On Monday morning I started another of Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey’s 21-day meditation challenges. The gist is simple, you sign up and each day you get an email with a link to the day’s meditation. You also have the option of downloading their iPhone app where each day’s session is automatically available (a far more elegant solution, in my opinion.). The content is about 21 minutes long, starts with Oprah opining on the day’s topic or theme, followed by Deepak Chopra’s mellifluous tones walking the listener through the day’s mantra and taking you into a 10-15 minute meditation.
The first time I did one of these was in 2013. I’d only been in Las Vegas a few months and a friend of mine here suggested that I try it out. I’d been fumbling my way through a junior varsity meditation practice on my own, pulling out some old experiences from high school and college when I’d been quite physically ill and some forward thinking nurses taught me meditation as a means to help manage my discomfort and try to stave off the ever-present anxiety that I felt.
To have a meditation experience that was being shared by tens of thousands of people around the world was a new experience and while I cannot state that it felt any different, what it did was enforce some discipline, making me carve out the time each day to keep up with the schedule. Twenty one days in it had become as integral a part to my morning routine as that all important press of the button on my coffee maker (which I did before the meditation, by the way … I mean the coffee had to be ready when I was done, right?).
Each of these “challenges” carries a theme – previous ones have included finding love and connecting with one’s inner self. This time around it’s manifesting true success. The key point is that all in our lives truly and deeply comes first from within. We cannot define ourselves by our circumstances, but all too often that’s precisely what we do.
We seek happiness based on the things we’ll achieve or collect, the places we’ll go, the people we’ll have in our lives. In doing this, we are essentially turning over our own power. We are allowing an external source to define who we are, which means if those things go away we run the risk of then having to redefine ourselves.
I’m just one day in to this new one, so will be reporting back as we move forward … but don’t wait to hear about it. Join me!