Meditation clears my mind, helps me feel grounded, connects me to the divine, and helps me be a happier and healthier person. So why haven't I been doing it?
Yesterday I meditated. I mean, I really sat down and did the work, for the first time in three years. It was like I was born again. I felt like a completely new person afterward.
I'm a mom of three boys and an entrepreneur. I'm super busy. And running a household and a business takes a lot out of me. Some days I don't even eat or shower when I need to. So, how the heck am I supposed to find the time (or motivation, or peace and quiet, or space) to meditate?
I know I need to, but most days, I just don't feel like meditating. But I know that when I take that time for myself, everything changes. I'm a better mom for it, a better wife, and a better version of myself. I'm less easily triggered, my stress is soothed away, and I get a fresh burst energy, and often a new perspective on my inner drama.
So how did I find those 15 minutes of bliss amid all the chaos to meditate yesterday? And how do I plan on sticking to my practice and not falling off track again?
Here are my top three tips for finding the time, space, and motivation to meditate even when you don't feel like it and sticking with your practice:
1. Get motivated.
You can't force yourself to be motivated by something that just doesn't excite you. And if you don't want to do something, you probably won't do it. I'm a very busy girl, and I really don't have time to waste. But I know the benefits of taking this time out of my schedule to practice. I love the feeling I get when I sit in meditation.
And, if you're wondering, no—that first time meditating after not having done it in so long was not as easy as I remember it being when I practiced every day. My mind wandered. My breath was uneven. I fidgeted. But after a few minutes, I got right back into the groove and it became easier and felt amazing.
So don't try to motivate yourself with the idea of sitting still for 15 minutes (or however long you practice for). Let yourself be motivated by the benefit of the practice and the feeling you get from it and by how much it affects your life for the better.
Let yourself be motivated by the peace of mind, the clarity, the feeling of being tuned in to a higher energy, and the sense of calm you'll bring to your work and your family life.
Focus on the benefits and how good you feel when you do it, and let that move you to meditate every day.
2. Don't find the time; make the time.
You can't wait until you just happen to have some free time. Because you'll never find it that way. Someone will always need you. Something else will pull your attention away. Something or someone else will always come first until you decide that the first person you need to take care of is you.
To start, or get back on track and stick with your meditation practice, you need to carve out time every single day to dedicate to meditation only, and let nothing get between you and your practice. So pick any time that works for you, and don't cancel on yourself for any reason.
This may mean that you have to wake up earlier than the rest of your family to have the quiet alone time you'll need to meditate well. It may mean that you have to ask your partner, or your baby sitter, to keep the kids while you take that time to meditate. Trust me, they'll be glad you did. It may mean that you have to set an alarm or a reminder in your phone or write it down in your daily planner.
Whatever you have to do to make sure that you don't skip out on your practice, do it. Because taking care of you should be your first priority.
3. Create the space.
Want to make sure you don't skip a practice? Make sure you have somewhere quiet and distraction-free to do it. Create a dedicated space to practice your meditation.
The benefits to having a dedicated space to meditate in is that it becomes easier to get to that meditative state quickly. When you're in the same room, on the same cushion every day, it triggers your brain that it's time to meditate and you respond faster.
I used to own a yoga studio, and it was the most heavenly place for me to escape to meditate. The environment and the energy there were amazing. I loved it. But when I decided to close it, I lost my dedicated space and my dedicated practice.
For a while I tried to meditate anywhere I could. I tried on my bed, outside in my backyard, or in my car parked at the beach. But sometimes the parking lot would be full so I couldn't park and therefore couldn't meditate, or I'd try to lock myself in my bedroom but the noise from the kids and dogs on the other side of the wall would be too distracting.
Without a dedicated space, you're more likely to skip out on your practice. You don't have to buy anything new or do anything elaborate to create a dedicated meditation space. It can be the corner of a room in your home or under your favorite tree.
If you have the spare room to make a beautiful meditation room, do it. If you don't pick, a spot that you know you can get to easily and quickly that you know will be a reliable place to practice uninterrupted. Then go there at your scheduled time every day.
My current practice is waking up before the rest of the family and meditating in the living room before I do anything else or before anyone or anything else requires my attention. My husband and children have already commented on how much happier I seem. And they're right. I am happier. I have way less anxiety and tons more energy.
And if you make it your priority to start or recommit to your meditation practice, you can too. So, I invite you to stop what you're doing and go create that sacred space right now or to pull out your calendar and make a date with yourself to practice. Imagine how good you'll feel when you do, and let that motivate you. Happy meditating!