Do You Even Meditate?


Meditation is such a buzz word – it’s like kombucha – it’s become so hip to say you practice… and honestly, it is cool, but it seems like these days everyone is an expert, telling you how much it’s changed their life. It can be intimidating, but the topic is (seemingly) unavoidable.

You know when you learn a new word and shortly thereafter, you read it everywhere? Or when you’re in the market for a new car and you see the exact one you want at every stop light? Is that the theory of ‘The Secret’?… I never read the book; I think it started to become SO popular that I felt it necessary to rebel. Similar to The Godfather – I’ve still never seen it, and at this point, I might as well keep that “fun fact” alive… though, it would seem I’m only punishing myself by not viewing what I’ve come to understand is a cinematic masterpiece.

I realize I’ve already gotten off track but just go with it; I’m not writing an essay to pass my college English class – I’m free!

And with that freedom, I will use this time to drop the poll numbers – for those that responded, 56% said they DO NOT partake in meditation… I would’ve opted to write on this topic regardless of the outcome, but the results were much closer than I’d anticipated.

Back to it… as I’m sure you know, everyone and their mom has a podcast these days – there’s sports podcasts, informational podcasts, business podcasts, feminine podcasts, television podcasts, design podcasts – if you can think of a topic, there’s a podcast for it. Point being, I’ve heard an array of them and many times, the host asks their successful guest, ‘what’s the one piece of advice you would give to listeners?’. And the guest says to ‘drink a lot of water’… no, obviously that’s not it… they often say they recommend meditating, but I don’t ever really hear the process of that undertaking.

How many of you have sat down cross-legged, covering your eyes and tried to “be silent and present” only to be flooded with thoughts about all the laundry that needs to be done, how Grey’s Anatomy is still running, or what you’re supposed to get your mom for Christmas? Obviously I can’t get an answer from you, but if I were in an auditorium pacing the stage with a microphone, I would expect most of the room would hold up their hand…

I’ll go with the poll statistics and say 44% of this imaginary auditorium would then raise a hand to reveal they’ve mastered their personal meditation process, leaving the majority to feel like Buddha didn’t deem them worthy enough for a visit. I guess I’m comparing Buddha to Santa, but instead of leaving coal, you just don’t get to learn how to meditate.

For a long time, I felt I was in that boat, just kind of accepting the fact that my thoughts race, and I’m not meant to sit still for that type of practice. Years later, I stumbled across an episode on the Goop podcast (thanks, Gwyneth) that clicked and I found myself very interested in hearing more about magnetism, manifesting, and yes, meditating. I’ll tag the website / podcast I’m referring to at the bottom of the blog, and maybe I’ll get a free coffee mug from them… ooh, we need mugs for Coffee With A Question – MERCH – who wants to design the logo?! Brooke, you reading?

Anyway, without going too far down the rabbit hole, I will say I connected with the information and decided to immerse myself in one of the guided meditations; I was given permission to throw away all of the ‘think positive’ jargon and get to the root of my blocks. I understood why I was putting certain barriers up and why I operate the way I do; I’m religiously early to everything, and within one of the first sessions, with my eyes shielded comfortably underneath a black sleep mask, I saw two year old Devon in a room watching The Addams Family, waiting to be picked up by Grammy. I was by myself, convinced she had forgotten me, allowing Uncle Fester, Cousin It, and Thing to sink into my brain (maybe that long hair had something to do with why I chopped all of mine off before starting kindergarten). In reality, I could’ve been at Day Care an extra two minutes, but for some reason, the importance of being on time was very clearly programmed into me that day. I’ve gone in and re-envisioned this “scene” numerous times, restructuring the event so my brain doesn’t continue to subconsciously think I was forgotten. Obviously me telling you ‘I went in to restructure’ doesn’t give you a road map on what to do, but my point is that, for me, doing this instead of waking up in the morning and saying a positive affirmation in the mirror, has been so healing.

And of course, I’m not just referring to being traumatized for a few minutes at daycare, but I’m not going to list out the details of every powerful meditation I’ve done… I just don’t think we’re there yet and I really want this relationship to work out.

So, while I credit these teachings to have shown me how I can identify a trigger or dive deeper into why I’m feeling inadequate in a situation, it can sometimes feel overwhelming, or like I’ll never get to the end of the tunnel. *Side note* do you hold your breath when you go through a tunnel? Is that a thing or did my parents just want me to stop talking so much on road trips?

I sincerely don’t want to tie this up with a nice bow, saying “here, go learn all this, and all traumas will be healed, all resentments will be gone, and little fairies will come in and do all of your dishes (silently) while you’re sleeping.” The fact is, I’m still learning, and some days I’m not interested in spending an hour in the depths of my brain, because some days I just want to watch The British Bake Off.

To close with another dash of transparency, I feel inclined to divulge that earlier this week, I was experiencing unexplainable anxiety – it wasn’t crippling or anything, but for two days, it was lurking in the shadows, and meditation didn’t seem to give me any answers. I expect the root will make itself known at some point (maybe it’s because I’m hoping Lena Dunham will read the kind words I left her and want to whisk me away into her magical writing world), or maybe it’ll be nothing – either way, I know if I hadn’t gone and taken a closer look at how I’m programmed, I wouldn’t have had the courage to start a blog and share my words with everyone. So yeah, shout out to meditation – you’re doing great, sweetie!

Devon Herrera

Committed to Curiosity

@coffee_with_a_question | The Expanded Podcast