People Notice You More When You Nap

When I first moved to New York, I used to look at old photos of Debbie Harry being a bad-ass or Sophie Tucker sashaying around in a vintage gown and think “That’s what I want to be doing” Now I have been here for ten years, I seek out photos of people living in caves, people standing alone in nature with miles of free space, I seek out silence. Living in New York City for extended periods of time results in melodramatic thinking “I don’t want to take the subway therefore I must move to an uninhabited meadow near a waterfall… within walking distance to a pizza place, preferably”

I started meditating this year. I use an app called Insight Timer, I use the guided visualizations for ten minutes or less. The purpose of meditation is to still your mind, reduce stress, relax, and to lie down in the middle of the day (I made the last one up) I never realized how many stress inducing thoughts I have.

Guided Meditation: Breathe out for four. Now imagine yourself in a garden. There is a patch of yellow flowers..

Me: I want a garden. I need to move to a place where I can have a garden. Probably not in New York though. I’d really have to make a big…oh yeah, meditate

Guided Meditation: The sun casts a bright light directly to you. Imagine the light is coming into your body through the top of your head. It slowly moves down your spine.

Me: That’s the thing about living in New York. You need a car. If you want to get out of town on the weekends, you need a car. Renting is too expensive. I just want to be able to get out of town whenever I want. That shouldn’t be such a big ask. I am thinking. I acknowledge my thoughts and ask them to leave.

When I catch myself thinking during meditation, I acknowledge my thoughts and ask them to leave. I think this could come in handy in real life. “Hello, neighbor who stomps around his apartment on the regular, I see you in my coffee shop, I acknowledge you and ask you to leave”

What am I saying? (sidenote: this is a Joel Olsteen expression. He says it quite a bit. And yes, I went to see him in New York and no, I am not a religious freak. I am seeking out new experiences) Meditating has heightened my awareness to my stress inducing thinking. I think a lot about stuff that triggers anxiety. My internal dialogue is elementary whining. My inside voice is a brat with a keen eye for what isn’t going right. When I notice it, I try to change my thinking to positive thinking. I imagine me with my own talk show. I imagine me taking a month off to walk around Eastern Europe. These thoughts are harder to ruminate on for some reason. What am I saying? It’s hard to think mostly good thoughts and meditation helps get you there. Also, meditating is a great excuse to lie down alone in silence. You could just lie there and claim you were meditating. A meditation session is really a productive nap. I meditated twice in one day and my friend said “you look so well rested” technically I took two ten minute naps and it’s only 4pm so …

Sometimes I have trouble visualizing the guided visualization I chose.

Guided visualization: you are on an isolated island. The water is crystal clear, a light breeze blows and the birds rejoice.
Me: (inhaling for four counts and exhaling for four counts)
Guided visualization: you walk towards the shoreline and see a cave… walk to the cave and you see your name is written on top of the entrance to the cave…
Me: what the hell?
Guided visualization: you enter the cave
Me: Nooooo. I run the other way. I scream for help. I’m on a deserted island and I discover a cave with my name on it? Sounds like Dateline visits the Blue Lagoon.
How about: “You are on an isolated island with six New York City Detectives trying to figure out why the hell your name is on a cave on an Indonesian island”
Stinking thinking!
Positive people might say “oh somebody bought me a cave”
I think “this is a set up”
But I’m working on it!
One ten minute nap at a time.

Now go lie down!

Thanks for listening!
Kendra is a stand up comic living in Brooklyn where she owns a super comfortable bed where she eats, sleeps, and occasionally entertains.
twitter @theotherkendra
Instagram @theotherkendra

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