This weekend I completed 100 days of meditation. Creating a meditation space was one of the important things I did to help support me in this challenge. At the bottom of this post I have popped down some small steps that I took to help create a space that allowed me to be consistent and dedicated to my practice.
I set this challenge to myself in July, after reading The Urban Monk by Pedram Shojai. The concept of committing to something for 100 days isn’t a new one for me, the idea that it takes 3 months to form of break a habit is one that I’m very familiar with. But something about 100 days resonated with me, it felt as though there was a magical quality in that number. Nice and round, and way more fulfilling than the 92ish days that makes up 3 months. At the same time my meditation coach and mentor (yes I have a meditation coach, she is amazing and you can find her here) suggested that I do a 40 day Sadhana (meditation). Forty days definitely seemed more manageable than 100, and I jumped at the opportunity to commit to doing a 30 minute meditation first thing in the morning – before anything else – for 40 days. I knew that if I was going to be able to achieve this I would need to take some steps to make the process as easy as possible, and so I created a meditation space in my room – I wouldn’t even need to get out of bed to begin my practice!
I’ve been working with Yvi and meditating pretty regularly for the past year or so. Most days, prior to this challenge I would meditate in the mornings, however I would struggle to string together a full week – weekends would always feel like an opportunity to take time off, and so there were lots of gaps. This meant that it was always a bit of an internal battle to get started – will I this morning or won’t I. It was never just a given that I would wake up and slip into my practice. By committing to 40 days (and then 80, and the 100) this took away that will I or won’t I voice. By creating a meditation space in my room I took away anther possible barrier, I wouldn’t have to get up into the cold, I could literally sit up, make some minor adjustments and start my practice.
The first 40 days went by. I found that in taking away the option of not practicing there came an ease. I would wake up and slip straight into my practice without having that internal debate first thing every morning. By committing to 30 minutes I was already able to clear some space in my mind – before I had even begun. The second thing that I noticed was that I was able to start afresh every day. Knowing that I was going to sit here for a certain amount of time regardless allowed me to let go of any ‘what if’s’ and simply sink in. Forty days went by and I decided to keep going – aiming for 80 with 100 in the back of my mind. The next 40 days were more difficult. I got bored, my mind refused to cooperate. I tried to make it – lesson 1 – this is not meditating! I felt as though I wasn’t able to “successfully’ meditate – lesson 2 – there is no such thing as a ‘successful’ way to meditate. Some days I would sit and tears would roll down my face for the entire time – lesson 3 – when we allow ourselves the space everything will rise to the surface. But I continued, trusting that there was an opportunity here to at the very least fulfill my promise to myself, and probably much more.
Today was day 101. I woke up this morning, and without any thought to it sat up, lit my candle and began to meditate. It would have felt unnatural not to. My daily meditation practice has become ingrained, as much a part of my routine as my lemon water in the morning, or brushing my teeth before bed. The idea of not doing it feels foreign and would probably send me off kilter for the rest of the day. And so I will continue.
At the start 100 days seemed like such a BIG deal. But small and consistent actions got me there. A starting point and the tools to start was key. Having Yvi to encourage me, provide me with tools and create space for discussion, feedback and encouragement helped me to be accountable and also gave me a sense of empowerment. Creating a space that I was able to use consistently was another big help. Yes, I literally sat up in bed and started meditating. However I did make some adjustments to the space to make it more inviting and comfortable. I brought in some cushions, and a candle. I made sure the room was able to stay dark with our blockout window treatments. I set up the space so that I was able to be as comfortable and as undistracted as possible. I created a space that was for for purpose, that would support me in what I was wanting to do. Interior design doesn’t have to be large and grand. It can be as simple as making some small changes to an area that you have to create a space that is more supportive to what you are trying to do.