A great piece of advice I have heard many times regarding building a regular self practice is to simply put your body where it needs to be before you have time to think about it. And that is exactly what I did this morning for the first day of this challenge. While still swimming in a morning mental fog, before I had a chance to make my usual list of why I should sleep 5.. 10.. 30.. minutes longer, I was up, out the door, and in my spot for 20 minutes of sitting.
One of the biggest challenges I have with maintaining a daily meditation practice is the inevitable Excuse: I’d rather rest now, I’ll sit later, I’ll practice on the subway, etc. All of which ultimately result in a day without a dedicated time to turning off and checking in. Then one day turns into a few and maybe I snap at someone and then, knowing exactly why that happened, I scold myself for straying so far from my practice. Feeling slightly defeated, I add another reason to my Excuse list. An exhausting cycle begins just from that one blind slap of the snooze button!
Excuse is just one thing I hope to explore during this month of meditation. Even if it didn’t happen this morning, I know I will run into this fellow quite a few times over the next 27 days. But what I hope is that instead of fighting with it, I’ll sit myself down, create some space, and work with it. See what’s actually behind “I’m too tired/anxious/busy today.” But even if I don’t figure anything out, I’m happy just to reconnect with a daily practice and engage with everyone else taking part in the challenge.