BUT I DON’T HAVE TIME TO MEDITATE!
Dealing with the #1 meditation excuse, once and for all!
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How have the first few days been going? Have you managed to meditate yet? I really hope you’re enjoying the beginning of your 28 Day Meditation Challenge.
Today we’re talking about how to find time to meditate.
This is one of the most common reasons I hear from people about why they don’t meditate… and I have to confess that I have lost count of how often I have used it myself!
Someone I was talking to recently about this course was raving about wanting to learn how to meditate. And she was excited about the idea of being able to lay the foundations, day by day, in the comfort of her own home, through the 28 Day Meditation Challenge.
But when I asked her if she could spare 10 minutes a day for it, her answer was, “No! I’m way too busy!”
She was so convinced by her excuse that there was no room left for change.
Is it really true that our lives are too full to find time to meditate?
It is true that we often believe that we don’t have time to meditate. But there’s a difference between truth and belief.
We believe our stories and excuses, telling them to ourselves so often that they become a pseudo-truth that we no longer question – like ‘received wisdom’. We even start to believe in other people’s excuses! But is it really true?
It’s funny how, for example, if we fall in love, we suddenly find all these evenings and weekends to spend with that wonderful new person:
- we watch less TV
- we read fewer magazines
- we spend less time on chores
- we use our time more purposely
- we drop anything that’s not essential
Is it really too much for your mind, body and soul to ask for 10 minutes of your time each day for something that can dramatically impact your life I’m curious: what kind of things do you do in 10 minutes in a typical day? Are there other things that you could let go of, even just for 28 days?
Is it really too much for your mind, body and soul to ask for 10 minutes of your time each day for something that can dramatically impact your life?
There are many ‘important jobs’ and distractions during the day that steal our time; things that crop up unexpectedly, where we give them our immediate attention. Everything else falls off the table, including our meditation. Yet if we said to these things, “I will come back to you later,” it’s amazing how they either go away or take up less time.
The classic example is a phone call.
You’re in the middle of something important, but you answer the phone anyway. The conversation takes ten minutes. Then you go back to what you were doing.
You found ten minutes for the interruption.
So why do we find it so hard to find ten minutes to meditate…?
As a quick exercise, how about brainstorming a list of things that you do during the day that might be wasting your time or that you could do a bit less of?
Yes, right now!
Maybe you could watch 10 minutes’ less television? Maybe you could spend 28 days choosing not to watch the news? Or spend ten minutes less per day on Facebook? Or get someone else to do the washing up? Or you could fit meditation in during your lunch break?
Stuck for inspiration? How about asking your friends for ideas and asking for help with your top time wasters?
How about sharing your experiences of this over at the forum?
What could you let go of or rearrange about your day, to make time for just 10 minutes of meditation?
Are you filling your time with things to do? It’s nearly an epidemic. It’s as though we’re so scared of ‘stopping’ and ‘being’ that we feel guilty about doing nothing.
Not In The Mood To Meditate?
If it’s more of a general thing – not being in the mood to meditate – here’s a bonus article I’ve written for you, which might help:
Pick A Time That Works For You
One of the other key things for making time for meditation is picking a time of day that works for you.
Don’t try and fit meditation in when you are already really busy and you know you’re prone to interruptions. It might seem common sense, but it’s amazing how often we try that one.
For example, many people like to meditate first thing in the morning. But mornings can be very busy times, especially if you have to get to work or get the kids to school. To fit in your meditation at that time, either something needs to go or you’ll need to get up earlier…
What’s The ‘Best’ Time Of Day To Meditate?
There is no right or wrong time of day to do meditation. Yes, there are ‘traditional’ times (such as early morning / sunrise / 3am!). However, it’s more important just to do your meditation, rather than worrying about when someone says you ‘should’ do it.
The best time is one when you know you have got a bit more control over your time, even if that is last thing at night when everybody else has fallen asleep and you are feeling tired.
Personally, life with three young boys can be very busy and I (obviously!) can’t leave them unattended while I sit around with my eyes closed, trying not to move… So I usually meditate before the family wakes up in the morning, or just after the boys have gone to slee, in the evening.
Yes, the morning meditation ‘costs me’ sleep, but that time leaves me feeling much more refreshed and focussed than the extra sleep would have done. It’s rare for me to miss my meditation, even at weekends, because it has become a routine, a habit, and I am convinced about why I am doing it. But it still takes dedication!
There will be a ‘best time’ for you, in your life, with your schedule and commitments – though it might take a little experimenting to find it.
Avoid meditating after eating.
It’s tough to meditate on a full stomach, shortly after eating. Remember: meditation is about concentration, which takes effort and energy. When the body is digesting your food, it needs to use its energy for that, so meditation can lead to indigestion or even nausea, especially if you’re focussing on your breathing and working your diaphragm! Also, some foods, such as sugar and wheat, can make us feel tired, so you would be struggling to stay awake and to focus during your meditation.
Later on in the 28 days I will be sharing insider secrets to help you wake yourself up, to meditate – to help with sometimes having to choose a time when you might be feeling tired, or not in the mood.
The fact is that 10 minutes really isn’t very long… I strongly suspect there are very few of us who genuinely couldn’t fit 10 minutes into our day, especially if we remember why it is that we are motivated to do it.
(Go back to the ‘Getting Started’ section and the ‘Secret To Keeping Yourself Motivated’ exercise (on page 14), if you need to refresh your memory!)
And if you need even more of a kick to get you finding the time, here’s a little video I’ve recorded for you 🙂
So how are you going to find your 10 minutes to meditate today?
Have you got any tips or suggestions that you’d like to share? Want to find out how others are managing it?
I hope you really enjoy today’s meditation!
Tomorrow we’ll be moving on to how to get moral support for your meditation time.
Day 4 Affirmation
I choose to take ten minutes to meditate today.
P.S. The key links you need for week one are:
Getting Started: http://www.28daymeditationchallenge.com/home
Week 1 Resources http://www.28daymeditationchallenge.com/home/#week1