How did you get on with the Laying The Foundations exercises yesterday?
Have you had a chance to share your experiences, insights and questions over at the forum yet?
Here’s the link to get started: Laying The Foundations
Today we’re going to kick off by tackling the number 1 challenge that parents tell me they face, when they want to create a meditation habit.
Here’s what we’re covering today:
- Getting the #1 excuse out of the way
- 3 steps to finding enough time to meditate.
- Re-Think What Meditation Is
- How To Deal With Your Time-Stealers
- Make A Date With Your Meditation
- A Magical Mindset Shift To Miraculously Create More Time
- Part 1 Video – Getting Grounded
- Part 1 Meditation – 60 Second Quick Fix
- Optional – 10 minute meditation audio
The great news is that, although it’s the top reason why most parents never get round to meditating, if you know how to tackle it, it can simply melt away, setting you free to create the habit you have been dreaming of.
What’s the problem?
I don’t have enough time to meditate.
It’s a mantra we use so often, as parents, that it becomes a deeply-ingrained belief.
And the thing about beliefs is that they act as a filter, to control what we notice about life.
So if you believe that you don’t have enough time to meditate, then that’s what you will see. Your Monkey Mind will give you plenty of examples of how you don’t have enough time, because that is what your belief has asked it to do. But it will screen out the examples of you actually having time to meditate, because it has been programmed not to believe them.
So you’re stuck in a catch 22. Or are you?
Well, of course you know I wouldn’t ask you that, unless I had some solutions to share.
There’s 3 step plan to turning this one around. I’m going to go through them each, briefly, in today’s message. And if any of them particularly resonate for you, then each has a link to where you can go into more depth, to deal with that aspect of the solution.
Here are 3 steps to finding enough time to meditate.
Re-Think What Meditation Is
It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing (or expecting) that meditation should be about sitting in uninterrupted silence, with your legs in a pretzel-shape, for hours at a time.
If you’re on a retreat / have masses of childcare / great at getting up at 4am / living as a yogi in a cave, then that’s realistic to aim for.
But if you’re running around like a Duracell bunny, with school run / work / play dates / chores / ‘life’ to get on with, then carving out an hour to meditate can feel less realistic than climbing the Matahorn in your lunch break.
So, rather than forcing yourself to aim for something you believe is impossible – and failing, how about re-thinking what you’re aiming for, instead?
Here’s a secret:
Meditation doesn’t have to be about hours of silent sitting.
Meditation can take as little as sixty seconds.
Meditating for ten minutes can transform your day.
Meditation can be done while you’re with the kids.
Meditation can be part of your daily life, without taking up any extra time.
If this one is resonating for you, here’s where to dive more deeply into this solution:
Is it time to totally re-think what meditation really is?
Deal With Your Time-Stealers
If we are brutally honest with ourselves, most of us could find ten minutes a day to meditate, if we really wanted to.
Here are some of the most common ways we find time for stuff that is often much less important than meditating:
- You’re in the middle of something. The phone rings. The conversation, which you didn’t have in your timeplan, takes 10 to 15 minutes. You go back to what you were doing and get it finished. Somehow you unconsciously shifted your priorities to fit in the phone call.
- A friend drops the kids off after school / a play date. They stop for a cuppa and you have a natter. Impromptu. When they have left, you get on with your ‘to do’ list. Stuff still gets done. You managed to find the time.
- The kids come to you with a ‘problem’ / whinge / urgent need – which is rarely as urgent as they might think. We tend to drop everything we were doing and handle it. It can easily take ten minutes. But often it didn’t really need our input. I’m not advocating ignoring your kids, but whatever you were doing waited that ten minutes and, I’m guessing, you somehow managed to ajust your day to accommodate it.
- We pop onto Facebook (or wherever you like to hang out), thinking we’ll ‘just check it out’. Suddenly half an hour has passed. Sure, it was a fun distraction, but I’m guessing you hadn’t planned that half hour into your day? I’m guessing that, somehow, you still managed to get everything important done? So you managed to adjust your schedule to fit in that impromptu Facebook time.
- You watch your favourite programme on TV. When it has finished, something else comes on, which looks interesting. So you sit and watch that, too. You just found an extra half an hour to watch TV.
You have an amazing ability to morph time. If something comes up, you are able to shift your priorities and juggle, to get things done. And that’s with things which are interruptions.
So if you can do it with things you weren’t expecting, just imagine how much easier it would be to find ten minutes if you actually plan it into your day?
Want to really get this one sorted?
Is It Time To Deal With Your Time-Stealers?
Make A Date With Your Meditation
You manage to get the kids to school on time, most days.
You manage to make it to appointments.
You manage to feed the family, before they fall asleep.
So you have the ability to meet deadlines and do the stuff that matters.
How about including meditation in all that?
- What if meditation were as important as getting the kids to school?
- What if meditation were as important as making it to the hairdresser on time?
- What if meditation were as important as getting the kids ready for bed?
Enough researchers have proven that meditation is vital for our mental, emotional and physical health, that surely it’s time to put it up there, along with brushing our teeth and at least occasionally eating healthy food?
(Here are some of the benefits of meditation).
The reason stuff ‘gets in the way’ of meditation is because we pack our days full with ‘stuff’ and ‘to do’, then expect our meditation time to miraculously appear in the midst of the chaos.
Realistically, it’s not going to happen, is it?
The solution? Make a date with your meditation time.
Choose a time (it’s easiest if it’s at a similar point in your routine, each day, but that’s not vital) and keep that appointment.
Treat your meditation time as something that’s non-negotiable.
If this one is resonating with you, here’s where to get things sorted:
Is It Time To Make A Date With Your Meditation?
A Magical Mindset Shift To Miraculously Create More Time
If time is your favourite excuse, then I’d like to share with you one of my favourite time-stretching mantras. It will help you to shift your mindset – your attitude – towards time, magically allowing more time (and less stress!) to appear.
I am grateful for the time I have.
How about saying it out loud to yourself a couple of times, right now?
I am grateful for the time I have… I am grateful for the time I have… I am grateful for the time I have…
Can you imagine how that might shift things? How would life (and your ability to find time to meditate!) change, if you were to switch from our usual “I don’t have enough time” to “I am grateful for the time I have.”?
How might this affirmation help you – today and every day?
Want to share your experiences on this one? Any insights? Any questions? Here’s a special discussion area over at the private online community:
I am grateful for the time I have – discuss!
Part 1 Video – Getting Grounded
When we’re lost in ‘time-stress’, we’re living in our heads, not our bodies.
And if the stress levels are high enough, then our sympathetic nervous system takes over – that’s the bit that runs the ‘fight or flight’ responses in life-or-death situations. It’s the near-panic mode that most of us are running, most of the time.
Unfortunately our fight-or-flight response is designed to shut down non-essential bodily functions, such as digestion or cellular-level healing. So running on stress on a regular basis creates physical dis-ease and illness.
There’s another problem, too: your sympathetic nervous system doesn’t want you to analyse the problem in detail or compare different solutions. If it let you hang around to do that, the sabre-toothed tiger would already have munched you for breakfast.
Instead, it utilises the hypothalamus primitive area of your brain, to make black and white immediate decisions to save your life.
If you have ever been in a place of genuine ‘fight or flight’, you’ll have noticed that it feels like you make choices and take actions ‘without thinking’. It’s vital – there’s no time for pondering when survival is the matter at hand.
But if you’re running that pattern during a normal day, it causes problems. Can you imagine how only working with the primitive part of your brain can make it harder to get things done – and lead to more stress?
When you’re living in your ‘stress-head’, you’re not really ‘here’; you’re un-grounded.
Instead of experiencing life in the ‘physical world’, your mind perceives it through its filters of stress, anxiety, worry and tension.
Fortunately there’s a yoga posture you can use to let go of all of this, in just a few moments, and return to the ‘here and now’.
It’s called Tadasana (Mountain Pose). If you feel it might help you today, then I invite you to work with this video for the next couple of minutes, to experience how Tadasana can ground and release those stresses.
Part 1 Meditation – 60 Second Quick Fix
Today I’m sharing with you a sixty second meditation (yes, you can meditate for as little as a minute and still experience benefits!) which can help you to come back to the present moment, releasing stress and tension.
It’s easy to learn, so you can follow the audio the first few times and then you’ll have practised it enough to be able to use it, whenever you need to, whatever is going on around you.
Part 1 Meditation: Sixty Second Quick Fix
Here’s the audio for your part 1 meditation:
How about doing this a couple of times a day – or whenever you feel the need to reconnect and head back towards a sense of inner peace, rather than inner stress?
And finally… Optional 10 Minute Meditation
Throughout this course – and beyond – you might want to carve out ten minutes of your day to experience this guided meditation. (It’s the same one as in yesterday’s message).
It’s easy to do.
All you need to do is to sit comfortably and follow the instructions.
Ten Minute Meditation
You can listen to it online here:
Or, better option, right click on the link below and choose ‘save as’ to download the MP3 to your favourite player and listen to it somewhere peaceful.
That’s all for today!
I hope it has helped you to deal with the number one meditation excuse, to gain insights into how you could create time for meditation in your day, to let go of some of your time-related stress, to release some tension and worry and to experience how even a minute of meditation can feel good and make a difference.
We’re back in a few days with part 2: Looking at the rest of your excuses!
I hope you have a great day today.
P.S. If you have any techy questions about the course or the forum, please email a member of my team at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll help you out!