[Bonus article from the 28 Day Meditation Challenge]
One of the most important things you can do when creating a new habit, is to enlist moral support. By telling people what you want to do, it allows them to help you and encourage you.
But have you ever noticed that, sometimes, the hardest place to ask for help is at home?
Here are some top tips, to get your family ‘meditation-fit’:
- Tell them what you’re doing!
It’s amazing how often we start making changes in our life, without telling our nearest and dearest. Maybe we’re not sure they’ll support us? Maybe we’re not sure they’ll understand? Maybe we’re embarrassed? But unless we tell them what we’re doing, they’re unlikely to miraculously create the space to allow us to do it…
- Get them to help you find the time.
It doesn’t matter how things have been done at home in the past. What creates the future of your dreams are the choices you make today. If you need someone else to take over some of the jobs you traditionally do, to help you find your daily 10-15 minutes, ask them. If you don’t ask, you won’t get it. What you’re more likely to get is feeling resentment at still having to do those jobs, when you secretly want to be meditating.
- Help them see the benefits.
If you spot yourself responding differently once you’ve been meditating regularly, point it out to your family! If you manage to avoid a row with your partner, because you were feeling more at peace, deep inside, tell them! They don’t live in your head. They live in theirs. It’s neither fair nor reasonable to expect them to mind-read and spot the progress you’re making, especially if that progress means that something doesn’t happen! Help them feel the benefits of your meditation time. If they try to steal your meditation time, remind them of the potential consequences – of things going back to ‘how they used to be’!
- Help them understand why you’re doing it.
The word ‘because’ is like a magic key that reduces people’s resistance to a request. When you’re clear about why you want to meditate, share this with your family and it will help them behave more flexibly. Remind them: “I am choosing to meditate, because…” It doesn’t really matter what the ‘because’ is – as long as you believe in it. Your conviction will help them understand that this request is important to you. It will make it easier for them to support you.
- Push your luck!
If you need to do extra deep relaxations – or to meditate for a second time on a stressful day – push your luck and ask for it. Remember: your meditation space has tangible benefits for you and those around you. Don’t be embarrassed. Don’t feel guilty. You’re not actually asking for much. And it will change the course of your day – and theirs.
- Don’t insist on perfection.
For many of us, with busy lives and kids around, the ultimate ‘silent sanctuary’ for meditating is a rare beast. Stop aiming for perfection. Don’t allow your monkey mind to convince you to feel grumpy just because you can hear the kids playing next door. Remember – one of the three keys to meditating is acceptance. If the family is bouncing around, by all means ask them to show respect for your needs and be more quiet. But if they can’t manage that, just accept it. What counts is that you’re off duty for 10 minutes. True inner peace is about being able to access that inner still point, no matter how stressful life is. If you wait for perfect quiet, you’ll most likely never meditate.
So there you have the six secrets for training your family to help you meditate. Of course, there are many more strategies you could use. But hopefully these suggestions have given you some inspiration to help you get started.
And if you’d like to check out how others are managing this – or even share suggestions of your own – we’re talking about this over at the 28 Day Meditation Challenge online forum. How To Get Moral Support For Your Meditation Time (28 Day Meditation Challenge members only. We’d love to hear from you!