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There is nothing special about my mind; everyone’s mind has the temperament of a rabid raccoon. My mind is not louder, crazier or more complicated than the mind belonging to the person on the next cushion. And her back doesn’t hurt less than mine does, either.

I am not preparing for the Regional Mindfulness Championships. If there were ever an example of the journey being the reward, this is it. This is all there is.

The day I really really really don’t want to sit because I’m too tired, I have too many other things to do, I’m no good at it and my cushion feels lumpy – is the day I most need to suck it up and sit it down.

When I first started meditating, after each session I would rate the level of peacefulness attained on a scale of 1-10. I stopped just short of making a graph to chart my progress. I don’t have enough space here to explain all the reasons why that is not the way to go about this.

I have created a loving relationship with my meditation timer.

Regardless of how peaceful/pretty/calming I make my meditation space, some days it will still feel like a dentist’s office.

It’s actually really helpful to meditate in the dentist’s office

The more I want to tell someone else that they have to practice mindfulness, the more I need to be quiet and do it myself. They are not a leaky faucet and I am not a plumber.

It’s normal to be freaked out when you realize you have made it to your current age without having the slightest idea of how to breathe. It’s O.K. Just breathe and you’ll get through it.

When you really start to get into this, when you are practicing regularly and seeing the results in the rest of your life, you will feel this rumbling truth emerging from deep down in your soul – telling you that because you meditate, you are superior to everyone else. It’s just a phase. It’s the smug phase. We’ve all been there. And have gotten past it. So, who’s superior now?

And now some humble advice, if I may:

Sit by yourself. Sit with others. Sit in silence. Sit where there is construction noise. Sit where people are talking too loud and bumping into you. Sit when there is a dog trying to get in your lap. Sit near water. Sit where it is soft. Sit where it is uneven and your feet are cold.

Because only by sitting in all these places that are far from ideal, can you begin to realize that you (the real you, not the rabid raccoon masquerading as you) are the one in control of the million tiny moments and choices that all add up to make a life.

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