This is it – the last week of the challenge. You did it.
Over the past seven weeks you have practiced seven different types of meditation. You now have seven mindfulness tools in your toolkit.
Which ones will you incorporate into your life?
It is called a meditation practice because you truly do need to practice to experience results and to train your brain.
Fortunately, you don’t have to practice for an hour every day to see results. The best thing you can do is find even a small amount of time to insert some mindfulness into your day. 10 minutes works. Even one minute of mindfulness is better than none.
I recommend starting with a small manageable commitment. We tend to have more success forming a new habit when we start with a reasonable commitment and then build from there. A new micro habit often leads to more new micro habits which can build to a pretty powerful change overall. If you have been able to find 10 minutes to practice throughout the challenge, try to stick with that. Play around with the time of day, your location, and amount of time to find a pattern that you’re most successful sticking to.
You can also reflect on the types of meditation you want to practice. Did some resonate more than others?
Are you looking to flex your attention muscles? You might focus your practice on the breath meditation.
Are you looking to develop better mind-body awareness? Focus on the body scan.
Are you working on being kinder to yourself and others? Loving kindness meditation is a great start.
Of course, you can use Insight Timer to continue to practice the meditations we’ve done together, but you can also search for other meditations of a similar style on the app. Try a bunch to build up a library of meditations that resonate with you.
You can also try other meditation apps. 10% Happier, Calm and Headspace are popular apps that deliver daily meditations and multi-day programs/courses focused on various topics, all of which you can trial for free. If selecting a meditation every day is feeling like a barrier, these apps can remove daily decision making from the equation. You simply do the daily meditation or the next meditation in a multi-day program. Download a few different apps and see what you like.
I also encourage you to incorporate some informal mindfulness practices into your days. This could include:
I wish you all the very best in building a practice that works for you. Meditation has become an almost daily part of my life, and I’ve noticed subtle but steady changes as a result.
I’m a little bit calmer and less reactive.
I’m a little bit kinder to myself, which spills over to others. I now truly believe you can’t be kind and compassionate to others if you can’t start with yourself.
I can focus on conversations and meetings and listen a bit better.
And I’m more aware of the chatter in my head, my thought patterns and why I do what I do.
All of this happens some of the time, but definitely not all of the time. I’m mainly mindful, most days. And I’ve learned to be a lot kinder to myself on days that I’m not. Oh well, I’m human. We’re all doing our best.
I believe every minute of practice has been worth it and I hope you can find some value in it too.
Drop me a line anytime you want to talk about your practice. Do your best and be kind to yourself.