It takes time to meditate. First off, you need the time leading up to the day when you realize or are told by someone, that you “need” to or “should” meditate, as most don't just wake one day and decide to begin a practice. Once the consideration has been made, there is more time involved in conceiving it as a possibility and furthermore, the time you will actually need to do it.
You, like me, will probably rationalize why you don’t need to. Or why, you can just do it every once in awhile, when it is convenient. Maybe, like me, it seems like a worthwhile (and inexpensive) resort to working out stress, anxiety, apathy, or the simple and ultimate realization that being a human is hard work, and that you simply just need a break. Or maybe it is (or will be) a natural evolution of your existing or recently emerging spiritual/wellness practice. Regardless of what brings you to the awareness that you should make it a habit however, doesn't mean that you will. Which is when and how the many obstacles seem to arise between you and taking a seat, daily.
For me to really get committed, I had to ask myself some really serious questions when encountered with the many obstacles I faced in choosing (to at least try) to make meditation part of my daily life. Such as; Do I desire the ability to be more present in my life? Do I crave focus, creativity, balance, peace? Do I want to feel less hurried, stressed and overwhelmed? Do I want to better know my mind, my body, my heart, my soul? The answer to all of these questions was an emphatic, bold, undeniable YES! And so, I looked at the #1 obstacle and took it by the horns, once and for all.
Time and how I don’t have enough of it.
From the minute I would wake up I would often feel like I was starting my race for the day. How many things could I get done to feel accomplished and be responsible? How was meditating for twenty minutes going to contribute to this? I may need those twenty minutes to spend more time with my daughter because I want to be a good mother, or prepare for my class because I want to be a good teacher, or clean the house because I want to be a good wife and on and on and on.
And then I started to see the flaw in this kind of thinking? All of these needs were defined by roles I carry (and don’t get me wrong, with great pride and honor) that bring a an undoubted sense of pressure to my life. Not because the roles are there necessarily but because of the way I view myself fulfilling (or not fulfilling) them. Which is all based on measuring myself to a certain standard (many of which are not even authentically my own. Not that it is not very important to me that I am a “good” mother, wife, teacher etc, but being that the focus of fulfilling an expectation leads me to feel stressed and at times resentful of said roles, which in turn affect my ability to truly be a “good” (insert “present”, which is the “better” word for “good” in this context) at these things.
So with all these realizations out of the way, enter June of this year (2015)....... There I was rather lazily committed to my meditation practice. I knew I need to step it up, so I enlist the support of whoever wants to go along for the journey with me of trying to enthusiastically (or at least willingly) work on developing a daily, regular and consistent meditation practice. And so far, so good!
So for those who wonder, what's so important about a regular practice, here are my observations.
When I commit to waking up at least a half hour early and begin my day with twenty minutes of meditation;
I am more productive, which results in feeling “accomplished”
I am more present, which results in feeling like a “good” Mother, Wife, Teacher, etc.
I am more able to manage time, which makes me feel less stressed
I am more alert and calm, which helps me to feel more peace, joy and ease
Though it took me awhile to really see this, I now am positively sure that if waking up 30 minutes early to meditate is what I need to do in order to meditate - it is totally worth it. All the years when I said to myself “I would like to do it more, but....... I can’t (ie, don’t want /am not disciplined enough to) get up early enough, and otherwise there is no guarantee that I will actually do it” now seem like such a waste. But alas, it got me here. Committed and loving it.
I am now at the point that the idea of not meditating is a little scary to me. Being able to more clearly see what arises from a lack of practice (being stressed, bitchy, scattered) is good motivation to stick with it. Of course it’s not a guarantee that I will be present, serene, joyful and focused all day - every day, though it certainly increases my chances.
Rock on with your meditation. I will be with you in spirit :)