“I think we are often seeking outside of ourselves the wisdom that is already within. We know a lot more than we think we do, or are willing to say.” – Lauren Spencer King
I leaped at the opportunity to try a 10 day, online meditation challenge when its ad reached my networks. I’ve meditated before, but felt for a long time that its effects could be better felt if I incorporated it in to my daily routine. The meditation offered through this challenge asked only 20 minutes a day of my time, which seemed achievable! Today is day 10 of the challenge, and to be completely transparent, I have not completed days seven, eight, or nine. Sometimes life gets in the way, and that’s okay! I am excited to set aside 20 minutes this evening to complete the challenge with the group.
This challenge got me thinking about the impact a meditation practice can have on your life, why it can be so challenging to set aside a few minutes a day to do it, and how we can find ways to incorporate meditation in to our daily routines. When I carved out 20 minutes to do the guided meditation on days one-six, it changed my head space every time. Sometimes I would lie down on the floor buzzing from everything I was trying to do that day, and I would stand up feeling clear. Other days I would start meditating and feel overcome with emotion, but end feeling like I had a better understanding of what was going on and could take actions to deal with it.
Why is it so hard to find the time to meditate?
I have a theory. Meditating stops us from multi-tasking. We live in a world where there are constant demands of our attention. We answer emails while talking on the phone and respond to text messages while shopping for groceries. We care for our loved ones while trying to care for ourselves and attempt to keep up with everything else we have to do, while trying to process the often intense emotions of caregiving. Meditation asks us to stop and be still, which can be a scary thing to do. But when we do, we open ourselves up to the opportunity to connect with ourselves and in turn, better handle the demands of our days.
So, how do we create time to incorporate meditation in to our daily routines? Here are 5 things I learned while doing my 10 day meditation challenge.
- Schedule it. Write it in your day planner, on your calendar, or log it in your phone. Whether it’s 5, 10, or 60 minutes of meditation, treat the time as you would treat anything else you’d like to get done in your day. For some, finding a regular time each day to meditate can be helpful.
- Create a designated place in your home to meditate. This does not have to be a whole room, and you do not have to rearrange your whole house! However, it can help to have a small corner or space in your home that feels calm and inviting. It is possible to meditate anywhere, but you may be more inclined to practice somewhere that makes you feel good.
- Find a meditation practice that works for you. There are so many ways to meditate! Kneeling on the ground, seated, eyes closed, with a soft gaze… guided meditations, breath work, vedic… the list goes on and on. You do not even have to sit in one spot! Some folks find they achieve the benefits of meditation from going for a walk or a swim. What works for one does not work for everyone, so keep trying until you find something that clicks!
- Let go of expectation. This can be a tricky one. I think that sometimes folks feel that there is a “right” way to meditate, or that they must feel a certain way when they’re meditating. There is no right way, and the feelings or connections with yourself can change day to day. Be gentle with yourself!
- Reflect. The online meditation challenge I’ve been doing has an option to post a comment after completing the meditation. I found that writing just a few lines about what I experienced helped me process what I’d been feeling and also encouraged me to do it again the next day.
Do you have a regular meditation practice? We’d love to hear from you!
Cassandra Van Dyck