Six months ago, I was pretty much a newcomer to meditation. I'd dabbled before, done some workshops, but never managed to keep up a home practice for more than a few days. It just didn't seem possible to fit in 20 minutes once a day, let alone twice ...
I’ve never been a morning person and I wanted to make this work without giving up sleeping in a bit. I made a commitment to give it a serious go for six months and I’m still going strong! Here are some tips that worked for me:
1. Accept that meditation does not need to done in a quiet, sacred place.
For example, if you have a commute to work, use it! Some of my best meditations have been on the morning train. Plus, it’s a great skill to master – once you can zone out on your morning train ride, you can do it anywhere.
2. Be flexible about the time of day you use for your practice.
While first thing in the morning may feeling optimal, if that doesn’t work, try fitting in your meditation at lunchtime. Regular meditation is known to increase productivity so don't be surprised if you notice an energy burst in the afternoon.
3. Grab it while you can.
This one’s especially useful if you have small kids. It might be hard to find a whole 20 minutes for yourself, but don’t let that stop you taking five minutes if those five are all that’s available.
4. Get creative.
I've now meditated in museums, churches, train stations and, of course, on park benches. So what if people think you’ve fallen asleep?!
5. Embrace the challenge.
Another great one to remember if you have young kids. Sometimes escaping them just isn’t possible! Welcome your kids into the space to meditate with you. While your practice may not be as deep that day, know that passing on an enthusiasm for meditation might just be one of the greatest gifts you can give your children.
6. Perhaps most importantly, shift your perspective.
If you start thinking of your daily meditation as one more thing to add to your ever-expanding daily to-do list, it will start feeling like a chore. Instead, see it as an essential investment for maintaining your long-term wellbeing – like cleaning your teeth but even more beneficial!
7. Go easy on yourself.
It's not the end of the world if you miss one, or two, or five sessions. Sometimes life gets in the way. Be kind to yourself and just jump back on that horse. Yeeha!