I was talking to someone the other day and I spoke about how going for a swim, a bike ride, or a run is what helps me clear out my thoughts and relax. The other person appeared surprised that I could engage in that type of physical exercise and still meditate. I thought I should look up the definition of meditate to see if I was really meditating as I push my body to its limits or if another verb would be more appropriate… after thorough research (well actually looking it up quickly on-line) I have determined that yes, I do meditate…
Per Merriam-Webster, the definition of meditate is:
- to engage in contemplation or reflection
- to engage in mental exercise for the purpose of reaching a heightened level of spiritual awareness
Yep, I meditate when I am pounding the pavement, furiously peddling up hills, and flailing my arms and legs in the water (flailing is the correct term too because my swimming technique is somewhat to be desired). Physical exercise gives me the opportunity to be by myself in my own thoughts where I give myself permission to let my thoughts flow randomly from one subject to another. It allows me to work through my emotions – good, bad, or indifferent in a way that is healthy both in body and soul.
So why do I forget about this incredible therapy that is only a bike, a running shoe, or a bathing suit away when I am scared, angry, or sad? Could it possibly be that when I am in a negative mood, I do not want to contemplate or reflect on myself? Could it be that I want to overindulge in my pity party? Could it be that I do not want to confront myself… that I am embarrassed of myself? Could it be that I will need to admit to myself that I am not holding myself accountable to be happy and healthy?
I decided (after a good solid 10 days of rocking one heckuva pity party extravaganza) that I needed to go back to my meditation musings to rid myself of “poor me” and regain back “best of me”. Tonight it was yoga in 92 degree muggy Minnesota and my running clothes are laid out for tomorrow… hmm… I think Positive Patty just may be back on track!
What is your favorite form of meditation musing? Do you go for the peaceful gentle style or is it a more “pound the pavement”, physically demanding approach?