Go Your Own Way

Must resist temptation to link to Fleetwood Mac video…

Meditation - 300 Days Straight

On Monday this week, I hit a meditative milestone when I completed my 300th consecutive day of checking in to the Headspace app. Choosing to turn up and practice something every day for 300 days straight has proved to be a fascinating experiment, I’m learning loads about myself and others in relation to presence, honesty, kindness, distraction and more.

A few months ago I came to a decision that I would check in and meditate every day for a full year – 365 days straight. This remains my intention, and from now on I’ll be going it alone. Headspace has been incredibly useful for me – the app helped me find my way into the initially uncomfortable silence meditation brings, and it encouraged me to keep going. The idea of an extending continuous streak of daily practice is motivating, and the occasional gift of free membership to pass to others helps too.

The frequent slow downloads and the clunky desktop app are much less useful though. As I sit waiting 25 minutes plus for a session to download, I contemplate – not so much about meditation in itself, more about the way I’m doing it. Or maybe having it done to me?

Things are changing. I’ve gone from finding the voice of the narrator welcoming and encouraging, to something mildly irritating and patronising. The idea of logging a continuous streak has shifted from something motivating to something obligatory. I feel like I’m being gamed – and these feelings are getting in the way of my practice.

I believed that one day not too far into the future, I would be sharing with you (slightly smugly perhaps?), a 365 days badge, and this is no longer the case. I made it to 300 – I’m having a fascinating journey and for it to continue usefully and enjoyably, I need to go my own way from now. Thanks Headspace – it’s been fun.

Author: Doug Shaw

Artist and Consultant. Embracing uncertainty, sketching myself into existence. Helping people do things differently, through an artistic lens.

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