All of us have experienced difficult times, an inescapable part of being human. I recently experienced a hard fall, followed by a series of events that left me flattened. I am picking up the pieces of my life, finding my balance.
A wise friend observed I need to give myself time and permission to grieve. That had not occurred to me, despite it’s being obvious. I tend to push myself pretty hard, and am generally kinder to others than to myself. I suspect many of us are like that.
This week, I experienced an epiphany–I need to learn to practice kindness towards myself. Not self indulgence, but lovingkindness, the heart of compassion. The kindness I would naturally offer a friend facing my circumstances.
I have long flirted with the idea of meditation, beginning a practice, then not sticking with it.
And I experienced another very helpful insight–I have procrastinated, putting meditation off, making excuses not to meditate, because I had long ago turned meditation into a Big Thing.
I had convinced myself I needed the right philosophy, the right teacher, the right retreat, the right posture, the right cushion, on and on, until I had made meditation into Hard. And Hard was not going to happen.
Tonight I asked, what if I simplified meditation to just sitting and being with myself, in the spirit of lovingkindness and compassion?
What if I simply sat in my comfortable armchair, where I feel cozy and warm? What if I simply centered my awareness in my heart, and on my breath? For only 15 or 20 minutes? Or even just five minutes? What if I took the Hard out of meditation?
This was an Aha moment. This I could do!
Tomorrow morning I begin. I look forward to my quiet time of extending compassion, kindness, and love to myself. Perhaps the first baby steps into my new life, into Wholeness.
My commitment to myself is to meditate every morning for 30 days, until meditation becomes a habit, an essential part of my morning ritual.
What are your experiences with meditation?
What helps you maintain your practice?
You might also like: