Friday, December 30, 2022

404 days of calm

Today, my Calm app quietly informed me that I'm have done 404 consecutive days of meditation/mindfulness practice.

I smiled a tiny happy smile. 

There is something just so satisfying about being able to do something consistently, daily, over hundreds of days. Especially for me personally, as consistency is something I've often struggled with, and just finally starting to get a better handle on. Even more so as mindfulness is also something I've been prioritising over the recent years as well. 

So, yay me. :)

This is actually the third year of my subscription, and while there are other similar apps on the market, Calm was the one which appealed to me from day one, from its interface to the various features they offer. I actually don't really know how the other competitors differ from it, since my subscription worked well for me - I'm terrible at market surveillance, and notorious for just downloading or paying for subscriptions based on whether the price is fair (to me) and ignoring price comparisons. Am just lazy for things like that. Oof. 

The first year marked the beginning of my Project Mindfulness, where I was making concerted efforts to meditate more regularly. I was charmed from day 1: adored the background visuals and audio selections, and the daily themed 10-minute snippets that was more do-able than just sitting in silence for the same duration, as well as the topics they touched on each day. This year of initiation saw me doing 7-to-10-day streaks at a time, and then I would just randomly drop off for days or weeks, before picking it up again after. Kept going back to it as I found that the days I got to it did bring some form of comfort and peace to the mental space, especially on many a frazzled day.

Year two saw me finding a comfortable groove with it and incorporating it into my daily routine. I still slipped up occasionally but those breaks got shorter and less frequent, and I got right back to it almost immediately. I also learnt to try out sleep stories which proved useful during a period when I experienced unusual trouble finding sleep, a very rare and therefore vexing occurrence for me. The soundscapes of different scenes/locations were also a fun alternative to the usual topical discussions I was used to, transporting me to Central Park in NYC or a Costa Rican jungle for a brief 10-20 minutes, a different way to train the focus on stilling the wandering mind.

The year past has been one where I finally learnt to assess what suits my needs the most each day, be it a minute of centred breathing, guided walking meditations, or even the repetition of my favourite Loving Kindness practice, which has truly brought much needed respite and tranquility that I needed through a year of chaos. Keeping an open mind and trying out the daily series featuring Jay Shetty rather than the dependable Tamara Levitt has also been a surprisingly refreshing change on some days. 

And just like that, 404 days have past. I still enjoy using the app plenty, so I will likely stick to it for at least another year before I decide if I trust myself to maintain the practice without needing to depend on an app to stay the course. But suffice to say that I'm glad I made the effort to implement this pratice, with the recognition that it's what I needed. 

Ending this post with the usual prayer/wish I often dedicate to individuals on my mind for the day, many a day to myself too:

May you be happy, may you be healthy, may you be safe, may you be at peace.
Keep calm and carry on
Keep calm and carry on


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