Is there something you’ve been meaning to do but can’t quite find the time? Have you heard about mediation before and thought to yourself, “Well that might work for some people, but I simply don’t have the time to meditate.” Or, have you tried to sit for a meditation before but the feeling of anxiety and a racing mind was enough to scare the desire to mediate right out of you?
If you’re like one of the persons I describe above, don t worry! You are not alone!
In fact, I used to be just like you!
My goal in this post is to show you how easy it is to start your very own meditation practice.
We all have fears, especially when it comes to the unknown – but beginning a meditation practice is easier than you think! I hope that after reading this blog you will agree with me.
Fear Holds Us Back
If you’re anything like me and like most people, the proposition of starting something new seems daunting in almost all cases. Usually, if I do get to a point of action it’s because I’ve been inspired to do so in some way. As it goes, my hopes start off high and my will to pursue the new is strong and resilient!
Unfortunately, my expectations tend to lead me astray because the second I struggle with a new venture, I check out mentally. I immediately get down on myself and my inspiration soon dissipates. Before I know it, it’s been six years since I last picked up the guitar!
Here’s the thing: we never get started on something new because it’s somehow easier to admit we never tried than it is to admit we failed!
But, as the ancient Chinese maxim goes: “Every 10,000 mile journey starts with a single step.”
Trust me I know how hard it can be to take those first steps because at that time we are vulnerable and for most of us, the fear of the unknown makes us anxious. What we don’t know, we tend to fear. Thus, we never take the first steps because we never overcome our fear of failure.
Only when we change our beliefs about failure will we be able to step into the unknown with courage and grace.
Because after all, is failure really such a bad thing?
Action Begets Engagement, Not the Other Way Around
There are a million reasons not to take that first step but a better life doesn’t happen without action. You can’t wish your way into becoming a person who is filled with ease and peace—you must live it!
At the end of your life, wouldn’t you like to say “I’m glad I tried” instead of “I wish I had”?
We often assume that motivation precedes action but in reality, it’s the other way around. The more you act, the more motivated you become.
Take dieting for example – instead of trying to “will” your way to a healthier diet, try starting with just one healthy meal a week. If you stick with the one meal per week, you might notice it makes you feel a little better, so you turn one day a week into two days a week… Before you know it, you’re that annoying “healthy” person at work who never eats the junk food and who everyone secretly admires!
The same bit by bit framework can be applied to your meditation practice. Instead of trying to psych yourself into meditating for an hour every day, try starting with as little as five minutes once a week.
See what happens to your motivation when you don’t bite off more than you can chew! I have a feeling once you see the benefits of meditation your motivation will only grow organically with time.
The great thing about meditation is that it’s always with you. It never goes away because it’s not like you can wake up one morning and lose the ability to sit in a room by yourself and feel your breath.
The river of mediation is always flowing, you just have to be brave enough to jump in every once and a while.
You Don’t Have to Do it Alone
As meditation continues to grow in western society, there have been many tools created to help you get started.
Gone are the days where you needed your own personal meditation teacher in order to learn the practice!
Apps such as Headspace, Breathe and Calm are wonderful resources for learning the tricks of the trade.
For me in particular, Headspace got me from a place of complete ignorance to a place where I understood the basic principles of meditation and could sit on my own for 20 minutes a day with some degree of competency.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, my first mediation was only 6 minutes! At that time I had no instruction and didn’t really know what I was doing. Later, I found Headspace and that’s when my practice really took off.
I think it’s important to have some sort of guidance when you are first beginning. Without guidance, we run the risk of falling into bad habits. The more bad habits we acquire, the more difficult meditation becomes so don’t set yourself up for failure! Get some practical guidance before you sit for your first session.
Luckily for most of us, the ol’ interwebs are just a few clicks away! Online, you can find thousands of websites and blogs (like this one) that will help you get the ball rolling.
At some point however, you will need something more than an app or the Internet.
Beyond Internet resources, you can always join groups in your community. Now, not all communities are as mindful as others but chances are you can find one and if you can’t, there are plenty of online groups you can join for moral support
(Shameless Plug: if your interest in group support, check out some of the amazing work my mindful partners at Community Yogi and the Purposeful Living Center are doing)
Hopefully by now you’re not as scared of failure as you were before you read this blog and you can see that you don’t have to become enlightened over night to incorporate a daily meditation practice into your life. Whether you dive right in or simply dip your toes, I implore you to get started today! Take the first step on your journey of mindfulness!!!
Thank you as always for reading! We would love to hear your story. Tell us how you got started with your meditation practice and let us know if there are any other resources you found helpful to get the process going. Chances are someone else might find them helpful as well!
Until next time, many many blessings!