Make a Commitment to Mindfulness That’s Right for You
One of the reasons people find it hard to stick to a mindful living commitment is because they’re too ambitious. If you’ve never gone jogging before and you suddenly decide to run the marathon tomorrow, one of two things happen: you give up or you finish in a very injured and unhappy state. The knock-on effect is that you hate running or think that you were useless and can’t run.
If you decide you’re going to meditate for two hours a day for the rest of your life, no matter what happens, that may be tough. How do you decide what is the right commitment for you? Well, it depends what you want to get out of meditation. Start with an eight-week commitment of practicing meditation for 30 minutes per day and see how that goes.
Maybe two short meditations of ten minutes a day is more appropriate for your lifestyle, or even regular three-minute meditations throughout the day. Maybe you suffer from chronic pain or depression or want to develop yourself to a high level and wish to make a bigger commitment. That’s fine of course, but start modestly and build up your practicing time.
If you think that life is going well for you, and you just get slightly stressed from time to time, and want something to relax and focus you a bit more, then perhaps ten minutes of formal mindfulness meditation practice may be fine for you. Once the regular discipline of meditation becomes a habit, the effort of practice becomes easier.
Cast your mind back to when you first learnt to brush your teeth. It was probably a real chore. Yes, it’s good for your teeth, but you weren’t interested – you wanted to play a game or watch TV, not waste your time brushing your teeth. But now, if you don’t brush your teeth for any reason, it just doesn’t feel right.
As you regularly practice meditation, you eventually find the same. You become nourished by the practice itself, and what may at times have felt difficult to do, now feels strange not to do. This is the sign that you’ve created a wonderful, positive way to uplift your health and wellbeing.
Your informal practice, which involves being mindfully aware of your day-to-day activities, will happen almost naturally if you regularly practice meditation for a set amount of time every day.