Guided Morning Meditation to Calm Your Thoughts

My attempt at managing anxiety — the struggle is real

5/15/20244 min read

an egg with a mustache and a mustache drawn on it
an egg with a mustache and a mustache drawn on it
  • In honor of National Meditation Week, I am resharing an essay that was originially published in MuddyUm on April 9th 2021. I hope you enjoy!

Settle in on the couch. Find a guided meditation on YouTube

babbling stream; birds chirping

Take a deep breath in through your nose and out through your mouth. Feel the cool air enter your nose and the warmer air leave your body. Relax into your breath and feel your body as you begin to melt into your seat.

— Cabinets opening and closing in the kitchen

— Oh, crap. I forgot to run the dishwasher last night. It’s ok. Accept the thought. Let it go. And focus on my breath.

Breath in 1. 2. 3. 4. Hold. Breath out 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

— Breath in. Hold. Breath out.

Imagine that you are breathing in calmness and peace. Breath out all your stress, worry, and anxiety.

— cat scratching my face

— Do I try to ignore her or do I move her? I probably should not move during mediation. Maybe she will go away.

Focus on your top of your head and relax the muscles in your forehead. Notice if you are holding any tension and let it go. Move down to your face. Notice any stress you may be holding

—All I notice is the cat. Now her whiskers are tickling my nose. Ok. I will move her, so I can concentrate. It is better to move and be done with it than stay distracted, right?

Now move down to your shoulders. Notice if they are tense and try to relax them.

—Do I really have to go to the staff meeting today? If I have to do one more Zoom, I will lose my mind. Acknowledge the thought. And let it float away.

… your arms tense? Unclench your hands and relax your fingers.

—Did I give the dog her allergy pill this morning?

Are you holding any stress in your stomach or your…

—What time does school start today? Do I need to wake him up? When will he learn to get up on his own? This kid is going to be hitting snooze forever. I sure feel sorry for his roommate in the fall. How is it possible that he is about to graduate high school? He was just my baby. Damn. The years go by fast. Ok Let the thoughts fly away.

Feel your sit muscles rooted to the chair or ground.

—Why do they always call it sit muscles? Is this some sort of yoga or Zen kind of thing? It is so distracting. I wish they would just say butt. Or even ass. Anything is better than sit muscles. Every. Damn. Time.

Feel your body relax as you

— Dog licks face

— Guess he was jealous because the cat was here. Or maybe he is hungry. Did my husband feed him this morning? Oh, I have to remember to get dog food. Almost out. And cheese. We need bread. Oooh. What was that thing I wanted to remember at the store? I swore I would not forget it. I knew I should have written it down.

.. the worry. Just focus on…

—I have missed so much of this video. Should I rewind it back to the breathing. No. Probably not. I bet there is some rule against that. What are the rules for meditation? Can you pause it? Rewind? Maybe I should just start over. No. It is supposed to be 3 minutes. Surely, I can focus for 3 minutes. Besides, I don’t really have time to start over. I have to write my staff notes and I have a team meeting at 9. My nose itches. Do I scratch it? Or is that against the rules? It is like your nose itching at the dentist and you really want to scratch it, but you can’t. That it the worst.

Notice your thoughts without judgement and bring your focus back to your breath.

—See. It is ok. I don’t need to rewind. I just need to bring my focus back to my breath. Breath in. Breath out. 1. 2. 3. 4.

— dog barks

— Is someone at the door? Ok. Just the neighbor mowing. Grass. Spring. That is what I wanted allergy pills. I should write it down. Try to remember when I’m done. Breath in 1. 2. 3. 4.

You are strong and can

— cell rings

— Who would be calling me this early? Hope nothing happened. I wonder if Mom is ok. Or maybe one of my clients got hurt. Are they trying to notify me of an incident? Oh yeah. I need to finish that incident report. Should I answer? Ok, it stopped. If it is important they will leave a voicemail. Then I have to check my voice mails. I wonder why checking my voice mails causes so much anxiety. Is it like that for everyone? Acknowledge and let it float away.

Notice your sense of calm.

—I’ll tell you what I want. What I really, really want. Damn. That. Song. Now it will be stuck in my head. Has been popping in there randomly since the 90s. Worst earwig ever. Earwig. What a weird word. Wonder where that came from. I should look that up. What is it I have to do again today? Staff meeting. Check on Mom. Journal. Don’t forget that. You forget that every single day. Wonder if there is something going on there? Check that voicemail. Grocery. What was it I supposed to buy again? Dammit.

Open your eyes. Keep this feeling of relaxation with you throughout your day.