I was recently teaching a 4 week Mindfulness in Business course for a marketing firm when one of the participants said, “I failed. I didn’t do the practice you suggested.” I looked him squarely in the eyes, and asked him, “Is it TRUE you failed?”
His answer (so cleverly said) was, “Well, according to you, there isn’t any judgment in this room.” We all laughed. “Touche.” I smiled.
“You failed according to WHO? You? What makes that TRUTH that you failed just because your mind says it?” I asked with passion.
I stated, “Here’s a choice you have, right now. You can RE-commit to the practice. It’s not about perfection, it’s about practice. How cool that you can re-commit without judgment of yourself!”
John Kabat Zin, Buddhist teacher and author, wrote a book called Start Where you Are. This is exactly what he is talking about. You start right where you are without judgment of where you think you should be or what you think you should have accomplished by now. Drop that.
With a meditation practice, it can be one of the harder habits to bring into your life because almost every part of your conscious brain says, “Go. Do. Keep going. Don’t stop. Much to do.”
When I first started, I wondered off and on the practice for years. I’d do it a little here, then a little there. For some they do it either when things get bad, and they’re looking for a solution, or when they feel good, and it feels good to do it. I get it. I did that too.
Here’s the thing though, and the truth of it. The benefits of meditation will be far more reaching and deep when you create a daily practice regardless of the circumstances.
The great part is that you can re-commit to your practice when you’ve “fallen off the wagon,” as they say. This is far more powerful an act than saying, “Oh well, tried that, can’t do it, or it didn’t work,” and then give up on the practice, or even more deeply, yourself.
Life will continuously give you opportunities to either help you find your determination or give up. It’s your choice on what you do. I encourage the latter – especially if it’s something calling you or you know is healthy and improves your well-being.
Here are 5 steps for re-committing to your meditation practice:
- Remind yourself why you want to do it. This is really important. Know your WHY and this will help motivate you. My why is because I want to feel peaceful, happy, and live my purpose. These are big why’s!! It’s a motivator.
- Importance. When I was struggling to make it a habit, I would tell myself, “Angela, this is the most important part of your day.” This would motivate me. Why? Because it’s true. Even 5 minutes can make a big difference. Connecting with yourself no matter the length of time will have a positive impact on your day and your life.
- Leave the past in the past. Start where you are without judgment of yourself. This moment is the most important moment in your life because it’s the one moment you have. Re-commit with a kind and compassionate heart for yourself.
- Celebrate each sit. Whether you meditated for 1 min. or 1 hour, celebrate and acknowledge the effort and determination you had to sit down and practice non-doing.
- Seek guidance. When I really committed to my practice was when my teacher would kindly and firmly say, “Recommit to your practice if you’ve fallen off. This is important.” He was holding me accountable. My 1-on-1 clients find this one of the most helpful parts in working together.
Recommit, dear friend, as this is part of the practice. Throw perfection out the window!
Categories: Meditation & Mindfulness