I set myself a goal at the beginning of this year, as part of the #sweatyourselfamazing campaign – I want to sweat myself ‘to a clearer mind’. Not an easy task. But, one way I wanted to do this was to bring a daily meditation practice back into my life.
I have been ignoring my husbands’ encouragement over the last year to ‘meditate more’. So much so, that every time he suggested it, I could feel a burning sensation in my chest and more irritated and stressed by the thought of it. How dare he suggest this when I was just too busy!
But, I knew he was right. So at the beginning of January I started to set my alarm clock 10 minutes earlier. Ouch. That hurt. Those ten minutes of precious sleep and the 10 minutes of guided meditation was so painful.
After 30 days of doing that daily, I can honestly say that it became part of my routine. My alarm went off, I sat up, listened to a meditation, and started my day. And, when I managed to grab the odd moment alone, I plugged in, closed my eyes and grabbed another 10 minutes of quiet time.
6 months later, am I still meditating every day? Sadly, no. Meditation was something that I could not seem to keep up a daily long term practice. But that’s ok and I do manage to find the time for a meditation at least a couple times a week and it certainly does not feel as challenging an exercise than it used to be. So in that way a new habit has been formed.
Do I have a clearer mind? Have I reached my goal?
Well, I did manage 30 days straight. And, I do have moments, brief seconds, of being awake and having no thoughts and finding a little peace of mind. I have moments of catching my fleeting thoughts and feelings and being aware and ‘mindful’ of them.
But what I did find was that by doing an activity for 30 days straight, I have embedded that activity into something that I ‘can do’. In other words, I have created a ‘can do’ attitude towards it and that, I could apply to anything. I believe that if you want to create new habits, first start with just 30 days – an achievable length of time – that will give you the confidence to make it something that is part of you.
Olga is the Director of Hot Yoga Society. You can read her bio here