Arriving Home :: Building A Transformational Practice
Meditation is not only a practice of learning how to show up fully in our lives – by training ourselves to be present, a little more accepting and over time, a bit less judgmental and carried away by our opinions and narratives on reality.
It is also a practice of self-discovery, self-recognition, self-awareness and transformation.
When it comes to building a practice – essentially whether we know it or not – we are embarking on this rather wild journey of discovering and uncovering. Through self-awareness we discover. Uncovering happens when we actually get serious about our practice, our health or wellbeing, whatever it is that we want, and we understand why we are pursuing the path we are going down.
Inevitably, when we get serious about meditation we also rub up against ourselves and what underlying resistances we may have to following through on the daily routine and practice we set out to do. We uncover deeper layers around what is blocking us from who it is we want to be be and actually realizing the intentions we want to bring forth. We uncover not only our resistances, but also our self-sabotaging tendencies and self-critical thoughts.
This may seem a bit negative, yet these are actually signs that you are approaching your practice in a genuine way as these internal rubs only come when you become serious about meditation. In reality, these are signs of growth and development.
At the end of the day. meditation is one of the very few things in life we can’t pay someone else to do for us. It simply doesn’t work like that. Our practice is a place we truly get to meet ourselves and uncover what is blocking us from doing what we truly want to do. We begin to investigate what actually works in getting us to practice.
Trust & Transformation
Like it or not when you meditate your life is going to change. Transformation is an inherent bi-product of meditation because of personal growth and self-awareness. Through awareness we transform.
Transformation happens because of trust. Fundamentally when we are building a practice on a platform of trust. We build trust in ourselves that we’ll follow through on what we intend to do each time we actually show up and do it.
It is through the actual routine and habit of meditation where we begin to build trust. Each time we show up for one more sit, one more day of practice, and get through one obstacle after another is when you develop the trust that is needed for true transformation.
4 Steps To Building A Transformational Practice
Make a commitment to your “why” and intention for meditation. Make meditation a non-negotiable part of your day. Through commitment and having your meditation time be non-negotiable, you will bust through any initial blocks to building a transformational practice.
Make a cue or “trigger” to remind you to meditate. The science of habit formation shows us that to bring automation to any routine, you must build in a cue that signals you to arrive to the action of the routine itself. This can include visual cues like a note next to the coffee pot or on the bathroom mirror, your meditation cushion next to the bed or making an appointment in your calendar that gives you a reminder.
Bring mindfulness to your meditation. That’s right - you did read this correctly. When you are mindful of your internal state before, during and after your meditation practice, you create a natural reward in your brain’s circuitry. This “reward” sensation helps reinforce the benefits you are receiving from meditation within your own mind, and you can do this by pausing for a moment before you begin meditation to acknowledge and be grateful for all it took to arrive. And after meditation, you can savor any feelings and sensations of calmness, relaxation, ease or peace you are experiencing.
Be consistent. Consistent daily practice is really where the magic of meditation lives. It’s where the life changing & transformational outcomes reside. Follow the steps above to arrive to a consistent meditation practice or read more on this previous ‘Arriving Home’.