On January 1st I fired up the Insight Timer app on my iPhone and scrolled through all the options to find a ten-minute meditation to start my day. In case you don’t know, Insight Timer has the largest free library of meditations on the planet. They have more than 5,000 teachers (including my buddy, DavidJi, who provides great content) and a whole host of guided gems to help with sleep, focus, relaxation, reducing anxiety, and much more.
This year, I decided to commit to meditating at least once a day, every day in 2020. While I know it’s important to practice being present, I don’t do it consistently and I want that to change.
Here’s how I’m sticking to the plan.
I’ve set myself up for success by agreeing that even a 2-minute meditation counts. While I’ve done much more than that for the last twelve days, I’ve learned that if I want to make a habit stick, I need to underpromise.
Committing to baby steps keeps me from getting too bossy with myself 😀.
I’m also shaking things up with variety. I hadn’t used Insight Timer in quite a while, and when I revisited the app, I was pleasantly surprised by how their library has grown. They offer a whole bunch of courses and meditations designed to help you get centered and mentally fit. There are guided meditations set to music and sounds (like Tibetan Singing Bowls and whales); meditations that use binaural beat technology for easy, deep relaxation and creativity; and even inspirational poetry readings, courses, and storytelling that make spending time with yourself a special experience.
I’m on day 12 of consecutive sessions (often more than once a day), and I’ve already noticed positive changes. For example, if I feel overwhelmed or stressed by something that happens during the day, I automatically go to the library to find a meditation that will get me centered again. Oftentimes five minutes does the trick and I’ve noticed that with every completed session (regardless of the duration), it’s getting easier and easier to calm my busy or worried mind.
Here’s what’s really terrific. When I look back over the last twelve days, some of my favorite moments were spent meditating or listening to a wonderful teacher. For example, one night while taking a hot bath, I listened to Jac Godsman recite the poem, “She Let Go,” written by Safire Rose. It’s a short, 4-minute reading and it not only pulled me in and held my attention, it moved me to tears.
One night, while getting ready to go out to dinner, I listened to DavidJi recite the story of the Velveteen Rabbit and enjoyed every minute of brushing my teeth and curling my hair 😀.
I’m sharing this resource with you in the hopes that you make meditation a part of your life in some consistent way. Take it from one who’s taught self-care strategies for more than two decades, it’s the single, most powerful thing you can do to improve your emotional and physical health, your treasured relationships, your mental toughness, and honestly, your whole life.