On Overcoming a Jinx

From Left to Right: Mary I & Philip II of Spai...
Between this family and my Jinx, my meditation schedule last week didn't stand a chance. (Image via Wikipedia)

My religious upbringing was eclectic and firmly based in Murphy’s Law, or perhaps more accurately, on The Jinx.

If we were driving to grandpa’s house, we were never allowed to say, “Wow! We’re making great time!” because that was essentially asking for a flat tire or a freak hail storm or giant griffins descending from the heavens to sharpen their claws on the roof of our station wagon.

By the same token, we’d never say, “I feel great!” or “Things are going so well right now!” or “We’re definitely on for knitting circle this week!” or “The baby seems to be settling into a routine.” (I’ve never had occasion to use that last one).

So, I should have known that my declaration last week that I loved meditating and that getting up at 4:30 had not only been easier than expected, it rocked, and I loved washing my face in cold water to wake myself up, and wasn’t life grand now that I’d found the secret to happiness? would be immediately followed by a period of meditative stagnation.

What does meditative stagnation look like? In the past five days, I’ve watched eleven hours of The Tudors and eaten three tubs of hummus (small tubs, but tubs nonetheless).

While the meditation program I’m following doesn’t specifically prohibit those actions, I find that doing those things consumes most of the time I might otherwise be meditating.

I didn’t drop the plan entirely, but it was faltering badly enough, I was worried I might not be able to pick it back up. But this weekend, I was able to sneak in both meditation and yoga. I’m not going to tempt fate and call it a comeback, but this morning I got up at 4:30 again and didn’t even go back to bed after yoga (not for lack of trying, though. I was apparently not sleepy enough to lose consciousness with my toddler snuggled next to me singing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” at full volume and pausing to sweetly tell me that he loves my hair (“I wuv your hair, Mommy. [pet, pet] What co-wor your hair, Mommy?”)).

So, that was Week 4.

On to Week 5!

For Weeks 5 and 6, I’m taking a break from the body scan and focusing instead on yoga and sitting meditation.

Each day, I will alternate 45-60 minutes of yoga with up to 45 minutes of sitting meditation. Today was yoga. Yesterday was sitting meditation, during which my right foot fell into a profound sleep and my body attempted to follow. The sudden awareness of gravity jerked me awake a number of times. The fear of braining myself on the brick fireplace behind me was apparently only enough to keep me awake for a few moments.

But even with my lapse last week, I am ready to recommit to the program. There are only nine episodes of The Tudors left, so that temptation will be gone soon, so I have that much going for me.

This time, however, I’ll be more cautious about how much I talk it up. No need to tempt fate.

5 Replies to “On Overcoming a Jinx”

  1. It waxes. It wanes. It peters. It becomes inspiring. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. The point isn’t to actually “get” anywhere with meditation, is it? Or maybe it is? I just hope occasionally I’ll find a little extra beat of stillness off my mat. But, even if I don’t I get it on my mat sometimes and that’s enough. Or maybe it isn’t?


  2. My foot fell asleep during meditation in yoga class this week too. In the past I have sat on a folded blanket but there were none left and I think that may be why. Not sure what your meditation position was but perhaps a blanket would help.
    btw – i’m completely impressed with your practice – inspiring 🙂


    1. I’ve got an elaborate set-up involving a yoga mat, two pillows, and my old nursing stool. This morning I discovered that if I made sure my ankles were extended rather than flexed, my feet didn’t fall asleep so badly. But my hands fell asleep, so something was still off. I’m going to have to experiment a bit, I think.

      And thanks for the compliment!


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