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butt still hereMade ya look! Thank you to the many purveyors of this inane social media hook. But really, what did happen after I meditated for 21 days straight? With only 23 hours and 45 minutes not meditating every one of those days?

The freakin’ world around me changed. Yeah. That’s right.

1) My dogs stopped being such annoying bitches. And golly, I just found myself being nice to them all the time.

For the literalists: Oh, so my dogs didn’t change, huh? They stayed the same, you say? And I just changed my perception of them and my reactions to them? Well isn’t that even more fucking awesome? When was the last time you replaced resentment with straight-up compassion without even trying? Come on. You so want summa that.

2) Inanimate objects began communicating with me so I wouldn’t forget them. Just ask the front desk staff at my studio – they were the witnesses to this supernatural shit. After teaching an evening Yoga Boot Camp and apologizing for not having printed the extra sign-in sheet I’d promised them, I triumphantly produced a roll of paper towels from the storage room to bring home. I swear that roll of paper towels was yelling, “Don’t leave without me, girl!” This was something I’d hoped to remember all day! You see, we were completely out at home, because I had forgotten to go to the grocery store.

For the literalists: Yeah, paper towels don’t talk. And my memory scorecard is still an “F”. I may not be remembering everything, but I am beginning to remember to do the shit I set my mind to. As if my mind belongs to me or something.

3) Time slows down so I can get more shit done. For example, an email from a student comes through asking if classes are running on MLK Day. Generally, I open emails like this the day after MLK Day. Lately, time has been holdin’ up so that I can scan emails for urgency and respond to all the ones that require it. Except that one time. The day after MLK Day.

For the literalists: I’ve always said I have an adversarial relationship with time. Time may not be my bitch, but I am totally perceiving it differently. I’m taking more Real action in real-time. The kind that, when I look back at it later, I say, yeah, I didn’t get my ass in as much trouble by doing that when I did.

What’s the point of all this? You gotta remember to celebrate the smallest things – they are pivotal in making change. If you don’t even notice these fleeting positive moments, your energy (and neural pathways) won’t “go there” – they won’t set you up for more occurrences like them. We gotta start living in what’s working instead of all the things that still suck.

Now, what exactly made me stick to this remarkably effective meditation practice?

I often fall off my meditation practice. So does Elizabeth Gilbert, we be all kindred like that. (Disclaimer #7: Yes, I will say this phrase often, especially when referring to absurdly famous people.) And then I re-ignite my meditation with some new practical life-hack, like, “I must meditate before I leave my room in the morning.” I started that one New Years Day. It’s working – I only left my room before meditating a couple of times to yank a teenager out of bed. One of those times I pulled off a solid Jack Nicholson, “Heeeere’s Mommy!” replete with facial contortion. I yanked, I yelled, I contorted, I repeated. Then, the kid got up. Then, I went back to my room and sat on my cushion just like Buddha do.

Common misconception: You have to be like the Dalai Lama to meditate. Logic: One person in the world would meditate then. Application: If meditation is hard, if you’re not naturally “serene,” get a yoga teacher* or a Buddhist teacher* or a mindfulness teacher* to show you how. You will struggle more than most at first, but you will also benefit the most. Your delta-happiness will be massive compared to a serene fucker. (Disclaimer #8: “Serene fucker” is in no way in reference to the Dalai Lama, now wayz, no howz.)

*Use caution. Don’t try to learn this stuff from someone who kinda knows it but doesn’t have a history of practicing it. Not even someone who really understands it – has a PhD even – but doesn’t do it themselves. Get someone with cred. So, who got cred? Peeps who practice meditation regularly, and draw from all three of the following sources: traditional wisdom, scientific knowledge, and inspired interpretation. More mind-blowing shit to come on this. Meditate on.

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