could be a conversation starter should I ever catch him alone.
My crush on Mach probably lasted two weeks. Although I no longer like him in that way, I have this healthy and mindful habit that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. Crushes, though short-term, can inspire and allow us to explore and discover newfound passions. When you like someone, you want to be more like them, right? We pick up their habits and want to learn more about their interests. I definitely would not have started meditating if I hadn't been attracted to Mach.
Meditation has impacted my life in many positive ways, helping me to manage feeling anxious and lonely, as well as create a healthy morning routine. To learn to be comfortable with me and my own company. To practice gratitude. To be present in the moment. To live fully with all five senses, not just sight but sound, touch, taste, and smell. To remember to breathe in the chaos and stress. To be in tune with my emotions.
To connect with the spiritual self that I didn't realize existed within me. To think about the relationships in my life. To let go. To acknowledge that there will always be a blue sky even when life feels like an endless thunderstorm.
Although meditation started out as a small habit that I didn't think much of, it's grown to be an everyday practice. Those 10 minutes in the morning really do make a difference.
And it all began with a crush. Thanks, Mach.
*name has been changed