I’ve been thinking a lot this December about what changes I’d like to make in 2013.
In the past, I usually didn’t think much about it at all, and when I did, my thoughts on the matter all took place in the last week of the year, after Christmas.
Unfortunately, my New Year resolutions were usually short-lived.
I’d like to change that. I’d like to become more disciplined, and I’d like to be realistic about what that means so I can actually make lasting changes in my life.
The problem is, I like to rebel against “the rules”, so when I set up strict rules for myself, I am setting myself up to break them. It’s counterproductive.
I spent a year meditating for 30 minutes nearly every day, and when that year was up, I rebelled and didn’t meditate every day any more. My sitting practice became sporadic.
I’d like to figure out a way to make meditation a pleasure.
One possibility: Instead of creating a rule to meditate for 30 minutes every day, I can meditate for at least 15 minutes 5 out of 7 days.
I like that flexibility. However, it still sounds like a chore. Why am I making meditation such a joyless task to be done somewhat regularly and checked off a list?
Looking at what keeps me from meditating: I often allow myself to get sucked into reading email and checking Facebook, my online massage booking site, Twitter, Tumblr, blog stats, and so on in the morning, and before I know it, it’s time to get ready for work, and I haven’t meditated.
And…if I don’t meditate in the morning, it usually doesn’t happen.
I don’t know why this is, except perhaps that it takes more effort to do nothing than you’d think, to tear myself away from my laptop and sit myself down on the cushion.
Once I start sitting, I actually love meditation. I love getting really present with myself, breathing, hearing, seeing (if my eyes are open), feeling my body, witnessing my thoughts, noticing my chakras open, experiencing the silent stillness that contains everything, even just feeling the little aches, pains, and tensions as I sit.
To experience this is a joy that keeps on giving throughout the day, somehow connecting me with resources that help me meet life with more equanimity and love, including self-love, than I could otherwise summon.
How can I make this a pleasure? It’s so much more rewarding than being online in terms of enhancing my well-being and the quality of my life, relationships, activities, decisions!
What if…I stay offline until I’ve meditated, and I make it my goal to meditate no longer than an hour, except when I really want to (and have time) to go longer? I can set the timer for an hour, end it then or when it seems complete, and be happy about it all.
Now we’re cooking!