Allie Carmichael

I am a 25-year-old woman living in New York City (the complete anti-zen) who realized I was constantly living in my head, distracted by the past and the future, but completely missing the present. I thought stress was an inevitable part of life. My time was dominated by anxiety and my attention was always seized by the next task, the next to-do list, the next goal. A sudden panic attack on the subway made me realize that something wasn’t right. After doing some serious self-reflection and realizing the lack of presence I had in my own life, I started meditating. That led me to the concept of mindfulness, and to dozens of new ideas that I just had to start writing about. I am still new to mindfulness, and want to share all my pitfalls, setbacks and embarrassments with others. Maybe they can help someone, or at least provide a laugh or two. For me, meditation is not about gaining enlightenment or calling yourself a yogi. It’s about finding some peace and quiet in your own head. It’s about unplugging from the constant stream of news, social media and texts that allow me to passively fill every waking minute. It’s about appreciating the still, silent moments in each day.