The struggle of Meditation

Many people have that one thing that they struggle with. That one thing that they know will benefit them. That will improve their quality of life. To exercise regularly. To clean up their diet and improve their eating habits. For me it’s meditating. I know it’s good for me but it’s really hard to do consistently. There are countless benefits to meditating and I know them. They are proven by scientific studies. There’s tons of examples of high performing people using meditation in some way or form. Yet being able to have a consistent meditation practice still eludes me. All it is, is taking 10min a day, sit and focus on the now. It sounds really simple when I say it like that, everyone has at least 10min. It just never ends up like that.

I love information, I love it way too much and technology doesn’t help with that. Before it was easier to switch off. Now it’s almost impossible not to be overwhelmed by information. You have access to the collective knowledge of the world in your back pocket and a large part of that is useless things that you consume and just pass time with. I love reading and learning new things and technology and smart phones makes it pretty easy to do this. This and all of the things that happen in the day can create a situation where your mind can run wild. Mine does. I have meditated regularly before and I have felt the benefits but somehow as the days get busy and things need to get done and some stuff gets sacrificed, meditation is the first to go.

It is a struggle. Struggle is a necessary part of growth and overcoming struggle is the price of success. Most of the time, the reward is relative to the struggle. I’m aware of the benefits and the necessity of meditating and I can feel the negative effects when I don’t do it, but it is still the first thing I drop when I get busy. Then I realize I’m dropping the ball and I have to start again, then the cycle repeats.

So why am I writing about this?

Two reasons:

1.       To highlight the benefits of meditation

Meditation is awesome. It is training for the mind. We put so much energy into the physical. To improving how our bodies function. The mind is part of the body and has a large effect on how it functions. I’ve said it countless times and many people much smarter than me have said it too. The mind affects the body and the body affects the mind. Meditation reduces stress and anxiety, which has a huge influence on our bodies and that alone could be a reason to meditate, but there are more benefits to it. It trains mindfulness, being in the moment. Focusing on the now. Where in a world that is filled with endless distractions being able to be present is something that is important. Focus is a skill, that needs to be developed and trained. Aubrey Marcus has a great story that describes why meditating is important on his website.

2.       Because of the struggle with motivation to do and the consistency of doing something that you know is beneficial is not new and is something that many people struggle with and maybe you can find something helpful from my little rant.

Now what?

I have voiced my struggle, so what do I do now? I get my shit together and meditate. That doesn’t mean sitting crossed legged on the ground with incense burning listening to Buddhist monks chant. Meditation can be as simple as focusing on your breathing for a short while. For me it’s about building a habit. I do breathing exercises after training. What I struggle with is sitting consistently for 10min and meditating separate from training, being aware of what is going on in my body and how my mental state effects it and letting go of distractions. Focusing on now not what I need to get done, etc. I’ve used headspace before and I think it is an awesome app, I’ve just used it incorrectly. Usually sitting in bed just before I sleep and I always end up falling asleep 2 minutes into it.

So this is the plan:

·         Use headspace or another guided meditation before I go to bed, but I’m not allowed to sit in bed when I do it.

·         Track progress and celebrate success.

I have a goal of 40 continuous days of meditation. The most I’ve ever done was maybe 10 or 12 continuous days with a dedicated meditation session. So 10 min of meditation for 40 days in a row is going to be a challenge. Why 40? It seems like a good number. It is a challenging goal and there might be setbacks and I might miss a day, that just means starting over again. The first goal is to beat my previous run, then build from there.

With this and with any other good practice that you want to implement, there will be setbacks. It’s not a bad thing it’s just a part of the process. Accept the setbacks and move forward. Keep progressing and focus on the success.