In the midst of a particularly stressful week, I was on the phone with Cole “The Machine” Anderson when he launched into some long-winded story about urban planning, or Urban Outfitters, something like that (sorry, bro) and I interrupted him, “COLE, I don’t have time for this, I’m gonna have a panic attack, and I really need to go write about meditating!!” and hung up the phone. He immediately texted me, “You can’t write about meditating on the verge of a panic attack, so go work out NOW or go meditate outside NOW, then write.” I’m quite stubborn, so of course I tried to write anyway and very quickly realized he was right. I grabbed my Nikes and my favorite Billy Blanks Boot Camp DVD and worked up a nice sweat, then went outside to sit in the sun for a minute. I was surprised at how quickly my anxiety was replaced by a calm, happy, put-together feeling.

I’ve been experimenting with meditation for a few weeks now, which is not something I’d ever thought I would say because it seemed kind of corny to me, but the results have, quite frankly, shocked me. I’ve had to play around with different ways to meditate, but I’ve found that the most consistent feeling, no matter how deep I’m able to sink into it, is mindfulness. I’ve talked to a few people about it, read how-to articles and experimental articles and some people say the easiest way to meditate is to focus on your breathing or a chant, or to empty your mind, and all say to make yourself aware of what you’re feeling. I’ve tried chanting but I get the words all mixed up, and I’ve tried focusing on my breath and I don’t know if I always try meditating when I’m hungry or something but I can like, taste the air and it’s just weird, so I’m not really in to it.

My most successful experience happened after a workout when my body was a little tired and I just plunked myself down in front of a wall to keep my spine straight, letting my head kind of loll around. I didn’t try very hard to empty my mind; instead I acknowledged the thoughts and feelings floating around in there and they all started to look like… color swirls. I let my mind go with it and eventually I felt a concentrated ball of energy in my chest that was silver and glittery and with every pulse of it, it was like negative energies were oozing out of me like a spaghetti noodle-maker. The ball moved around and started to drift up towards my head and then I guess I started to come out of it because it was taking more work to keep that image, so I let myself slowly “wake up.”  I opened my eyes and it had been almost an hour.

I don’t exactly make the time to meditate every day, but I’ve noticed that it’s easier to calm down if I can be aware of negative feelings and it’s like that silver glittery ball reappears for a few minutes and clears me out, leaving me with that subtle giddy feeling I have right after I finish my morning cup of coffee. It’s not like a magic problem solver, but it brings me back to earth and I feel like all things overwhelming fall into place in front of me and I tackle them, one task at a time.

What about you, Denver? Try it out and tell me what happens, or for all you Gurus out there, what are your favorite tips? Tell me the color of your energy ball.