Do you have daily mindful rituals that you’ve set for yourself? Is it hard to stay consistent with them sometimes? Well, it is for me! Sometimes life gets busy and I forget to practice.
A few weeks ago I woke up one morning and realized I hadn’t meditated in a week. I couldn’t believe it took me a full 7 days for me to even realize it! When this happens, here are 5 simple steps I take to get back into the groove:
1. Forgive and Forget
I have a tendency of beating myself up when I fall short on a goal. Over the years I have gotten better (but it’s still a struggle) because I realize that this negative self-talk doesn’t help me one bit. In fact, the more we dwell on a negative emotion or experience, the more it keeps us stuck in that negative place. It’s simply a waste of our time. Now, I’m much better at: 1) acknowledging what I want to improve on, and 2) focusing on what I can do to improve it. No beating myself up or trying to understand or analyze why.
So the first step to get back in the grove is to simply forgive yourself and recommit to mediating daily.
2. Schedule it
Schedule your daily meditation on your calendar. Make sure the time is available for you at this time in your life. Mornings are ideal, so you can start your day off right, but that doesn’t work for everyone. It doesn’t matter what time you meditate or for how long.
All that matters is that it’s done on a consistent basis.
3. Remember the Why
Sometimes it helps to take a few moments to remember why you want to have a meditation practice. Why are you inspired to do it? What benefits do you think you will experience from this practice? How does it make you feel? One of the benefits I get from meditating is that when I’m able to let all the chatter in my mind clear away, it allows creative ideas to pop into my mind.
When we spend time focusing on positive feelings and emotions we send a message to the universe that we want more of those feelings in our life. In turn, the universe will do all it can to help bring that positivity to us.
4. Mix it Up
A good way to reengage with your practice is to try different meditation techniques. For example, try meditating with your eyes open instead of closed or guide your attention toward sounds or simply repeat a mantra to calm your mind. Guided meditations can be very enlightening too. The Insight Timer app has a library of guided meditations. My favorites are by Michael Stone. I encourage you to explore a few different techniques and have fun with it.
Take a few minutes after your meditation to jot down a sentence or two about the experience. It doesn’t need to be much, unless you feel inspired of course, just a few thoughts about what you noticed or how it made you feel---good or bad. You may be surprised about what comes up! The physical act of writing down our thoughts is very powerful and is a great stress management tool to supplement your meditation practice.