From Ishita: Last night I physically had to force myself to sit down to meditate. Despite the fact that I feel good about doing it and sometimes it brings me peace, the act of sitting down is one I have to force myself to do. I had to laugh because I moved from bed to chair (where i meditate) bed to chair bed to chair before I finally sat down. It felt like as soon as I thought about meditating, a discursive thought swooped in, took over my brain and told me to go to the bed or write an email. Anything but meditate.
I found myself asking “What is going on?” Reminds me of the time I laced up my tennis shoes, walked ten minutes to the gym, and turned right around and went home. Crazy as it was, it showed me the power of habit and how strong it’s pull is on me. It’s hard to change habits. It’s hard to stop everything to meditate. It’s hard to not feel consumed by creeper thoughts.
Which is precisely why, at 10:30pm, I finally meditated for ten minutes. Not thrilled that I couldn’t go longer, but absolutely thrilled I made the time to do it. Personally, It’s all about reinforcing the habit of doing it right now. Depth will come later, but i’m working on kicking the habit of making sure everything is “done” before I meditate. I want to make sure meditating gets “done.”
From Susan: 10 minutes is great. GREAT! I’m thrilled for you. There is no need to push for more. In fact, DON’T practice for more than 10 minutes. Just try to do 10 minutes a day for, say, a month. Even if you feel one day, hey I could go for 15, don’t do it. Just make 10 your number for a period of time. If a month seems daunting, go for 2 weeks. Then reassess. Seriously. There is no “there” to try to get to, so you can relax.
I also had a sense of urgency because I feel that I’ve been sleepwalking through my life recently. I write the phrase “If you don’t change your behavior, the results of your behavior will never change” in journals, on my wall, everywhere – but I think it hit me in a different way last night. I want to make my life better and if I, Ishita, don’t start employing the things that make it better, like meditation and eating better, it will remain the same. And no one can change it or have that realization but me. I felt ownership of my life and that I had the ability to change things, and so I meditated.
From Susan: Sweet love. If you undertake your plans for your life from love of yourself and this world, it will be so much better. If you start out of the gate from self-disparagement and any form of shame, your work will feel like a punishment.
You are so completely fine exactly as you are. Please make this recognition your foundation rather than any sense of lack. The way to do this is not to talk yourself into it, but instead to relax with yourself just as you are, including your urgency and any sense of disappointing yourself. Welcome these qualities as guests around your table, but don’t hand them the keys to the castle. And how to do that? Meditation is exactly, precisely this act. So all you have to do to make all of this happen is…practice.
Also, the part when Susan explains your sit bones reach to the ground but the crown of your head reaches up – I really liked that part. Sitting like that made me feel elegant, like the “queen” she describes. Perhaps that’s what a combination of ownership over your actions, awareness of the things you can’t control and prioritizing the important things in your life (like meditation) makes you feel?
From Susan: This elegance is your birthright. There is nothing, nothing you have to do to reclaim it. Well, there is one thing. Relax. Then you will see that it is simply always there. Love, S