June 6, 2020
DAILY LIVING WITH MINDFULNESS PART FIVE
How You Can Get Started on your Mindfulness Journey…
We’re already at Part5 of my Daily Living with Mindfulness series! Our journey began with an invitation to learn how we can adopt mindful living in order to attain our own inner serenity on a daily basis. We also learned about using mindfulness as a pathway to serenity and happiness, as well as some practical tips in practicing meditation.
Then we took our journey outside of our daily meditation practice, where we learned to incorporate our “Pause of Mindfulness” in the real-world setting, and how we can grow our mindfulness muscles.
We also discussed how mindfulness can enable us to build healthier habits and more positive thinking patterns. And in this final part we’ll close out with a few common questions you might have for getting your mindfulness journey moving in the right direction.
How Long Shoul I Practice Meditation Each Day?
Our mindfulness journey is a rather unique journey that’s different for each one of us in terms of intensity and the form of meditation we are inclined towards practicing.
With that said, it shouldn’t be something to shy away from by overthinking it or making it more complicated than it needs to be. After all, you can begin with as little as practicing five minutes per day. Then, as you become ready and feel comfortable with your meditation practice in those five minutes, you can increase that duration regularly based on when it feels right to do so.
It’s important to be extremely honest with yourself when you set your practice time goals. Be realistic with the time you can commit on a daily basis so that you’re able to achieve this goal regularly.
What do I do if I need to skip a day in my meditation practice?
Things will come up and stuff will happen that might prevent you from being able to practice meditation at different times. But it’s important to make sure this doesn’t happen often since it can derail your overall goals, and can lead to a habit of bypassing your practice sessions altogether.
For me, I find that I can be tricked by my own laziness at times, which is not a good reason to miss a meditation practice at all. So I’ve set a few guidelines and rules that I use to make sure I don’t fall into this bad habit.
How I can tell if laziness is taking over, or if I’m too tired to practice…
On a “tired” day, I ask myself whether I’m truly tired to the point of not being able to do anything… Meaning I’m so tired I can’t get on social media, nor am I able to follow my favorite unwinding routine. Basically, I just need to go directly to bed to rest.
But, if I can still see myself doing those things and not my meditation practice, then I see that as a sign of laziness talking. In this case, I push myself to show-up for myself and meditate.
Of course, if I find myself truly exhausted and unable to do regular activities, I allow myself to rest, with a condition that I will double my practice duration on the following day. This simple trick has helped me to not allow laziness to get its way, because trust me, it will try to often.
I used this trick to build up my self-discipline to show-up for myself every day, but please feel free to adjust and use it as you see fit!
How do I find out what my preferred form of meditation is?
Another thing to get yourself started on your mindfulness living journey is to explore and see which practice is YOUR most preferred form of meditation.
I have chosen walking meditation, as I have noticed through real observations that I can hold my mindfulness better and “pause of mindfulness” kicks in more quickly when I concentrate on body movement.
Some people, like my sister, prefer sitting meditation and concentrating on breathing. Some of you might find yoga more suitable to your preference. I also heard that some people have started with audio aided meditation guides they find online or through apps. All of these different methods are totally acceptable and worth trying.
In short, you should look for the meditation practice that leads you towards an optimal balance of personal preference and effectiveness – the practice that you can commit on a daily basis with ease and that allows you to hold mindfulness and be present more consistently. So, I encourage you to try a couple of different forms to see for yourselves which one is the best for you.
I recommend trying each form that interests you for at least a week or two before moving on to the next one. The key is to choose the practice that allows you to be present and activates that “Pause of Mindfulness” more frequently than the others, and that has relatively less resistance for you to commit to on a daily basis.
Most importantly, remember that consistency is KEY!
So, Keep Showing Up! 😊
Exploring How You can Incorporate that Meditation in Your Daily Life is the Next Step
Your next step is to explore how you can incorporate that practice into your daily life. Finding the daily activity that can best mimic the actual meditation practice itself is always helpful. Something that has the same core action with less details, kind of like making an executive summary of your practice.
For me, it’s walking meditation, so I abbreviated the details and condensed it into just one single note “left,” and the next stride “right.”
If you chose breathing meditation, you might remind yourself to breathe deeply every time you are about to sit down. Or if it were yoga maybe try to be more mindful of your posture throughout the day. As a matter of fact, you should be mindful of your posture anyway, whether it be walking, standing, or sitting! No? 😛
In Closing of This Series on Daily Living with Mindfulness…
My final closing sentiments are simply for you to love yourself, and be patient with yourself as you practice mindfulness. It’s definitely a journey, a marathon, not a sprint.
So it might take time to get the hang of it, your mind will wander often, but with time you’ll get stronger and better at it. And soon enough, if you’re like me, you’ll see your practice pay off as it impacts your daily living in positive and meaningful ways.
If you have more questions on how to get started on your mindful living journey, feel free to drop me an email here.