If you are anything like me, life is full to the brim.
Due to a full life, it is often the small things at the end of a long day that make you feel good. My routine when arriving home is; get into comfy clothes, wake up my house with sunlight by pulling the blinds up, light some sort of candle, incense and get the fire going in winter. Then, I pour myself a cuppa (or a vino) and settle in for the night.
The creature comforts of being at home wash a wave of contempt over me. And yet, over the past year, there have been significant chunks of time where I have been away from home due to my commitment to my clients and my love of travel. This has meant jumping on a plane most weeks to visit people and places and lots of uber rides, eating out and hotel rooms.
I have had to learn how to create a home away from home, a space of comfort and a place of peace in the absence of being in my house. Therefore, it made sense to ramp up my mindfulness techniques and focus on training my mind so no matter where I was I could come back home (metaphorically).
I have found that this year has been fuller than ever. More challenges, more truth bombs, less downtime, less space and I have cram packed the year with events and projects yet, I have maintained a peaceful state of mind. How is this so, you may ask? This my friends, is largely due to my personal commitment in January to not compromising on my meditation practice and day to day mindfulness techniques I now use in my survival tool kit.
I thought if you are anything like me, with a love of growth and learning and hope that each day you can be just a little bit better than yesterday, then perhaps it would be useful for me to share each month the tactics, philosophies and practices that I draw upon to keep improving myself.
So, to kick off, I want to start by sharing with you my journey of learning and experimenting what I’ve experienced with a practice of daily meditation so far.
May I declare from the outset that this has not been an easy commitment. There have been some days where my mind was more like a tornado than a home; however, there has been more progress than setbacks, and I am excited to say that I am beginning to feel the effects of my practice.
Here is what I have been doing:
- First, I decided that I will not compromise on a daily meditation. It is the one thing I am never too busy to practice. After attending a one week meditation retreat in January, I treated this week as a reset and opportunity to start a daily practice. My teacher’s last words when I left the retreat were ‘never compromise on your practice’. And he was right.
- I set myself some guidelines around point number 1.
- Always show up (even if for five mins)
- Morning and evening are great, but anytime is perfect
- Be light, without judging your meditation (If it’s a bloody jungle in there, just sit still and let the jungle in your mind go crazy—don’t give up on the intention of being in stillness)
- Be gentle with yourself, and if you forget to meditate, or have a hangover or get interrupted by someone or something, it’s ok.
- I created a healthy relationship with making time for meditation.
The more I thought I had no time to meditate, the more time I made for meditation.
I was inspired by something Ghandi once said:
“I have so much to accomplish today that I must meditate for two hours instead of one.”
So, the busier my day or week, the more time I carve out for sitting still, meditating, practising yoga or anything that quietens my mind and brings me back to me, where I can truly tune in and listen. After I give myself that quality time, everything that follows from that moment gets done in a much better way and at a much better quality.
- I asked to be held accountable
I knew this would be a tough gig and so I needed some support from people who I love and trust.
From the beginning of the year I have been open and transparent with my partner, my family and close friends about my meditation practice and experiences. This became necessary when at times I am sharing a tiny hotel room with my partner while we are travelling, or I am in a party house with the girls on a weekend away. Life goes on right.
I find you can always create the quiet you need in a room with the door closed or a patch of grass outside if people know what you’re doing and to give you that space. By sharing my practice with people in my inner circle, it holds me accountable to the ongoing practice, and it normalises a new set of habits and behaviours that I am rewiring within me.
Now I don’t believe for a moment that I have this thing sorted, in fact, I feel like I am only just beginning, however, I can tell you that I have already experienced benefits beyond belief in the past nine months of a daily practice that just encourages me coming back for more and more of this fabulous medicine that is FREE and inside us all.
Here are just some (not all) of the benefits I am noticing after nine months of a daily practice:
- I am less anxious and my mind does not get the better of me. It may raise its ugly head from time to time but, I am simply not interested in that unhelpful voice, so I no longer fuel that energy.
- I am slowing down yet achieving more. Oh yeah—that got your attention, didn’t it. I have produced more work, earned more revenue, and served more people than ever before in these past nine months— which means I am making more impact that feels effortless.
- My relationships are deeper and more honest. Well, at least that is how I feel.
This is one way I feel is helping me grow and be better than yesterday.
Love Jaqs x