Over my career as a yoga teacher I have spoken to many women who strive to keep up a home yoga or meditation practice, but quickly give it up when life gets busy.
I used to constantly struggle with keeping up a morning practice and would feel guilty when I fell off track. I tried numerous ways to keep up a practice, but had a hard time keeping it up and wondered, “Why is it so hard for me to keep a consistent connection to spirit?”
I know that when I am connected, and do take out that time in the morning to myself, I am so much more present, calm and compassionate throughout my day. I know that’s when I rely less on others and am more in tune to my inner guide.
When I connect to the love within myself, I am not constantly searching for it in my relationship or places outside of myself.
I’ve found more than anything else, when I made my meditation practice enjoyable, it became sustainable.
I knew I wasn’t going to wake up every morning to sit quietly and do something I dreaded. I had to lure myself into my meditation practice. I had to bring in the romance.
Gabby Bernstein says, “I made spirit my boyfriend.” When she did that, everything else in her life began to flourish. When we fall in love with spirit, we begin to attract and manifest what we want and need in our lives easily.
I know how hard it can be to keep up a daily meditation practice, so I wanted to share the top ways that helped me fall in love with spirit and keep my morning practice sustainable…
I learned to:
Shift from Discipline to Devotion
I used to live in a house where my roommates and I practiced silent meditation together for one hour in the morning and one hour in the evening. The practice became so disciplined that I began to avoid it altogether. Even though I willingly created the rules, when I felt constricted, all I wanted to do was break them.
I eventually moved out of the house, and went months with no meditation practice. My rebellious side wanted to take back control. After awhile, I began to miss those solitary moments with my breath, but I knew I had to approach my practice in a different way. I remembered something my yoga teacher had said about developing a home yoga practice, “No one is making you do it. You’re doing it for yourself. Think of it as a devotion, rather than a discipline.”
Shifting my perspective and realizing, no one was making my do it, but rather I was showing up in devotion to myself and to spirit changed everything. I suddenly was able to show up to my meditation pillow, and my mat with ease.
Change it Up
When my practice was the same silent sitting everyday, I got bored and went back into avoidance. I learned I needed to change it up once in awhile, even if it was a slight change to stay with it. Some mornings my practice includes yoga, some mornings it is pranayama, and sometimes it is mostly silent meditation. When I prioritized devotion over the structure, I was able to let go of the guilt and keep coming back to my meditation seat.
Call on an Archetype
I began connecting to archetypes in my meditation after reading Deepak Chopra’s book, Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire. I would imagine a heroine, chief or goddess I felt connected to and began to ask, “Please express yourself through me.” Over many days of connecting to the powers and attributes of someone I looked up to, I began to embody the qualities myself.
Move and Breathe First
What many people often struggle with when meditating is a “busy mind.” The Indian guru Osho says you need to get all the garbage out of the mind first before you can get anywhere in silent meditation. The best ways I have found to “get the garbage out” is to breath and move my body. That could mean going on a run first, putting on music and dancing or shaking, or doing breath of fire or other kundalini breath work before silently meditating. When I exert myself first, then sit silently, the experience becomes so still, silent and peaceful.
Bring in the ROMANCE
When I began to think of my morning practice as a devotion, I began to think of all the ways I could make my practice more enjoyable. I bought an essential oils diffuser to create beautiful aromas of Rose and Geranium into the space. I sat on a heating pad to feel warm and comfortable, I began my practice with singing, and made my altar a gorgeous representation of my devotion. Every day I felt so happy waking up to my practice because of how loving and romantic it became. This is the art of falling in love with yourself.
Connect to a Vision
After learning about the law of attraction, I began to bring manifestation to my morning practice. I wrote out, in the present tense what I wanted to create in my life and in the world. I connected to how I wanted to wake up and feel everyday. I connected to why I wanted what I wanted, and every morning, read this vision out loud. Every morning then became not only a devotion to myself and to spirit, but a devotion to what I wanted in my life and for the world.
Set a Container (A begin and end date)
In order to create a new healthy, habit, it helps to choose a set number of days to do your practice for. Feel free to start small and say something like, “For the next seven days I am going to do this practice.” Put a reminder in your calendar, an alert on your phone, or a note on your bedside table to stick to it. Tell yourself, “If resistance comes up, I am going to just sit down and do the practice, only for these seven days. If I still don’t want to do it after these seven days I don’t have to anymore.” Chances are, you will be able to keep it going after the set amount of time you create.
I choose to do my practices in forty day increments. Forty days is historically known as a sacred time period for enacting change. It can clear old subconscious patterns, set up new positive patterns, and change your life for the better. At the end of every forty day cycle, I celebrate and reflect on what has changed in my life.
Get Others Involved
It helps to know there are other people out there meditating with you. Try calling up a friend and creating an accountability partner. I began a whole program based around creating a vision and meditating with other women for forty days because I wanted to create that accountability for myself and others. The program grew to include women in five continents. I began to see when I meditate, I am not just meditating for myself, but I am meditating for the visions of women all over the world.
Whether you are just starting a meditation practice, or you’re a seasoned meditator, try these tips when you sit down for your practice to fall in love with your own connection to spirit.