Tales of A Failed Meditator

Tales of A Failed Meditator

Just the words, “mindfulness practice” can be overwhelming.

There is so much information out there and it seems you can’t turn anywhere without someone extolling the virtues of this kind of practice.  There are apps and websites galore with instructions on ‘how to’.

Maybe you even notice you feel just a bit of shame or guilt creeping in if you’re not someone who sits for 20 minutes a day.

I’m not a meditator.  I have no formal mindfulness practice.  There I said it.  I’ve never been able to be consistent with anything we typically think of as mindfulness…sitting for 10, 20,30 minutes while focusing on our breathing, letting ourselves be in the moment, letting thoughts go.

But my happy, quiet place, the place where I am truly in the moment is on a hiking trail in the mountains.  I CAN walk along and ruminate on all the stressors in my life – and trust me sometimes I do just that.  But more often, I am right there, aware of my surrounding and of my body working to climb those hills.  Nothing else.  It restores me.

Sitting practice is NOT the only way to go…we don’t have feel like mindfulness failures.  There is plenty of room in the world for a simple approach to mindfulness, one the works for our lives, our unique circumstances.  After all, mindfulness is simply a way to slow down, to stop your mind and body from racing along and churning out all those stress hormones.

So let’s break it down.  There are really, really good reasons for post menopausal women to practice some kind of mindfulness. And there are some really, really simple ways to start incorporating mindfulness into your life.

Life is always stressful.  It always has been.  But for us, it goes beyond just stress reduction.

As post-menopausal women we benefit from mindfulness practice because it has been shown to regulate the stress hormone cortisol which we produce in spades once the estrogen and progesterone stop flowing.  And elevated cortisol levels can create symptoms similar to those of menopause.  These include, fatigue, sleep disturbances, bone loss, hair loss, weight gain (especially around the middle), depressed mood, loss of muscle mass and more.

So the benefit is real.  

And the practice can be so much simpler than it’s made out to be.

I’ve created a simple action plan and worksheet that offers three easy options for getting started with some kind of mindfulness practice AND helps you create your own practice. One that works for YOU, not one you think you SHOULD be doing.

And let me know how it goes.




2 Responses to Tales of A Failed Meditator

  1. Kikko says:

    In eastern culture and especially in Buddhism practice, attaining the state of mindfullness is something that people work on for years. It is interesting to see how the concept and practice change to suit lives of modern times. I would say that first thing we need to do to deal with stress is go off the grid even for 30 minutes a day. We talk as if stress is imposed upon us, but much is self-inflicted.

    • Betsy Ogden says:

      I totally agree with you. And certainly have respect for those who dedicate their lives to the practice of Buddhism. I think, to my dismay, we in the western word have co-opted the whole concept of mediation to mean stress reduction, which does true Buddhist meditation practices a disservice to say the least. I think I was thinking more of separating true meditation practice from a simple mindfulness practice meant for stress reduction, as you mention.

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