“The future of our nation causes Americans more stress than any other topic.”
I’d always been very intrigued by the concept of meditation before diving into Headspace at the beginning of 2014. While my New Year’s Resolutions are usually forgotten about by April, this one was different. From my first Take 10 session I fell in love with the clarity, awareness and new outlook on daily life that meditation gave me. The Headspace Journey has been a part of my everyday life ever since.
As I moved through the packs, I began to gain a new outlook on what felt important to me. Things like money, partying and material goods were beginning to take a back seat to personal health, seeing the world, and caring more for others. About a year ago, armed with this incredible new perspective, my girlfriend Becky (who is also a Headspace user) and I crafted an idea for a journey around the USA – a 10,000 mile, peace sign-shaped route around the nation – stopping in different cities along the way to perform a variety of volunteer acts. We were super stoked for what the future held.
We continued to use Headspace during the many months of planning and saving money. There were definitely stressful times, but the sense of calm that our daily meditation practice brought us turned them into mere bumps in the road that we easily navigated over.
Even after our departure day was delayed over a week (due to mechanical issues with our van), our spirits remained high and our minds calm. We finally hit the road from Florida about four weeks ago, fully ready to be free and share our message of positivity. But before we even made it out to our starting point (Asheville, North Carolina), the van started giving us issues again. This time, we were stranded in the middle of Georgia for a few days before finally making it to Asheville, only to be sidelined again for a week.
While we were stuck waiting for the van to be repaired, admittedly we both slacked a little on our daily Headspace routine. Those 20 minutes every morning were replaced with stress, anxiety and constant wondering if and when we’d be able to continue the journey. These thoughts were beginning to consume us.
It wasn’t until we came across one of our favorite spots in NC – a little campground in the mountains outside of Asheville with amazing riverside views – that we decided to meditate again. After spending a couple of hours just sitting, meditating and bringing the focus back to the present moment, we were back to the in-the-moment awareness that we’d unknowingly missed for the past week. Just one Headspace session later, we rediscovered our ability to deal with whatever the road threw at us. We also learned that we love using Headspace outdoors! Becky loves the beach and found the sound of waves in the background really useful for “breathing” exercises, while I’m a sucker for the rushing current of a river.
Returning to our practice helped us deal with a realization a few days ago – that we have the wrong vehicle for the journey. We made it as far as Nashville, Tennessee, but our van just wasn’t going to safely make it around the US. So now we’re back in Florida, regrouping and looking for another vehicle to set off in. Hopefully we’ll be road-bound soon, but regardless, we’ll continue our Headspace journey and try to remember the important lessons we learned that first time around: don’t stray from the present moment, and enjoy everything (the good and the bad) that it offers. (And, if you do stray, it only takes 1 or 2 mindful sessions to get you back to where you need to be.)
The wheels will be rolling again soon! To follow along with our journey and to help spread our message, we invite you to check out the Peace Across America page on Facebook.
The author of this post is an editorial contributor to Headspace. These are their views, experiences and results and theirs alone. This contributor was paid for their writing.