Tips for Practice During Challenging Times

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I read a list today from someone who shared everything they wished to do during the quarantine.  Here is the partial list:

  • –Tuba lessons
    –Drawing lessons
    –finish taxes
    –organize the fridge
    –lose 20 lbs.
    –drink 64 oz of water a day
    –exercise morning and evening
    –meditate

I’m glad meditation made the list!  But one thing that a lot of people are discovering is that it’s not so easy to meditate every day.  We think that because we are under a shelter-in-place situation, we now have the PERFECT conditions within which to develop a practice.

Here are some of my best tips for how to practice meditation and/or deepen your practice during the quarantine.

1. Go easy

I love the spirit of the list above, but it also shows a mind that’s immediately grasping at the usual busyness we all spend a lot of our normal lives complaining about.  It makes sense our tendency would be to reclaim the familiar busyness, because we gravitate toward what’s familiar, especially in times of stress.  But here’s the invitation: can you allow yourself to let go of some of the busyness?  Can you allow “healing” and “resting” and “helping others” to be big enough items on your to do list today, releasing the need to jam pack in even more?  Lots of things are happening right now, and our bodies and minds need some space, and our friends and loved ones also need some space within which to be heard and loved.  For just once in our lives, can we go easy on ourselves?  Out of loving respect for what we’re all going through right now?

2. If you can’t go easy, go with love

A friend of mine told me she’d call me back later because she was going to take a nap.   It was 2pm.
I, for one, have never been busier in my entire life, as are many of us who work in health care, or who have had to learn online ways of doing our jobs, who now have kids at home to manage, who are coordinating grocery deliveries for friends and parents at risk, and more.  I for one can’t go easy right now.  I’m being called upon to be of service to my community, and all I want in the world right now is to be here for everyone and anyone who needs me, as very best I can.

So I can’t go easy right now, but I can go with love.  How do we do this?  With meditation.

3.  Decide to meditate every day….but don’t worry for how long

People think that they need to sit for 20-30 minutes at a stretch in order to be considered a true meditator, but I’m here to tell you that’s a load.  All you need to do to be a meditator is you need to meditate.  And if you’re finding yourself meditating for stolen moments here and there, we’ll take it.   Most of the practices I’m sharing in my bi-monthly webinars (click here to join us for the next one) can be done in anywhere between 1 minute and 20.  Don’t get caught up in thinking a 1 minute practice isn’t enough, because sometimes it is, and sometimes it’s all we can muster.  One moment of intentional presence in your day feels better than no moments, and we simply build from there.

4. Don’t expect your meditations to always feel like spa treatments

One of the biggest mistakes people make is thinking they should always feels relaxed and centered after every meditation practice, and then when they don’t (which you won’t, not always) they feel like they’re not doing it right.  If your house burns down (which man, I hope it doesn’t) and then you meditate afterwards, are you going to feel all blissed out?  Probably not.  But as my father used to teach, if your car’s going 100mph and you slow it down to 98, you might not notice the difference…but your car is beginning to slow down.  Meditation can be like that sometimes…it’s not all or nothing.

5. Think of your meditation more as an offering than an end result

And then simply keep making the offering…to yourself, to your kids, to the birds outside your window, to the suffering in the world.  Sometimes your mind, body, and world take the offering…and sometimes, we just can’t.  Try to be less concerned with the outcome of your daily meditation practice and focus more on it as an offering….to yourself, to your world, to peace, to health…we simply make the offering.  Period.  Then we have to let the chips land where they will.

6. Meditate with love

How?  I’m going to teach you very specifically how in an incredibly elegant practice in our next webinar together.  I can’t wait to be with you on April 18, 10amMST.

If you know anyone who could benefit from being there as well, we have decided to open it up to anyone and everyone who needs it and wants it.  So here’s the link…share away.

With all my love,

Michelle

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