I have never been into meditation, but today I tried an experiment.
When I got into my car on the way to work, I sat for two full minutes with my eyes closed an the engine off. During these two minutes, I repeatedly gave voice to the feelings and sensations I was aware of. Each time I felt something I said “I am aware that I …”, where the blank was the sensation I was experiencing. I said things like:
“I am aware that I am hearing a plane fly overhead.”
“I am aware that I am stressed about a project I have to work on today.”
“I am aware of the feeling that I have to go to the bathroom.”
“I am aware that I enjoyed time with my friends this weekend.”
“I am aware that despite having a good weekend, I am judging myself for not accomplishing enough.”
“I am aware of the feeling of the sun shining through my car window.”
The goal was not to place judgments on any of these feelings or inner interpretations, but rather just to acknowledge them. I found myself wanting to follow “I am aware that I feel …” with “and that means I should…”. I tried hard to veer away from those thoughts.
At the end of two minutes I felt relaxed, but the real impact was more subtle, and over the course of the day. I acutually found myself more conscious of what I was thinking and feeling, and a bit less reactive in interpersonal situations. It wasn’t perfect, and quite often that awareness came only in retrospect, but it was somehow refreshing to hear the words “I am aware that I” going through my head spontaneously.