This isn’t going to be a post about how I fight my brain in order to meditate.
In fact, I really like meditating and once I sit down, I enjoy the process of bringing myself back to my breath over and over. I like the IDEA of it, and I like the practice.
Yet, I don’t meditate regularly.
It’s not that I don’t want to meditate, I just have trouble *starting* to meditate.
Changing activities is a real challenge for me. Even if I want to do the next thing, my brain hates to let go of the thing that I am already doing and transition into the next one.
So, I have to use some tricks to make that happen.
Through trial and error, over time, I have discovered that I can get over the transition barrier (that trouble switching tasks) by identifying how long it takes me to start to enjoy something once I switch into that activity.
Writing, for example, takes 5 minutes to become fun. No matter how much I don’t feel like writing in a given moment, if I spend 5 minutes at it, I stop fighting myself. Then I start to find the fun it, it starts to become rewarding.
With exercise, it usually takes 10 minutes before I stop fighting myself, before I can quiet the inner temptation to do something else – anything else. Once I hit that 10 minute mark, I am in the groove and I have fun.
So, I don’t let those initial feelings of discontent convince me to switch activities in that ‘warm-up’ time and as a result I spent my time in an intentional, purposeful way.
Oddly though, despite my desire to meditate, I haven’t applied that ‘warm-up’ approach to meditation.
It’s on my mental list of enjoyable things to do in a given day, but it rarely makes it into practice.
It’s time to change that.
In July, I am going to incorporate a short meditation practice into my day, lying on my yoga mat, using my ‘Insight Timer’ app to time myself and to journal about the experience.
In week 1, I’ll do 3 minutes, twice a day and if that is successful, I’ll increase in two minute increments each week.
I know those are very small goals but want to find that ‘warm-up’ point, and I want to keep the bar low. I’m not trying to do a great practice, nor a deep one, I’m aiming for a consistent one.
I’ll report back after week 1.