Meditating at Last in 2016

| January 3, 2016 | 0 Comments

New year´s resolutions are passé, at least in my house. It is just too frustrating to make the same list every first of the year and not feeling very dedicated to their execution. Therefore, for many years I have had the habit of dreaming big on January first, more like visualizing. Some things happened, others didn´t. But at least it was a fun experience.

Even better this year, I suggest an additional step in terms of starting the New Year away from limited feelings and coming closer to the present. There’s a way to be in the moment and be present – through meditation. I had been trying to add meditation to my daily practice for years and tried the advice of various experts in this field. Yet, I was never successful in establishing a meditation practice. This perceived failure added stress to my life and had the opposite effect from the promised results of meditation.

The solution came when I least expected it, during a very intense time of my life. It was during the birth of my daughter. Being a first time mom, I found myself in the middle of a volatile schedule that was not my own. Basic tasks had to happen repetitively over and over again: nursing, changing diapers, walking my baby around the house, shushing or singing. Add sleep deprivation to the mix and a very surreal mental state was created.

While being up at 3 a.m., nursing my daughter, I finally felt what is often described in meditation manuals: serene, totally in the moment, blissful. It finally happened without trying. The lack of sleep had quieted my monkey brain enough that I could be completely in the moment. Being in the moment and performing a very simple task opened up my perception to an intense feeling of being in the present.

I started to pay more attention and had this experience more often. This would occur while singing to her, changing diapers, dancing with her or waiting patiently for her to fall asleep. The solution to adding a meditation practice turned out to be very simple. Be with what you do.

Meditation has become a part of my daily lifestyle rather than another “to do task.” I expanded it even more by adding an intention to certain meditative activities. While in the shower I paid close attention to the cleansing feel of the water. Then I visualized those things I wanted to let go of running down the drain. Something similar would happen when washing my hands. I thought of how good it felt and invited more of those sensations into my life; and I vowed to be sensitive to other people´s feeling. Even while preparing meals, I thought of the love I felt for my husband and my daughter and how healthy meals will benefit and nourish us.

Early mediation attempts had been in my head, thus never succeeding. However, it is always there at any moment for us to experience and appreciate. First we need to slow down while completing tasks and fill our minds and bodies with the sensations of the moment. Avoid thoughts about yesterday or tomorrow so they don´t keep cycling through your head. Allow serenity and a delicious void to exist.

And now, while enjoying that calm experience, I wish you all a blissful year in 2016!

Author Sabine Starr is a psychologist licensed in Vienna, Austria, currently living and working in Mission Hills. She has written numerous articles for professional psychology journals. For further information, visit and follow her blog at; and a new social media offering is

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