I was recently asked for advice on this from one of my former students, who does know the benefits but whose practice has slipped somewhat, and she wants to reinstate it…
When a meditation practice starts to slip by the wayside, it is usually because life has become a bit busier than it was when we managed to establish the habit. And now, because we have lost the habit, much as we would like to still be experiencing its benefits, we can’t seem to muster up the motivation to get back into it. For whatever reason, the practice has taken on a lower priority than the other elements of our busy lives.
When you notice this has happened to you, and you want to re-establish your practice, you need to stop and RE-Prioritise.
Because the reason you managed to develop the meditation habit in the first place is that you decided to do it. You made a commitment to yourself. And with regular practice you began to notice the benefits of that practice. You maybe felt more energetic, more focussed, more ease in facing your challenges. And noticing these improvements motivated you to keep it up…. until [you maybe started to take the benefits for granted and] you started to let it slip.
And that’s easy enough to do – especially if meditation isn’t part of your morning routine.
There are two things I would recommend if you want to get your meditation mojo back:
- Revisit the reasons why you made it a priority in the first place
- Look at the time of day you were practicing at
Reasons to Meditate
I will revisit the objective reasons in more detail in future posts, but here I want you to look at your reasons. You didn’t just put the time aside – on a regular basis – to meditate, for the hell of it. You had a personal motivation to do so! What was it? AND, what benefits did you notice within yourself (both expected and unexpected) when you were meditating? Make a list!!! You might need it for daily reference until you’ve re-established your meditation habit…
Time of Meditation
- When did you typically practice your meditation?
- Why did you choose that time?
- How did it work for you?
- Practically, will it work for you now?
In order to successfully develop a daily meditation practice most people need to build it into a routine. So look at the parts of your day where you do already have a routine. Especially, take a look at your morning routine. Because first thing in the morning is the best time to meditate (if you can). It sets you up for the day, and if you don’t get a chance to do a second sitting, at least you have had the one.
Even if it’s just for five minutes (you can surely get up five minutes earlier), it is better than risking the day going by without any meditation having taken place. And when you start to notice the benefits of that five minute space to yourself, you may well feel motivated to increase the priority you give the practice once more.
Another good time to look at is lunchtime – do you take a regular lunch break, and if so for how long? If you take an hour every day, couldn’t you assign 15-20 minutes to meditation? Other options are commuting to and from work if you are a passenger on public transport.
But you do have to make a plan around where and when you will meditate. If getting back into it means you need to set your alarm for half an hour earlier in the morning, then (revisiting number 1 above) decide to do that! And keep that list you wrote verrry handy (like maybe under your pillow ).
Good luck with it! And please do let me know how you get on…