Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Although I love the season of summer with warmer days, nature in the full swing of life, watching my flowers grow (the hollyhocks out front are about 9 feet tall this year!), and long days, I find myself wearing down from going all the time, trying to fit it all in. This year, more than ever, my meditation practice has helped me start the day off in a more grounded state of mind. It's helped me to keep in perspective the to dos and work on letting go of outcomes more readily to just go with the flow.  When I've had moments of overwhelm, taking time to just practice single-minded focus, reminds my mind to be in a more simple state, focusing on one thing and letting the rest go.

My sadhana (spiritual daily practice) has helped me to go from just practicing in the morning to bringing in that practice throughout the day and this is where the really magic happens.  I've had days in a row where I have to keep focus on where I'm at and then going to the next thing and do the same.  My mind has moments of 'freak outs' where it's overwhelmed by all the details. With coming back to single-minded focus, I get my mind to come back to what is going on now and letting go of the rest until it's time to transition.  It's helped to keep the anxiety at bay more and allowed me to enjoy and be present with what I am doing.  It's starts with being on the mat/cushion and then radiates out to daily living.

I must admit that my meditation practice of single-minded focus has been a process and will continue to be.  It's been a process of committing and re-committing.  Those excuses of why it's not going to
happen today like being too tried and "it'll happen later," or being on vacation and things getting in the way, or "too sick, it's okay if I skip a day," etc. In the end I let those excuses win out.  I'm a person that will follow through if I commit to someone else, so when I committed to my practice daily to my teacher it was amazing how all those excuses just lost their power.  I've practiced Dharana, or single-minded focus daily since.  What is your ultimate motivator?

I haven't regretted at all.  It has helped me ground back during the chaos of life and summer.  A big tip is this: Find your minimum practice.  I know it's easy to get attached to the idea of what a practice is, which can keep us from doing it every day.  Ultimately, my practice is about two hours, which includes asana (poses), pranayama (breathing techniques) and dharana (single-minded focus).  Life does get in the way sometimes and it's better to do a minimum practice rather than no practice at all because it does add up.  My minimum practice at this point is 20 minutes of meditation or dharana.  There are no excuses not to find 20 minutes for me in my day.  Sometimes it turns into, more time than I 'thought' I had.

It then translates to my daily life of being aware of the excuses and putting them in their place, one at a time.

Find that minimum practice...YOU DESERVE IT!  Yes, you ARE that important.