Not too long ago my first thought when the alarm clock rang at six in the morning was, “Welp, life could be worse.”
Second thought as I slooooowly got out of bed, “It could be a LOT worse.”
Now: “It is worth it. Let’s do this.”
When it comes to building healthier habits we have to crawl, walk, and then run in order for the habit to stick. I am happy with my meditation practice, but that doesn’t mean it is not hard. For me, the hardest part was waking up early enough to get started. But I have learned that I can train myself to do anything as long as I have the right reasons.
But the second challenge, once I was out of bed, was doing the actual meditation practice. Who wants to sit for long minutes at a time doing nothing? No one! It sounds so boring.
My third challenge was not getting the point of it. Not seeing what other professionals were seeing. Not feeling that “transient awakening” other gurus talked so much about. And not to mention, doubts creeping in way too early in the morning. Experiencing thoughts like, “What exactly am I supposed to be feeling here?” “When does this start to work?” “Maybe I don’t have the mental capacity to do this.”
I learned that meditation is NOT an easy practice. Still, I figured I should stretch myself and stick to the practice five days a week, even when it wasn’t going well. That’s the hallmark of success after all. So, that’s what I did.
I’ve been doing the work for three months now. I’ve been putting the effort in every morning and sometimes in the evening too. And now I can start talking about some results.
First reason: You’ll become a morning person.
My sister came to visit this week and she randomly asked me if I was a morning person. I laughed and said, “heck no!”. But interestingly enough, I changed my answer as I started thinking about my most recent habits and state of well being in the morning. I told her that I was never a morning person, and hated waking up to an alarm clock as much as anyone else. But now that I have a regular meditation practice I’m finding that I am slowly and surely becoming a morning person.
Second reason: You’ll wake up with ease.
I am now waking up with ease at 6 on the dot, sometimes even as early as 5:30 in the morning, without the need of an alarm clock. Most days I wait for the alarm to ring, but I wake up the minute it rings. I don’t snooze it, I don’t hate it, I don’t over think about how much it sucks. Now I am getting up with ease and with gratitude.
Third reason: You’ll wake up with a grateful spirit; ready to take on the day.
I’ve started to notice an attitude shift towards general contentment. That was my goal to begin with. To strive for love, compassion, cheerfulness, and kindness everyday…not just when things were going particularly well. It is easy to be cheerful when things are going our way, but can we be cheerful when things sort of suck, too?
Fourth reason: Meditation sows seeds of goodwill. A sense of service and other positive qualities will radiate and be present in your life.
I have been able to face life with peace and spiritual strength. I’ll give you an example. Since January 28th until this week, I’ve hosted my father in law, brother in law, mom, brother, cousin, and sister in our one bedroom apartment. Every week since January 28th there’s been a visitor or two staying at my place. For most people, it isn’t a problem. But for an introvert, anxiety prowls in. I’ve even messaged some of my friends telling them I might need moral support. I promise I’m not a monster, I’m just a bit of a control freak.
I knew that having to host meant my routine was going to change, that I wasn’t going to get as much done, that I wouldn’t be able to practice certain routines, or that I’d have to settle for others that I don’t enjoy. Hosting means spending more money, driving all over the place, tiptoe-ing around my apartment in the morning to get ready for work. As a result, I didn’t get to practice yoga as much. But I did maintain my meditation practice. And it helped me curb all those introvert feelings that start to creep up whenever I’m constantly around people. Now that I’ve gone through it, it is safe to say that I ended up having a great time and I adapted cheerfully and well.
Fifth reason: You’ll be able to face life with peace and spiritual strength.
There might be channels in the mind that are uplifting and ones that bring us down. However, the purpose of meditation is to create new, positive channels in the mind, and to eradicate those that are destructive. This alone makes you more aware of the activities of the mind. More control of our thoughts means more control of our moods. We have the power to control how happy we are at any given time. I promise, meditation will breed contentment.
Sixth reason: You’ll develop mental control and bliss consciousness.
Yup, life has been looking up, up, up!
My biggest take on meditation: Do the work, but give it time.
Stay tuned, in my next post I will go over all the many ways you can meditate and how to make it accessible for your lifestyles.