I’ve been practicing TM (transcendental meditation) since 1992, every day, often twice a day. A true practice requires two sits a day. I can only remember one day in 26 years where I completely skipped my morning meditation. The afternoon ones have dissipated, but I still religiously take time away from my desk around 4pm. I say I’m meditating, but an objective onlooker might call it a nap. I claim that the best thing about having this practice is that I put myself first twice a day whether it’s repeating a mantra or simply closing my eyes.

Even though I’ve counted decades at this discipline I’ve been using the Insight Timer app since I heard about it. Mostly because it has a more forgiving chime than the Radio Shack countdown timer I used to use. I also caught onto a feature that tallies how many days in a row one meditates. It’s a funky accounting because when I travel and am in a different location or time zone, the numbers of consecutive days changes. Nevertheless, I was getting close to 365 days in a row (from home) on the app and was looking forward to posting that benchmark.

Slight segue: I spent this past Saturday night in NJ with my adorable grandsons including an overnight where they both joined me to sleep in the guest room. Will, the little one, woke up at 5am. He and I went up to the living room so his brother could continue to sleep undisturbed. At 19 months, Will is already a whiz on his industrial strength iPad. He was so engaged that I knew I could get my morning minutes in, even without the benefit of my Insight Timer.

This morning, after I’d completed my practice back at home, this screen appeared. I was annoyed. Because I hadn’t officially recorded Sunday’s morning meditation, the device started me over at Day 1. Damn! I wanted to show you how good I am at this. I wanted visual proof that I’d been at this wellness thing for a sustained amount of time. I wanted to impress you. Now, my big achievement was erased.

I’ve been knocked sideways a few times this summer. The various episodes of my knockedness come back to the same theme. I have a set idea in my head about how I am being perceived and something comes along to push that aside. I believe I’m blowing the image. I’m not proud of this realization, but it’s important to expose it, own it and move on even if I’m not projecting the appearance I want you to see. I’ve used the Insight Timer correction only as an illustration of my summer challenges, not as one of them. Smiley face.

We live in a society now that documents, reviews and likes every move we make. I need to learn to tame my own inner critic and listen more closely to my spiritual center and my divine source of guidance rather than put my faith in my perceived image. How about you?


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