From a recent survey of our newsletter subscribers, busyness is the number one reason that stops people from getting into their spiritual practice, such as meditation, yoga, journaling etc.
There is too little time in the day, and there are too many things that we want to do. There are friends and families to connect with, kids and pets to take care of, errands to run, jobs to do, and bills to pay. On top of all these things, we still have to eat and sleep. How can we find the time to do our spiritual practice?
Perhaps a simple tweak in the question can help. Instead of thinking how to find extra time to meditate (because there are only 24 hours a day), the question to ask yourself is how can you make meditation easy for you? How can you make meditation SO easy that it can just slip right into your daily routine?
In the book “Atomic Habits” by James Clear, he wrote that in order to build a good habit, it’s important to make the good habit obvious, attractive, easy and satisfying. In today’s blog, I share my 6 tips on how to make meditation easy for busy people like you.
There are so many different types of meditations out there, and it’s tempting to try out different meditations depending on the mood of the day and how much time you have. I have nothing against that, but if you are just starting out to build your spiritual practice, I would recommend sticking to one type of meditation as your foundation.
To make meditation easy, especially for busy people, is to take out any possibilities for decision fatigue.
Just like why wearing uniforms to school or work makes dressing up in the morning so much easier, if you have one meditation style as your go-to practice, then you don’t need to spend extra time just to decide what type of meditation you will do.
For me, my daily practice consists of meditation with mantra called japa. On weekdays when my son is in school, I have more time to practice so I can recite the mantra for 108 times. On weekends if I have less time I’ll only recite the mantra for 9 times. I stick to the same practice every single day though. As for the mantra, I decide what mantra I will focus on practicing at the beginning of every lunar cycle, so I don’t have to think about what mantra to use for my meditation on a daily basis.
2. Give yourself a time container
Some say a habit takes 21 days to build, some say more – 40 days, 100 days or more. When you have decided to incorporate meditation into your daily routine, give yourself a container at the beginning so you can celebrate your progress.
Perhaps it is a container of 7 days, and within these 7 days you will do meditation every day at the same time. Perhaps it is a container of one month, and within this one month you will do meditation every Sunday morning.
Having a time container can help motivate you to stay on track and not skip your meditation practice just because you’re having an extra busy day or feeling extra tired (that’s why you’d need meditation to help you!).
Once you have reached the end of your time container, such as the end of the 7th day, take some time for reflection. How do you feel when you practice meditation regularly? Can you sense a difference in yourself? The benefits you reap from your practice will help you stay motivated to continue on with your practice regularly.
3. Setup a “permanent” place for meditation in your home
“Motivation is overrated; environment often matters more”, wrote James Clear in his book “Atomic Habits” basically sums up this point. If your meditation space is already setup, then all you need to do is to move your body there physically.
A meditation space in your home does not need to be in a separate room, it can just be a corner of your bedroom with a cushion and/or a yoga mat setup.
It’s best to have one dedicated space (however small) for meditation, and not to mix that space with sleeping or other activities (such as using your bed for meditation).
Of course if the space is limited in your home and if your bed is the only option, then I’d suggest doing some sort of simple ritual to prepare yourself mentally before you begin meditation, such as lighting a candle, or burning incense. This simple act can serve as a signal to your brain that you are entering into sacred time and space now to do meditation.
4. Start with 1 minute and build it up
Sure, it would be great to be able to spend at least 15 to 20 minutes in meditation, or more. But that is a lot of time when we are just starting out.
Instead, think tiny. Find a meditation style that allows you to practice for 1 minute, 3 minutes or 5 minutes maximum.
For example, the meditation app Headspace has a wonderful free 10-day meditation series that allows you to do meditation just for 3 minutes.
Keep the practice short and sweet. Even if you get to do meditation 1-minute every day, you are still doing it regularly.
5. Lose your expectations, just show up
A lot of us have expectations of how our meditation practice should help us, for example, we should feel calmer afterwards, or our mind becomes empty, or we find answers to life’s challenges.
Yes, some days that may happen. But a lot of the days, we may find ourselves distracted by our thoughts and can’t really connect to that inner heart space of calm and content. Then we may feel like we’re failing in meditation and then we give up.
The key here is to lose your expectations to be “perfect” and how you should feel after meditation, and just keep on showing up to your practice every single day.
Every day’s practice will be different, and that’s the beauty of making progress and not perfect. Just like with any kind of exercises, the more you practice, the easier it becomes.
6. Remind yourself of your “why”
As you start to reap the benefits of practicing meditation regularly, you may want to do it for the long run (which is great!). On days when you feel like skipping your practice, remind yourself of your “why”.
Why do you want to meditate? What brings you to meditation at the first place? What benefits have you already received from showing up to your practice regularly?
You can even write down your “why” on a piece of paper, and place it somewhere visible in your meditation space as a reminder to keep you on track.
For me, meditation is my soul medicine. My spiritual practice anchors me, keeps me sane and gives me the space to connect deeper to myself and the world around me.
But the truth is, I only did realize this when I have decided to commit and show up to my meditation practice every single day.
I hope the above tips can make starting your meditation practice easier, so meditation can become part of your daily routine.
Do you have any tips that have made starting your meditation practice easier?
Feel free to share with me here, I’d love to hear from you.
It’s great to build up your meditation practice at home one step at a time, yet coming together as a group to practice meditation can deepen the experience as there are less distractions.
From Dec 26 – 29, 2022, this year at Museflower we will be hosting a special retreat called “Museflower Soul Retreat – Dare to be Happy” where we will be exploring different meditation and wellness modalities, such as labyrinth walk, Shamanic journey, breathwork, and kirtan chanting.
One of our aims of this retreat is for you to experience spiritual practices that can be fun and light-hearted, and can also bring you a lot of joy.
The purpose of this retreat is help you recharge in nature, connect with your spiritual support team for guidance, and to experience joy and bliss that spring from within you.
Want to learn more about this once-in-a-lifetime retreat happening this December? Read on below for more information
What is this Retreat about?
“Dare to be Happy” is our soul retreat break to help busy people recharge in nature – and remind us that we can choose to be happy at any stage in life’s journey.
By spending time to connect with nature, and learning to receive support from the Universe, we can lean into joy, celebrate where we are now, and embrace new adventures to come.
How can this retreat help you?
- Feel recharged and energized for the new year ahead
- Experience more joy and bliss through connecting with nature and chanting
- Release any limiting beliefs that stop you from experiencing joy in your life
- Be open to receive from your spiritual support team
- Gain insights on your life path
- Learn new wellness tools in a light-hearted and fun way
- Labyrinth walks for grounding, meditation and tuning into your intuition
- Shamanic journeys to connect with your power animal and inner teacher
- Restorative yoga class
- Tai Chi and Qi Gong class
- Fire release ceremony
- Cacao ceremony
- Kirtan (chanting)
- Sound bath
- Nature Mandala