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Home » Ritual and celebrations

30 days of meditation to change your life

Submitted by on Friday, 15 February 2013 Loading Add to favourites  6 Comments

woman meditatingThey say it takes 21 days to form a habit.

I’m not sure if that’s entirely true, from my own experience, but I do know that the tortoise wins the race – i.e. a little and often with conscientious commitment is the way to success.

That’s why I was intrigued to take part in the 30 Days of Change Blog Carnival.

Mandy pointed out that most resolutions are tossed aside within a couple of weeks and I tend to agree which is why I seldom make them.

However, I do use the beginning of the year to reflect on what is working in my life and what I’d like to change. I enjoy looking back over the past year and focusing on successes and taking a good honest look at the things I need to get rid of (or start!)

Mandy’s advice for change included keeping it simple. I know I’ve set myself such unattainable goals in the past there’s only ever been one way it will end up – with disappointment. I strive to be ‘perfect’ (part of my conditioning I’d love to drop sometime) and I push myself to do more and more but often the flip side is a sabotaging tendency to set myself up for failure.

Sound familiar?

I know that the mind, body, spirit balance approach to life keeps me feeling joyful and healthy. I recognise that when I spend too long at the computer or too much time working I get ‘top heavy’ – I can’t switch off, I’m irritable and I’m stressed.

I also know that meditation is a simple tool that keeps me balanced and focused on my blessings.

So my 30 day challenge was to make time to meditate every day. Not just make time, but PRIORITISE it. Not see it as a reward when all the chores were done, but to see it as an essential part of my day – as important as drinking water, eating and breathing…

I didn’t manage it every single day, but I did manage it most days. I had some of the most blissful experiences that really set me up for the day. I found moments of joy, lashings of gratitude and felt more calm and stable.

When I had difficult situations to deal with, I was able to ‘keep my cool’ much more often. I was able to make positive choices about how to respond to people and I found myself with more clarity. Not in a superficial ‘get through my day’ way, but in a profound ‘connect with my inner wisdom’ fashion.

Taking time out to focus on ourselves is challenging as a wife and mother. We can feel guilty or selfish. There is always something we ‘should’ be doing but it’s up to us to listen to the voices that guide us. Do we allow the inner critic to dictate or do we listen to the gentle, loving voice who guides us towards self care and respect?

It’s clear that when I’m balanced, I’m able to reach out to those who need me. When I’m running on empty there is nothing left to give and what I give can be pretty ugly and damaging.

I like to think I’m now keeping this up. I mean, I can see and feel the benefits to me, to my family and I believe, to the world at large. If we take the idea that we need to ‘be the change’, then if we want a world of joy, peace and health, it has to begin within us.

But I’ve also learned through my meditation practise that the most powerful gift we can offer ourselves is compassion. So if I miss a day, or a week I won’t beat myself up. I’ll simply start again.

What about you – do you meditate? Or do you prioritise some other form of self care in your life?

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Please take a moment to visit the blogs of our other 30 Days of Change Blog Carnival participants. The links in this list will be updated by the end of the day.

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6 Comments »

  • Rose says:

    It is prioritising and perseverance with meditation and other change catalysts that is the trick. I took part in a mindfulness course at our buddhist centre 18 months ago and over eight weeks i started to feel the change i yearned for gradually building to a full hour each day. I have not kept it up regularly since then and this is because I have not prioritised it above the kids the housework etc etc. Life is so full on as a mother/housewife/bread winner so I have had to be kind to myself and say anything i can manage, anything at all is good. Sometimes, but rarely now, that is a 40 minute sit, sometimes it is a 3 minute breathing space meditation as i stand in the kitchen with ear plugs in so the chaos is drowned out, sometimes it is mindfully washing up or walking. Whatever little ways we can keep a practice going is ‘enough’ though naturally and paradoxically it might not feel it at the time. blessings and love X

  • I’m working in similar goals this year. In January I focused on taking a moment each day just to breathe and be.

  • I used to meditate all the time … it was like a mental vacation and felt so good. I don’t know why I got away from it. Here’s my best meditation story, which shows the power of the practice. I had cancer. A friend introduced me to Bernie Siegel’s meditation/imagery tapes which are terrific for anyone but particularly focus on people dealing with cancer. I listened to his tapes daily before having surgery. I came through the surgery just fine and within a day or two my doctor told me that I was healing amazingly fast … faster than they anticipated and faster than anyone he had treated. I firmly believe that the meditation helped my body heal. There’s great power in our minds … we just need training to use it. By the way, I’ve been cancer-free for years … and I don’t think it’s a coincidence. Thank you for the reminder about how good meditation is … I’m going to get back to it. :-)

  • I don’t meditate, but whenever I take time to at least take some me time I notice that I am much happier and able to keep my cool through difficult situations as you described.

  • This too is a goal of mine! Every couple of months I plan to focus on another 30 days of change. I think that meditation, or just taking the time to breathe, is the next challenge I am going to tackle. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Mairi Stones says:

    I meditate every morning now.
    Having struggled to get a routine going that fits in wth getting children up and out in the morning I deciede to meditate first thing. I get up before anyone else and go straight into 20 mins meditation. If I then have time I do some writing, which now usually includes gratitude lists and other self-help/development practices I do it then but often especially during the week I leave it till after they have gone to school.
    This is working really well for me.
    I also go to a mediatation class once a week and I find this helps deepen my practice and has definately helped with my commitment. X