UNLESS you commit to a daily practice day after day after day. I can always predict the answer by the look on their faces when I ask students; “how’s your practice” going?
I usually hear replies such as; “I just don’t have or can’t find the time”, “I haven’t been consistent”, or “it’s hard to get into the habit”,
Obviously, learning to become skilled at any new task is a challenge; and yet, we know that practice is vital to our reaching any degree of proficiency. Ironically, the number one benefit of Mindfulness is awareness. When we become aware that we are not practicing, then we are doing nothing with the knowledge of that awareness. It is only through awareness we can choose to change. If you really want to get something done…the best way to do it is to just begin!
Bottom line: we always have a choice “to practice or not to practice” and if we spend less time THINKING about practicing or THINKING whether we should practice, or THINKING of excuses not to do what is in our best interest, we might have more time to simply do it.
I just can’t find the time…
The truth is that those who make that statement would benefit the most from a daily mindfulness practice. Everyday consists of 24 hours or 1440 minutes…and let’s subtract 480 minutes for 8 hours sleep: although, many of us don’t even achieve that amount of sleep every night. Then, let’s be generous and allow 3 hours for breakfast, lunch and dinner. That still leaves us with 780 minutes. So something is most certainly out of balance with your day if you can’t find just 2 ½% or 20 minutes out of that remaining time to spend doing something for yourself or just performing a gesture of kindness towards yourself, if nothing else.
Taking care of you reflects the love and respect you bestow upon yourself. Taking the time to sit with yourself each day will do wonders for your self-esteem. One of my master teachers taught me to start each meditation with a slight bow. That bow is a bow of respect to none other than me. Try it. Feel good and commend yourself for choosing to move forward on your personal journey of self -discovery.
“The minute you say “I can’t”, it is another wrong affirmation to your subconscious that you choose to lose.” – Tsem Tulku Rinpoche
“I haven’t been consistent”
Studies show that choosing to practice at the same time every day leads to more consistency than practicing at different times from one day to the next. Consistency requires you to keep a promise to yourself. It’s difficult to determine the effectiveness of your mindfulness practice unless you practice in a consistent manner.
Consistency is the path to success. A daily practice requires persistence, determination and dedication. As you establish a consistent and repetitious practice, you will find it will require less effort each time you move into the meditation mode. Neuroplasticity “kicks in” as new neural pathways are created and your practice becomes habit-forming. Consistency will provide you the special power you need to achieve success as you endeavor to establish your daily mindfulness practice.
It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives. It’s what we do consistently. – Anthony Robbins
“it’s difficult to get into the habit”
Just stop to think about that statement. That thought, in the form of energy, is being transmitted to your brain. Repeat that thought to yourself or others often enough, that thought will become a belief…..and it will eventually become your truth. We are really giving ourselves an excuse not to pursue the benefit of a mindfulness practice. (or any other goal we wish to obtain) With the very nature of that thought, we sabotage our well-being and the knowledge that we have the ability to succeed in whatever we choose to accomplish.
Any change to our accustomed routine is challenging. It’s upsetting to our status quo. We conquer that adversity by sending positive thoughts and affirmations to ourselves. We lose the battle by sending negative and fictional thoughts to our brain, by creating excuses and unfounded rationalizations. Positive thoughts will always bring you the advantages and benefits you desire. So perish that thought, “it’s difficult for me to get into the habit” and replace it with “I will get (or I am) in the habit of practicing meditation each and every day”. You will see how quickly your goals are accomplished. And make it make it easy on yourself. You don’t have to achieve everything in one day. Start practicing with 5 minute sittings. When you have reached that plateau, increase it to 10 minutes per sitting, etc. You just need to be willing to try….and the “doing” will fall into place all by itself.
I encourage you to spend your time PRACTICING (actually doing) meditation daily rather than spending your time THINKING about doing it or coming up with a justifications for not doing it. Take that natural childlike curiosity of yours and eagerly apply it to your human potential…. with a sense of well-being and joy that comes with personal satisfaction and fulfillment. Although it may not be easy, it will be worth it!
Since your outcomes are all a result of your moment to moment choices, you have incredible power to change your life by changing those choices. Step by step, day by day, your choices will shape your actions until they become habits, where practice makes them permanent. –Darren Hardy, American author.
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