You are a busy person.
In fact you're so busy, that there's no time for much of anything except being stressed and worried about being so busy.
Work to do, kids to raise, exercise, meals, fitting in friendships. And now PokemonGO too?
But somewhere deep inside, you kind of want to add a meditation practice into your life.
But back to our first problem. How the heck are you supposed to fit in meditation when you're so busy in the first place. That's the $64,000 question. (Accounting for interest and inflation, the question is now worth about $1.1 million)
Before we talk about where and how to fit in meditation, there are 2 things you may need to tweak if you really want to get it going.
1. Question the story “I’m too busy to meditate (or x)”.
We all have the same 24 hours in the day and everything we do is a choice. Taking responsibility for our time is empowering and may free up other time as well. If we can't budge your “busy” story, we're going to have a hard time even beginning to find 20 minutes.
2. Reframe meditation to be palatable.
Meditation is NOT boring. Meditation is NOT hard. You CAN meditate regularly. Meditation, like exercise, can be a non-negotiable that GIVES you time and ease in your life.
Say it with me: Meditation is a gift, not a chore.
Close your eyes for a moment and I want you to imagine what it would be like to have a little breathing room in your life, a little less stress, a little more capacity to handle all of the challenges you face. What would be possible for you?
If slowing down for a few minutes might bring you a greater sense of ease throughout your days, or make you more effective as a business owner, partner, or parent, what is that worth to you?
Is it worth setting aside the belief that you're just too busy?
There are a million articles about there about meditating anytime and anywhere, for a minute here or a minute there. I love the idea of living a mindful life and taking deep conscious breaths throughout the day, or being present in conversations without distraction.
But I want you to consider blocking out 10-20 minutes for your meditation practice. Once, or maybe twice a day.
It’s only 1.4% of your day. Some of us spend more time sneaking hits of funny cat videos off Facebook.
Mindful moments are great, but there is great value in a regular sustained meditative practice. To know yourself, and make shifts in your life takes shutting off distractions and learning to recognize the bullshit conversations from our inner committee torment us day in and day out.
I believe that you can create 20 consistent minutes in your day. But be clear that in saying yes to meditation, you may have to say no to other things (like hitting snooze 12 times).
Every yes in life means saying no to something else.
I recommend a morning practice. It’s far easier to push off meditation when the day gets away from you. This might mean that you have to get up earlier, which may be initially uncomfortable as you get into a rhythm. But you make the rules, so decide what works!
Here are some suggestions for fitting in a meditation practice.
- Go to bed 20 minutes earlier and wake up 20 minutes earlier to meditate.
- Go to bed 20 minutes later and meditate before bed.
- Cut your lunch short and meditate at your desk.
- Take a lunch, period, and use some of that time to meditate.
- Tack on time at the end of your workout to sit and meditate.
- Take a mid-morning break.
- Meditate when your child goes down for a nap.
If you're noticing that there's some resistance to any or all of the suggestions, you may be clinging to a story. Get curious.
Tony Robbins meditates. Oprah Winfrey meditates. Top CEOs meditate. Parents meditate. You can too.
1) Open up your calendar now
2) Schedule 20 minutes in each day this week (even if you're starting with less than that). Let's assume that if it's not in your calendar it doesn't exist.
3) Sit down at your scheduled times and start breathing. See what happens.
If you need some accountability, please join OM*Lab in one of our daily mentored sessions and let's do it together! We are all busy, filling our lives with stuff and more stuff and more stuff and this is an opportunity to practice creating your life rather than being a victim to your circumstances.
In the comments below I would love to hear when you typically meditate, or when you're committed to meditating this week. Let me know! What challenges do anticipate? What gets in the way? Tell me everything!
I hope to see you soon either in a one-on-one session or in the virtual studio.