In the beginning of this year I started meditating daily. For the first time, after finishing my YTT, I had the motivation and interest to start a daily meditation practice. As part of a university assignment I meditated for four weeks. On my second week, I decided to make this a yearlong goal, meditating every day for the entire year. This was a huge, huge goal, and as expected, life happened!
I lost it completely. I got caught up in work and school, exams and assignments.
I missed my meditation practice a lot, but still I didn’t find the motivation to practice.
A few months passed and I started to accept that it was OK for me to take a break.
Then the time came and I was ready to make a new start. I was ready to start meditating again. But this time I was going to make my motivation lead the way. I had felt the motivation slowly coming back and I did not want to suffocate it with too many rules or regulations. The meditation practice would be the way it was meant to be.
And as often before, I looked back to find the best way to move forward.
I went through my bullet journal, where I had tracked my meditation practice each month.
I put all the data into Streaks, an app that supports people in changing their habits.
And there I saw the number. Eighty! I had meditated for eighty days in a row!
Why did I never think to count that? Why the hell wasn’t I celebrating this?
Why on earth did I just see this as a failure?
I meditated for eighty days in a row! That was a huge win!
Yes, one day my goal will be 365 days, but I would be crazy to think that was a reasonable goal for a complete beginner.
So now I will celebrate. I will be proud of my victory. And I will look at this as a success.
I will take a moment to reflect on what I learned, instead of seeing this as failure.
And then I will continue. I will meditate every day until it becomes a part of who I am.
So, what did I learn from meditating for 80 days in a row?
I like meditating
Meditation was something that I expected to be hard. Don’t get me wrong, it is. However, it is also lovely. Starting my day off with a 20-minute meditation was just the loveliest thing and I believe that it positively affected my entire day.
It became a part of my morning routine. It was my highest priority. I woke up much earlier to make time for my meditation practice. I sat on my meditation pillow, closed my eyes and smiled, giving thanks for this beautiful day ahead. Meditation made me better in every way.
Meditation and sleep have a lot in common
I believe that sleep is a form of meditation, or that meditation is a form of sleep. At least, these two are deeply connected. Getting into a meditative state is therefore very close to deep sleep, as both states are where you rest the most and reconnect with yourself.
Along with my daily meditation came a change in my sleeping routine. I have always been a person that sleeps a lot. I needed about 10 hours of sleep to feel fully rested, though I had always dreamt of needing less sleep. However, the 20-minute meditation took about 2 hours of my need for sleep. With the daily meditation, I was waking up refreshed and happy – without an alarm! – after only 7,5 hours sleep. That for me was a great victory. It was a dream come true.
When I silence my mind, my creativity flows
During the first 20-minute meditation I wrote two articles for Bad yogi and a thank you letter to my yoga teacher. I know that meditating is often said to be a way to quiet the mind. And that is true. However, when you quiet the mind you make room for this deeper part of yourself. Meditating for me felt like sitting down and saying to my inner self “I’m here now. Tell me everything you want to share with the world”.
Every time I neglected this part of me, there was even more to be told when I got back to my meditation. Meditating daily helped me stay connected to my inner self.
Perhaps, this is the most important realization of all.
Altogether, meditating made me a better and happier person. Meditation taught me about myself and gave me a chance to get to know myself better.
My experience meditating is to me one more proof that deep down, I actually know everything that I need to know. And the same goes for every single one of us. It just seems that in this chaotic life we have forgotten what we already know, and we feel lost.
When we quiet our mind, this true passion, our purpose becomes clear.
So, listen. Listen carefully.
Be there for your soul, because it always has something to tell you.
Because we are here to create. We are here to leave the world a better place than when we found it. So, listen. Even if it is only for a few minutes each day.
That is at least what I will do, every single day from now on.
Have you ever done a meditation challenge? How did it go? Tell us below!