Meditation Reflections

When Things Get Hard, Don’t Make Things Harder

We run, meditate, journal, go for a walk, practice yoga, lift weights, cook, or work our creative projects. It’s the time we give ourselves. It’s our daily practice, our time to do the things that help us feel healthy, balanced, and grounded.

These things are easy to do when life is good. With each day we practice the routine, we build momentum, making the next day easier.

But then, the inevitable happens. You experience something difficult. A relationship ends. You get fired from your job. You lose a loved one. You experience financial difficulties.

During these difficult moments, we need our daily practice the most. When things are hard, it is easy to focus on the negative, and our daily practice is a reminder of the things that help us feel positive and balanced. But it is during these hard moments that it is easiest to break our routines. When things get hard, we make things harder.

I’ve meditated regularly since 2013, and in 2015, I committed to a daily meditation practice. Using a meditation app called Insight Timer, I tracked my daily meditation. Once I hit 10 consecutive days, the desire to maintain the streak overcame all resistance to meditate. And with that mindset, I meditated every day for 649 days.

Then, something hard happened, and I stopped.

Through those difficult days, I was stuck in a negativity cycle, and with each day I didn’t meditate, I sank further into negativity. I resisted the things that would help me break the cycle, and I avoided meditation most of all. When a friend finally helped me back on my feet, I began again. I did what I recommend to all new meditators. I committed to meditating 2 minutes every day.

Now, I’m at 64 consecutive days with a valuable lesson in my pocket.

When things get hard, don’t make things harder. Your daily routine, the one that helps you feel healthy and balanced, is most important when you’re going through a difficult time.

When things get hard, practice gratitude and attempt to gain some perspective. Understand what is in and out of your control. You probably can’t control the circumstances of your situation, but you can control what you choose to do. So put on your shoes and run. Sit on your cushion and meditate. Roll out your mat and practice yoga. And most importantly, be kind to yourself.

. . .

If you’re interested in meditation, pair this article with “How to Meditate Every Day.”

Feature Image: The Art of Imperfection XXV – Daisy

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