This Couple Was Surprised By My Response When They Said They Didn’t Have Time For Yoga Or Meditation
Sometimes days will pass and you just can’t seem to get to your yoga class, sit in meditation or do your gratitude journaling right? I get it…I know how that feels. This gets even more so when there are young children to look after and full time jobs to go to. Life can get pretty jam-packed right?
Recently on my travels I met a lovely couple with two children. After the parents found out I was a meditation teacher they were sharing with me how they just haven’t been able to do their yoga or meditation as much as they would like. Days and even weeks would pass where their practice had subsided to non-existent. They felt a sense of guilt about this and lamented how they weren’t being able to do what they thought they ‘should’ be doing. Yet when I was in their presence I felt a gentleness and kindness and their eyes were still, clear and full of love.
I shared with them how our practice isn’t being on the mat or sitting in meditation. Yes, these are tools to help us achieve a state that enables us to be less attached to the past, kinder, gentler, more joyful and expressive of love. Ultimately though, it’s how we live our lives that matters. Our practice is how we move, how we speak, how we eat, how we sleep, how we work and how we raise our children. There are days when I don’t get to stretch or meditate. Let’s face it, getting to a yoga class can take up to 3 hours when you include travel time, changing and the class itself. That’s ok with me. It’s during those days that I need to be even more mindful of my words and actions…this becomes my practice. I will even talk to myself, “Tom, slow down, be present, where is your mind? Have you got love in your heart?” My practice will go all day long like this.
Recently I had just finished my meditation down at my favourite spot on Bondi Beach. There is a big concrete shelf where each day there are people doing yoga, qi gong, tai chi, meditation and even dancing. It has a beautiful energy. There was a woman there doing yoga. She had a beautiful practice. It was incredibly articulate, down to very precise hand and foot movements. It was some of the most amazing yoga I had seen before. Down by the shore was an older gentleman walking his dog. The dog was off the leash and came up to many of us like dogs do, sniffing our skin and saying hello. People would pat the dog and then it would move on the next person. When the dog came up to the woman doing the sublime yoga she stopped mid-asana, pushed the dog aggressively away and yelled at the man to “get his f—king dog off the f—king beach!! Don’t you know that dogs aren’t allowed on the beach???” But her yoga practice on the mat was very good ?
It’s also ok to accept your humanness. Yes we all get tired, we get overwhelmed, we are still affected by desires and conditioning. Our responses to situations can be distorted by the fatigue and stress where we get snappy, grumpy, and impatient. (Yep, even meditation teachers!!) So acknowledge the imperfection of our humanity. We aren’t perfect and we will often get reminded in some way shape or form that there is more to do.
I said to this couple, “You are doing your practice everyday. I see you, I see how you live, you’re already doing it. Your children ARE your practice; your job IS your practice. Cooking dinner and cleaning the house IS your practice.” They felt a great sense of relief and that yes, everything is ok and there is no need to entertain guilt about not getting to the mat or seat.
Sure, make every effort to get to your mat or sit in stillness each day. But also be adaptable, fluid and detached from the need to do this. Creating stress around not being able to do a practice that removes stress kinda defeats the purpose right? ?
If you’d like to find out more about how to find stillness in your life, then you might like to explore this meditation program I created called Faster Deeper Bliss.
This has over 20 years of my experience studying meditation, all condensed into an easy, simple and effective daily program that guarantees to have you experiencing the deep and proven benefits of meditation within just 21 days … in fact you’ll notice the benefits much sooner.
We’ve helped thousands of people and I’m sure that we can help you too … check it out here … I believe it is the best meditation training available online.
“Tom Cronin! I just finished number 3 of the Stillness Project. I’m IN LOVE! I’ve tried meditation several times and gave up on it EVERY time. Each day, I CAN’T wait for my next meditation. THANK YOU for taking the mystery out of meditation.” – Leslie