HOW TO STOP OTHERS STEALING YOUR MEDITATION TIME
… And it’s easier than you might think…
How did you get on with your first time listening to the week 2 meditation? Was it fun, watching your thoughts start to drift by? Did your mind play ball? Or did it come up with objections to the process? We’ll be looking at how to handle the monkey mind’s tricks over the coming days. Here’s the forum discussion thread where you can share your experiences.
But for today, we’re talking about how on earth you can stop others from stealing your meditation time.
It can be a real challenge for many of us, when starting a meditation journey. I’m sure that some of you out there on the 28 Day Meditation Challenge have experienced this already, because you are trying to fit your new habit in as something extra, in a day that already feels pretty full.
We start the day with the best of intentions, but suddenly it’s bedtime and we’re feeling too tired…
What steals our meditation time?
Well, we all have our own personal favourites.
If, for example, we have children or other people sharing our home, it can be something unexpected that needs doing. Or it might be a phone call that overruns; it might be dealing with our messages; it might be something that comes up at work – the list is as endless as our imagination will allow.
What to do if it happens regularly
If you notice that things are regularly interrupting your meditation space, then it really is time to take a look at your level of commitment to meditating… At risk of being shouted at, it is only 10 minutes a day you are asking yourself for.
Is it really so difficult to find 10 minutes for ourselves?
Yes? Then perhaps you’re running a bigger issue, which would benefit from being dealt with?
- Are you still waiting to be convinced of the benefits of meditation?
- Perhaps you need to change habits about how you say yes to things?
- Perhaps it’s something about not feeling that you deserve time for the things you want to do?
- Would you benefit from help from a wise friend on how you manage interruptions?
- It could be worth looking at what you’re using the distractions to avoid?
- Are your meditation excuses still getting in the way? (Do you need to review day 3?)
Of course it is important to be flexible. But just imagine how much easier it would be to fit your meditation in, if you treated it like an appointment – not negotiable.
For example you wouldn’t cancel an optician’s appointment, unless you really had to, would you?
So how about treating your meditation time the same way?
When you have that mind-set towards your meditating time, it’s amazing how easy it is to brush away the interruptions that would otherwise have stopped you from you taking your 10 minutes.
Taking your meditation time seriously is the key to finding the time to do it.
Prioritising it over other things is essential, or you’ll find yourself regularly missing it and not benefiting from it. While you list it as an ‘optional’ part of your day or a ‘nice to have’ activity, it is destined to fall off the bottom of your ‘to do’ list. It is better to meditate for a shorter time, every day, than for a long time once in a blue moon.
Remember: when you are feeling calm and focused, when you have clarity and a smile on your face, the thing that was going to interrupt your meditation will be much easier to handle.
And many of the people who have completed the 28 Day Meditation Challenge have found that they enjoy their meditation space so much – and it helps them so much – that sometimes they even do it twice a day! There’s no pressure for this, but if you can find the time, the benefits are amazing.
Is it about needing to say “No”?
Maybe you could look at how you feel about saying no to people
Or perhaps you could have a new phrase: “Yes, when I have had my 10 minutes to meditate”?
Most things will all wait for 10 minutes if we’re really honest.
What’s the best time of day to meditate?
The key to success is to fit your meditation in at a time that works for you.
Traditionally, so we’re told, we should meditate around 4am – not a chance for most of us! The next ‘best’ time is shortly after waking up. But that’s all very well if you live in an ashram – not so practical if you have a busy morning schedule when getting up earlier wouldn’t work.
Personally, the only space I get is in the evening, just after the children have fallen asleep – or incredibly early in the morning, before the rest of the family wakes up. And I’ve arranged things to work around that, because I know how different my day feels if I don’t take that time to meditate.
So what can you do?
Forget what people tell you about what time you should meditate! The best time for you to meditate is the time that works for you and for your day.
It might help you to set yourself a reminder. Resources like the Fungie bell or your computer’s alarm / phone alarm can help remind you when your meditation time has arrived. Or you could use the reminder to practise five deep breaths, allowing your attention to rest on your breathing for a few moments.
Choosing a similar time each day, whenever that is, helps you to get into the routine.
Choosing the same place each day can help you get into the routine, too. Your mind and body quickly become anchored into the physical preparation for meditating, in a particular place, and this makes it easier to relax and feel calmer. It makes meditating easier and more effective. (More on that later in the 28 days!).
Also, preparing in the same way sets off our unconscious mind’s auto-pilot response, taking us back to a resourceful state of mind, to make meditating easier. You can prepare yourself by, for example, remembering to close the door, lighting a candle, sitting down or putting a blanket around your shoulders. This type of physical preparation will trigger unconscious memories and automatically help you to relax, feel more calm and feel ready to meditate.
Aside: there’s a short, tongue-in-cheek video about the danger of listening to everything you’re told about the traditions behind meditating, which you might find useful.
Tell those that might need you during your meditation time that you are not around; you are not available, but you will be back soon! Take the phone off the hook; don’t look at the messages just before you meditate, or they’ll be preying on your mind. This is your time and, believe me, those around you will eventually be grateful, because it will make a huge difference for you – and one day they will notice that difference.
I’m curious: what (or who!) typically steals your meditation time? And how do you handle it?
That’s enough for now I hope you enjoy your week two meditation today!
Day 9 Affirmation
My happiness is worth ten minutes a day of my time.
P.S. Tomorrow we’re going to be looking at what your monkey mind is trying to tell you.
P.P.S. The key links you need for week two are:
Week 2 Meditation: