Why do you meditate? For me, the goal has always been transformation. To transform myself and my life.
I have always had a sense that my spirituality shouldn’t live and die in my 30 minute morning meditation practice. It should be something that overflows into my entire day. My morning meditation is simply a tool to help switch me “on” for the day. Like brushing my teeth.
When a light turns on in a part of our life, we must do our best to protect and nurture that flame, to keep it burning brightly. These little fires are so delicate and so easily extinguished by the daily hum-drum and stresses of our day to day life. It may be part of our life’s work to keep them going.
In this blog post I would like to offer to you a practice that I have implemented over the last few months that has helped keep my light on, and have over time, ignited even more little fires within me. You can consider this somewhat of a spirituality challenge – try it for 30 days, and see what happens.
Pick an aspect of your day – it could be a particular activity you do every day, or just a particular time of the day – and join me in engaging in that activity/time with total presence, intensity, and consciousness for the next 30 days.
When it comes to picking your practice – the only pre-requisite is that it is not part of your already established meditation practice (if you have one).
Let’s take something entirely ordinary and “unspiritual” in nature, and see what we can infuse it with. I encourage you to start small. Here are some suggestions:
The way you step out of bed in the morning.
Your first drink of water. Or any time you drink water throughout your day. Vow to drink it like it’s the most delicious drink you’ve ever come across.
Plating your dinner
Making your bed
Taking a shower
Every time you climb the stairs.
Watering your plants.
Brushing your teeth.
Brushing your hair.
Putting on lip balm.
Washing the dishes.
Washing your hands.
Collecting the mail.
Or perhaps you could pick a certain time of day – like the sunrise or the sunset, the moments after you first wake in the morning, or the seconds before you dip into sleep.
Start really really small
Eating an entire meal with full presence is difficult to do if we are not used to sustaining mindfulness for longer periods of time. So let the activity we first pick be something that lasts only a couple minutes at most, to ease us into this practice.
Another note – try to refrain from adding a new activity into your day to fulfill this challenge. For example, don’t add a mindfulness walk to your day, if you don’t already walk every day. Let’s start with the very basics first – which is what we already have, what we already do, and where we already are. I love this practice because it meets me exactly where I am.
After 30 days of one activity, you can add in a new small practice. Imagine where we would be after a year. 12 new moments of total presence, consciousness and intensity into our day.
A glimpse of what’s in store
I’ve been doing this for a couple of months now and I can tell you that if you can earnestly stay with this practice for some time, how you live your day will change, and when that changes, your life will start to transform.
Something profound and almost magical happens when you meet a moment of your day with you full self. The moment just sort of unravels, opens up and blossoms into something more than the mundane thing it is. I noticed that I tend live so much of my day in a contracted state. I noticed that I tend to do so much, but experience almost none of it fully and completely. I noticed that most of my moments have an underlying ribbon of anxiousness and impatience running through them. I wanted to change that. Not in every moment of my day. But in the few moments of my day that I do this practice, I have changed that. That feels powerful.
With this practices, comes not only peace, but joy. At first, you just start noticing. Noticing yourself. Then you start noticing life in that very moment. Over time, a soft sense that everything is exactly as it needs to be, washes over you. That there is nothing you need that you are with out. That knowingness, is a perfect blend of peace, power, and joy. That is the gift of this practice.
I hope that you can join me in this.