My battle with meditation
When people ask me about meditation, I tell them that I learned meditation when I was 18 years old; literally half my life ago. But I choose those words very carefully so that I don’t lie and say that I’ve been meditating since I was 18 years old. See the subtle difference there?
Meditation has been a part of my life long enough that I know its benefits. I’ve experienced the amazing, high-flying, practically miraculous feeling of consistent meditation practice. I KNOW how awesome it is.
But the trick – what always ends up killing me – is consistency.
Whenever I feel a lull in my life, when I get in that blah state, I know that what brings me back to my usual happy, perky self, is a few days of consistent meditation practice; at least a solid week if not two, and then I’ve got the habit again.
In September, many self-imposed challenges had me struggling, which triggered my “I need to meditate again” thoughts. But something happens to me when I get like this. My Ego, my Big Snooze, as Jen Sincero, author of You Are a Badass calls it, takes over my brain and maniacally laughs at me believing that it now has complete control over me. And for me, how that evil control manifests, is procrastination… and I mean full stop, nothing concrete gets done, spending all my time on Netflix and Facebook, procrastination.
So here I am, reduced to a small, weak little mouse, squeaking words out like “I should meditate”, and “I need to write for my blog” and “I need to become a business person now”, etc.
But the Big Snooze just laughs at me and responds in its loud British voice (why do villains always have British accents?) “YOU shall do NOTHING! Mouahahahahaaaa!”
Don’t try to figure out what’s wrong, just move forward
When I find myself here, my instinct is to try to figure out what’s wrong so I can fix it. The thing is, you can’t fix something when you’re in the mindset of the problem. And anyway, it doesn’t matter how I got here and whose fault it is.
I am here. In this moment. That’s a fact.
But I do have a choice.
Am I going to continue feeling sorry for myself for not living up to my own expectations? Or am I going to decide to do ONE SMALL THING to change the direction of this crappy ass pattern of emotions and inactions?
So I decided that I was going to meditate for 20 minutes. And even as I made that decision, the Big Snooze was still at it, making me think that my daughter was going to disrupt me the whole time, or that the dog was going to bark and be annoying if my daughter decided to be accommodating.
But I did it anyway.
And the dog DID bark almost the entire time; and it DID drive me completely batty. But I stayed sitting there, for the whole 20 minutes.
I spent most of the time being annoyed and angry at the dog. Not the best meditation ever. But you know what? I freakin’ meditated!! Who cares what it was like? I sat there, with my eyes closed, screaming obscenities in my head, but I DID. NOT. MOVE.
It’s a lie that you should meditate only first thing in the morning
As the Tibetan bells sounded the end of my meditation track, my first thought was “I need to do this again tonight”. And immediately after that, I remembered that I have this ridiculous belief that one should only meditate in the morning.
I know that this belief came out of nowhere; well not out of nowhere. I’ve read so many books and blogs where people talk about how they meditate first thing in the morning; even Abraham (Hicks) says it. But try as I might, I just CAN’T do it. So far I haven’t been able to get up early enough in the morning to meditate before I get on to doing anything else; except for one-off’s here and there.
But whenever I struggle on this, a tiny voice speaks in my mind, asking me one question:
Who said I HAD to meditate in the morning or not meditate at all?
I KNOW that any amount of meditation, at ANY point during the day, is better than no meditation at all. I remember my meditation teacher saying as much back when I was first learning. And it’s true. Sure it’s BETTER if you consistently meditate at the same time every day. And sure, meditating first thing in the morning, before you get momentum going on any thought, mood, or activity gives you the best effect.
But you’ve gotta start somewhere. And it’s ok if it’s messy.
Just keep taking one teeny tiny step after an other
Boy is my Big Snooze fighting hard with me this month. Or it was, in September. It’s October now. Time to kick the Big Snooze to the curb.
So I’m going to slowly re-build my meditation habit. I will aim to have another meditation tonight before bed. And then I’m going to meditate, for ANY period of time, at ANY time of the day, EVERY DAY this week. It can be 5, 10, 15 or 20 minutes. And it can be early in the morning, or later in the morning, or at lunch, or in the evening.
It doesn’t matter.
SOME meditation, is better than NO meditation.
Fuck you, Big Snooze. You’re not the boss of me. It’s not your job to take care of me. I’ve got this.