When I first joined Calm, which is totally utterly brilliant by the way, I got an invitation to join the Facebook group, as do all newcomers. In it people post their own tales, their own beautiful meditation spots and their winning streaks. People post pictures of 100 day, 365, and 1000 days.
People also moaned, of starting their 98th meditation five minutes before midnight and it finishing five minutes after so technically not completed within the day and thus breaking the streak. I looked at angst over broken streaks and thought this is not what mindfulness is about.
I also recognised that I could hook into it, even at the stage where I was getting excited about doing 7 days of mindfulness straight. I realised that if I could feel disappointed with myself over such a small streak the disappointment would be bigger over breaking a large one. So I thought about it, how mindfulness is being in the here and now, not leading a streak. I don’t have a good or a bad meditation session, just sometimes my mind is busier than others. In that same way, I decided that missing a session was just a thing that was going to happen and I wasn’t going to see it as a failure.
Inevitably it happened and I broke a streak of over 30 days. I decided to forgive myself and managed to do so. The last streak broke when my son’s GCSE results came out and he had to return from school after collecting his results for a piece of paper before he was allowed to sign up for sixth form. I realised at the end of the day that I’d missed my session and decided I wasn’t going to do it and I wasn’t going to fake it either. I’d just start again.
Today, I am just over a year on and the less I worry about my streaks the longer they are. My ten minute daily calm meditations have brought me self-awareness and contributed to increased inner peace. I have felt more connected to myself than ever before. I have noticed my ability to be mindful in real life as well, not just in practice.
Today’s meditation was a loving-kindness one, or metta prayer, in commemoration of World AIDS Day. The first time I did a loving-kindness meditation I felt it stupid. This time I was tearful. I felt greater warmth towards myself, increased self-compassion. I was kinder to me.
So I share 100 days of calm, and my pride in this achievement, whilst simultaneously recognising that today it is today’s meditation that matters, as it will also be tomorrow.