Like many people, I tend to define success and fulfillment according to what I do — working, singing, writing, speaking, cleaning the house, to name a few things.  There is never any shortage of activities to begin, chores to complete, or obligations to fulfill.  I am very much a list-maker who gains immense satisfaction from “checking the box” next to each task as I complete it.

Lately though, my “things to do” feel less like accomplishments and more like habits.  It’s like being on a treadmill, where your mind wanders through so many random thoughts and feelings that you forget you’re running in the first place.  My mind is a noisy place, frequently consumed with analysis of the past or imaginings of the future. Even when all the boxes are checked on my to-do list, my fleeting moment of satisfaction is immediately followed by:  “What else should I be doing?  Is there something I forgot?  If it’s not on the list, how will it ever get done?”  The treadmill rolls on.

I took a short vacation from my to-do list to visit Arizona a few weeks ago. While I was there, I signed up for a 1-on-1 guided meditation session with a Native American healer.  Meditation has always intrigued me, but I had never tried it before.  My lifestyle of constant activity clashes with the basic tenets of meditation — stillness, introspection, the reassurance to “just be.” Prior to that session, it was almost impossible for me to clear my head and focus on the moment. In a life defined by “doing,” I believed I was not very good at “doing” meditation.

The session I had completely changed my view of meditation and my own strength.  I learned that I have the ability to quiet my noisy head and focus my senses, if only for a few moments at a time.  Also, unlike many other things that I am “doing,” meditation is a non-judgmental activity.  There’s no reason to be hard on yourself because stray thoughts enter your head during meditation, or you don’t experience some profound vision or revelation. Meditation is a kind, gentle, and encouraging journey.

Since my Arizona trip, I have been meditating at least once a day, in 10-20 minute increments.  I am hoping to gain new insight about myself — so my life is not just about what I do, but also who I am and what my purpose is in life.  It is a journey that I want to share with you all, my loyal readers. I realize this is a music and singing blog, so whenever it makes sense, I will tie in my music with meditation.  I’m looking forward to the journey — when I’m hopping off the treadmill for a bit, I’ll let you know what I see!