A deep man’s voice with a heavy Indian accent drones from the speakers.
“Start again…” The voice instructs me and nearly 100 others again in the meditation hall, all sitting as still as possible on our square cushions.
It’s 1pm in the afternoon and I’ve started again 4 times already today! Frustration rising, observing frustration, frustration begins to lessen.
I wonder why I can’t just be where I want to be NOW without putting in this effort to start again and again…
“Start at the top of the head and keep your attention moving down, keep moving down to the tips of the toes, observing all sensations you find as you go.”
This flashback to my last 10-day silent meditation course is one of the distracting mental memories that popped into my head this morning as I finally got back on my own meditation cushion at home after not being able to meditate for 2 days.
A nasty flu, flu #2 of 2018, knocked me out pretty badly this week to the point where I couldn’t focus or sit long enough to meditate.
Missing 2 days, I notice that it’s harder to get back into the focused state needed when I am able to sit and meditate again.
And missing even one day somehow makes it easier and tempting to miss another day, and then another, oh, and since you’ve already missed three, why not miss another day? It won’t hurt anyone….
To be honest I did try to meditate yesterday and it didn’t go so well, but I tried. I started again where I was.
Today I was able to sit for 30 minutes. Not yet the full hour I’d like, but this is what I’m capable of right now.
I also haven’t been able to get out running while I’ve been ill so that’s another area I’ll need to get back into once I feel well enough.
That inner critic voice that demands 110% every time can be quite sneaky too because it likes to tell you that if you can’t do it right, don’t do it all.
Well, I’m here to tell you the opposite.
There is no “right”, there’s only what you’re capable of right now and whatever that looks like is good enough.
When I get back on the running path, I may be jogging and I may have to take frequent breaks. SO WHAT.
It’s better to start again “badly” than never start.
Throughout life there are so many times where we have to start again, and each time it takes discipline, willpower and resolve.
This illness likely could and would have gone on and on. I’m sure my pajamas wouldn’t have minded if I’d continued being sick – a happy change for them since they’re used to only being slept in at night, not worn all day.
But… since I have two workshops this weekend, I decided yesterday (after finally admitting that my swallowing broken glass level of pain sore throat was not just going to go away on its own) that I was going to kick this asap.
I went to see the doctor, was told I can be better in as little as 24 hours, got some (ok – a lot of) meds, still have 1 day (today) to recover fully before tomorrow 😄
So that’s that.
All this makes me think about the bigger “start agains” in life too – like for example when Sang died and I had to start life as I knew it over again.
That one took a lot more time and effort and involved many smaller start agains within it.
The size of start agains can vary greatly.
But some things that can help you get moving forward again are:
- Giving yourself a set amount of time to go through the tough part – whether that’s grief, or illness, or sometimes it’s even happy things like vacations or holidays where you allow yourself to eat whatever you want. After the set amount of time is up though, you gotta get back to it. It’s time to take action or make plans or get back on the meditation cushion or running path.
- If you’re confronted with a bigger start again, see if you can break it down into smaller more manageable pieces. It’s not realistic to expect yourself to do everything at once, that just sets you up for frustration and likely failure. So break it on down into little pieces and start there.
- Make the decision that you’re going to get back to it, whatever it is. Just that can begin to shift things – trust me. Set a time or day for it too, that grounds the decision.
- Remember and connect to why you want to do it. Meditation is a staple in my life, it keeps me balanced and calm and sane. Running is important because it keeps me fit and helps me sleep. So when I think about that, I am eager to get back to them.
Happy starting again 😊
Love and light,
Twyla K is the owner of Soul Shine Healing & Coaching. She offers Clarity Sessions to help people who are tired of feeling stuck uncover what they truly want, what’s blocking them, and what they can do about it. Click Here to apply for a Clarity Session today!