The big aha moment came for me several summers back after hearing a meditation author describe the practice as a “detox for the nervous system.”
ChaChing! Yes, please.
For whatever reason, after years of being a “sensitive” person I could really hear that description of meditation as an invitation.
And something within my reach that I could do to take care of myself.
This is our tip number two as we get closer to the Summer of Meditation Challenge… Tune into your desire. The clearer you are on why you want to start or deepen your meditation practice, the stronger your commitment will be as you create this new habit.
My secondary reason for starting a daily practice (which is pretty much one of my core motivations for everything) is that I want to feel good. Happy even. I know that it is not realistic to feel shiny + light in every moment but I had the sense that I could be way happier way more of the time. This turned out to be true.
In fact, happy has become a sort of base line for me– a shift I credit almost entirely to finding a meditation practice which nourishes me daily. I still fall off the happiness wagon but meditation helps me reconnect to Source and voila, the happiness reemerges from its hiding place. (I think it might have been close by all the time, watching me with compassion as I push and struggle.)
One of my favorite meditation teachers, Sharon Salzberg, says that our desire to be happy is rightful and noble. (At least that is what I remember her saying at the workshop. I was blissed out at the time, so this may not be verbatim.)
I love that language.
She also says “The difference between misery and happiness depends on what we do with our attention.” Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness.
Which is exactly what meditation trains our brain to do. To place and hold attention.
And of course being happy is never all about you. Your happiness is contagious. It is one of the most direct ways you serve your community.
So whatever you desire — to be happy, to have peace inside your body + mind, to be more present to your family — the more conscious you are of what motivates you the more you will enjoy playing with these meditation practices as they roll out week by week. And you will know by the fruit in your life when you discover a meditation routine which is a great fit for you.
Join us for a workshop at Sync Yoga to Create Your Own Life-Giving Meditation Practice on Thursday June 16th from 7-9PM.
Also The Summer of Meditation Challenge, a free 8 week online training program, starts Friday, June 17.
Join 500+ people from around the country who have participated in this free online training program to start or deepen your daily meditation practice.
This year in addition to the weekly emails in your inbox with free guided meditations, look for quick 2 minute videos each week with tips for integrating the practices into real life.
Enter your email into the box below to join the Challenge and invite a friend to participate with you! I hope you will join me at the workshop at Sync Yoga. Register Today + lets grow our lights brighter, one meditation sit at a time.
Courtney Pinkerton, M.Div & M.PP, is a holistic life and leadership coach and the founder of Bird in Hand Coaching. She holds dual masters degrees from Harvard Divinity School and Harvard Kennedy School, is the host of the Summer of Meditation Challenge and publishes a weekly e-newsletter on real-world mindfulness practices. Courtney teaches regularly on the Enneagram, meditation, and conscious approaches to leadership and parenting. She lives in Oak Cliff, Texas with her husband Richard Amory where they try to keep up with their three young children and remember to water their garden boxes. Courtney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can schedule a complementary conversation to talk more.
Summer of Meditation Challenge 2016