How often do we tell ourselves we'll keep a daily meditation practice going, but it’s so easy to simply fall out of the habit. Maybe you've had an illness or there's a change of routine like the summer holidays or at Christmas, or another life event we can’t control. We might just be too busy or stressed or upset to keep our practice going.
No matter what the reasons for quitting meditation were, here are some simple tips to get you back in the groove.
1. Keep it simple
Our minds can exaggerate how complicated it is to restart our practice, so we keep putting off doing it. One way to beat that natural resistance is by making it absolutely simple – just light a candle. Sit for 10 breaths. Just sit on my meditation cushion for 1 minute. The more achievable and easy that first step is, the more likely you are to do it.
2. Get support
Talking to your meditation or yoga teacher is often enough to allay any fears or resistance about practice. I always ask my meditation students to drop me a line or ring me when they’re going through these dry periods – it’s not unusual and everyone goes through it from time to time. That reassurance and encouragement might be all you need to restart.
3. New week, new start
It may be a trick of my mind, but I find Mondays a good day to start over. It works for my 5:2 fasting and it definitely helps with my meditation. So – say to yourself that you’ve got a clean slate to start again – and Monday is the day!
4. Love and accept yourself
We can feel guilty, ashamed or just plain annoyed with ourselves for not doing the very things that make us feel better (ie meditating!). So let go of the self-judgement. Just know that it’s a normal part of any journey of self-development, and start again.
5. Peer support
The most successful meditation training courses I’ve ever taught were those where the students met up regularly between modules. So get in touch with your yoga or meditation buddies, go on a workshop or retreat, or have a mentoring or one-to-one session with a tutor to be re-inspired to restart your practice. It’s going to be easier than you think, so go for it – one step at a time! Good luck!