First of all "how human" I always like to say, as a way of calming the analytical judging mind....how human of you to have gotten off track! Totally normal, totally cool. That's the very first place to begin dear human...by acknowledging how human it is to get off track, a lot or a little, with certain things in life.
After that, allow yourself to acknowledge your success, that once upon a time, for however long or little that was, you were able to create a little daily meditation practice for yourself. This, I find, is so important because the analytical judging mind aka known also as the ego mind wants to to take us down a spiralling path of criticism - it's just what it does and does so well. You'll hear things like:
"See there you go again getting off track"
"You always do this, you start something and then you stop"
"My life is just too busy for this"
I could put in about 1500 statements that go through our mind but I'll just end it there because you get the picture of what the mind is doing and how it sabotages us. That is why I say to people, when the mind takes you down that path, which by the way through meditation you get better at identifying what the mind is doing, when you notice what the mind is doing you can pause and reframe with:
"I once had a little practice, I proved I could do it then, so I can do it now"
The point is not that you got off track, it is so human to do so, the point is to get back on track by focusing, reframing your thoughts, the ones you notice, with a thought like the one above that help you focus on your proven past success and the fact that you can do this!
Also for the "Life is too busy" people out there - I graciously would like to say because this is like a big lightbulb for me, that the busier your life is the more you need this practice.
Take note of many wise guys who have come before us who knew this. The busier you are, the more you are up to in this world, the more you need to seek calm and quiet in your life - create it and protect it - not the other way around like we've been conditioned to believe.
So now that we have that out of the way let's get into a bit of "Getting Back on Track Logistics".
Decide you are just going to do this thing with a 30 day challenge.
The point of this 30 day challenge is to get foundational with your practice again, not perfect, but where it is once again integrated back into your life and by the end of the 30 days, as with any significant success habit, you are feeling the wonderful effects in your life. So just decide for the next 30 days I am going to get my sweet butt on the seat, every morning as soon as I wake. Try to be pretty consistent and disciplined (yes there is actually freedom in discipline) at least Monday to Friday. On weekends have fun with your practice, checking out a new creative meditation, perhaps.
Set yourself up and Keep it simple!
Find a seat in your home where you will go each morning to sit and practice. You do not need a fancy room with Buddha statues everywhere and candles all around you. If that is what you wish, go for it, but it's not necessary and in the beginning or when getting back on track it can just complicate the habit.
My seat is at one end of my comfy living room couch. When I travel, the first thing I do at my airbnb or hotel is find my seat, where I will go each morning when I wake to practice calming my brain and mind. It sounds so simple and like almost not worth mentioning, but it does really help.
Have your tools all set to go.
If you are listening to guided meditations or music, have your smart phone and headphones at your seat. It doesn't take much to engage that busy judging mind and looking for your stuff, each morning, can complicate you getting back on track. So easily lay it out the night before or have it there all the time, all set to go. If you like to wear an eye mask to darken the room for you, have that all set to go too.
Use one or two guided meditations or pieces of music - tops!
In this world of 20 million downloads and massive content - loads of meditation content, loads of selection can actually confuse and overwhelm this very simple powerful daily practice. Pick one and stick to it, go deeper with it. It will also help you shift through the discomfort of getting back on track with the habit by not bouncing around with loads of content - that's just the ever crafty ego mind trying to sabotage your success by convincing you that you need more variety - Nope you don't!
Get back on track with a morning practice as it is so foundational!
Meditating anytime is magical and so beneficial but meditating each morning upon waking is, I believe, foundational to a great day and a great life. I do not say this lightly and the science is backing this up. You can either leave your state of mind to the noise and mayhem of the world around you, or you can intentionally practice calming your brain and mind each morning, through meditation, slowly gaining that sense that you are setting your mind and mindset up for the day because you are. Look at any other time during the day for a meditation or a few breaths as kind of like icing on the cake. Morning is magical and foundational.
Try to meditate each morning almost as soon as you wake. The key words here are "almost as soon as you wake". It's not important, I find, that you meditate at the same time each morning but rather that you try to do so when you are still in that dozy, just woke up state. You will likely have to go to the washroom first, as we all usually do. Don't splash cold water on your face, just stay in that dozy state - in brain wave talk it's called Alpha state. The brain is already calmer so you will not have to work so hard or hardly at all to calm it and so it will make the meditation seem almost effortless and easier.
Lastly, don't take it all too seriously, we humans tend to do that don't we? We over complicate things and think it has to be and look a certain way. Nope. Just do your best and I know this might sound cliche but enjoy yourself through this. The aim is to get to a point where you are actually so excited, quietly excited, to get your cute butt on the seat every morning and do this calming practice for your brain and mind. Where you cannot imagine a day without it.
Because a day without meditation is a day without connecting to you and who you really are at the deepest part of you - an incredibly grand shiny unique being and I believe a practice like that, especially in these times, is one worth pursuing and getting back on track with.
Wishing you success...you can do this!
Sending love and you know I am always here to help...
Your Meditation Coach