I have been thinking a lot of about time in the last few days. I have embarked upon a new meditation practice. I’m starting small and dedicating only ten minutes a day (five in the morning and five in the evening). The time allotment might seem too short for some, but it has a purpose.
Before I dedicate as much as forty minutes a day to the practice, I want to see measurable results. Some might say ten minutes will not yield a significant measure of improvement, but I disagree. When I take the time to meditate, I see things more clearly. I think that is because I have given myself full permission to do that and only that during that time. I am not spending my meditation time planning any other activities or items for my to-do list. I am not thinking about breakfast or the errands I must run or the work I need to do. For those ten minutes, I am there meditating and only meditating. I can’t tell you how freeing it is to permit myself the room and space to do only one thing. I’m already amazed at the subtle differences in my outlook, and it’s been just five days.
I use an iOS app called Insight Timer to start and stop this practice. It gives a starting gong and an ending one. It also has a button to set up more meditation time automatically. Right after the ending bell rings, you can add more time and keep meditating. I specifically don’t use it. Why? I don’t use it because I have given myself permission to do this practice for a set length of time. So, it is easier to dedicate to it fully. I know I will stop when it is time to stop and therefore I don’t worry about whether or not I am frittering my day away. I know I’m not frittering, and I know I’ll get back to my other tasks right after the meditation so I am free to meditate fully present and with my entire being for that ten minutes.
Once I am done with the practice, I shift my focus to the rest of my day.
In order for my life to move smoothly and with less anxiety that I won’t get everything done, these are the things I do.
I schedule in my relaxation/meditation with a timer and stick to it.
I move my focus from action to inactivity and back again before and after meditation. I do this consciously by telling myself that I’ll be back to work in just a few minutes.
I dedicate myself fully because I know it is for a finite time period so the other thoughts can be still in the certainty that I will get to them.
These three actions allow me to shift from external to internal and back to external work much more easily. And, I don’t feel the least bit guilty because that meditation time has already brought me insights and answers that I hadn’t even been aware of needing. I’m going to expand that time because it is helpful and because it allows me more freedom to schedule other activities and be efficient about that. Just that change has added minutes and even hours to my day. And that leaves more room to create, play, and live.
If you want some help on how to start meditating, drop me a line. I would be happy to answer any questions or to give you a brief tutorial write-up of what I am doing.
Sending you all of my love.