Change is hard. Forming a new habit (especially those that are good for you) is hard. One of the most challenging, and rewarding habit I’ve been practicing for over six years is daily meditation.
How I Started Meditating
Meditation was prescribed as one tool I can use to manage anxiety and stress. I knew from all the research that meditation is good for me. Yet, I could not make it part of my daily routine.
You see, I thought in order to be a “good” meditator, I had to meditate for at least 45 minutes per day. I would do this for several days, feel discouraged and quit. Weeks would go by, I would notice the anxiety and stress creeping back into my life again so I would once again, recommit to meditating for 45 minutes.
Then my teacher suggested that I let go of the struggle and meditate for just a few minutes. Everyday. I started with just 6 minutes. I paid attention to the joy and delight of carving out a few minutes of silence where I paid attention to my inner world, free from external distractions. I increased slowly, over time.
Even now, after many years, I give myself the permission to sit for just a few minutes — especially on those days where it feels like the last thing I have time to do is meditate.
Earlier this year, I went on a month-long silent meditation retreat. This could not have happened without a regular and consistent home practice.
I feel more ease, joy, and satisfaction in life. I feel less tangled with the endless thought loops. I am more able to pay attention to what is happening in the moment, to focus on the people and things that truly matter.
I read the following over on Zen Habits blog. Leo Babauta wrote:
- Start very small.
- Do only one change at a time.
- Be present and enjoy the activity (don’t focus on results).
- Be grateful for every step you take.
When I work with lawyers, often, they get stuck and feel overwhelmed because they are trying to do too much, change too quickly and force their way through their struggles rather than take a gentler, smarter approach.
This is one of the reasons for creating Mindful Pause. It contains small, bite-sized practices that can be done in just 0.1 hour per day. I’m launching it as a 31-day challenge, starting January 5th but you’re welcome to go through all the modules on your own timeline. Today is the last day to save $100 and register for $249. (Use the discount code: EASE100)
Join me and start 2018 by giving yourself the gift of time — to yourself and for yourself.