As a society, we are very good and going all out with New Year’s intentions, but we aren’t that great at following through after the initial excitement and motivation wears off. One of the amazing parts of developing a daily spiritual practice is that the energy we create within that practice carries into other areas of our life as well. Through our practice we train the mind to stay in a state of concentration for longer periods of time and this requires discipline, willpower and the ability to overcome distraction and resistance. When we set a goal for ourselves, like committing to a 40-day meditation practice, we are developing skills that make us a better human.
So, how do we start?
Set a goal. In yoga it is very common to use a certain meditation technique for 40 days so that you can set the habit of meditation and start to experience the energy of that particular practice. Be intentional. Don’t just say that you will start it. Make a plan—when will you practice, where will you practice. Visualize how you will feel during and after meditation.
Let your friends and family know. Not only can they help hold you accountable, but they may be able to be more supportive if they are aware of your goals. If you want to meditate in the mornings, you may want to ask your partner for support or encouragement in getting out of bed. Or let your friends know you can’t stay out too late because you want to get home to meditate. Let your people know how they can support you.
Acknowledge the habits and excuses that might prevent you from getting to your mat and make a game plan. Maybe you don’t allow yourself to sit down on the couch to watch Netflix unless you have already done your meditation for the day. If you know you will be up super late, do your practice earlier in the day. Get your plan in place for how you will overcome these resistances.
Resolve to do your practice NO MATTER WHAT. Done is better than perfect. While it is suggested, you don’t have to sit at the same place at the same time every day, especially when you first start a 40-day practice. Maybe some days you will need to practice your breathing techniques in the car. Maybe some days you will do japa in the shower. Resolve to make space for this new practice. Set the reminders and get started.
Michelle Anthony, Yoga Instructor, Reiki Master, Meditation Junkie, RYT500
Do you want more information about this or to be guided through meditation in person? Book a session or series of sessions with Michelle online or in person at Tuning Tree