So a 21 day meditation challenge should be easy for me right? (click here to find out this crazy Oprah & Deepak challenge) I mean come on, mediating master Mish, you already meditate every day right? WRONG! Did I just admit that to the world? Yes, I did! And I know this may be surprising to hear, but even a meditation teacher is human and sometimes chooses her life “stuff” to get the better of her.
And yes I said “chooses”. You see we are all busy. If you live in the world today, and I’m guessing you do, you have loads of things to do which busy-up your life. We all walk around with an “I’m busier than you” badge and we flash it around proudly.
So let me give you a little insight into my busy life. My busy-ness is filled up with my day job, driving to and from work, teaching meditation, writing and planning those meditations, coaching calls, Bschool work (if you’re not sure what this is go check out last weeks blog here), making lunches each day, cooking, cleaning, household stuff (you know!), blogging, reading other peoples blogs, recording breathing spaces, emailing newsletters, collaborating with other local businesses to grow my business, other kinds of marketing, being a good girlfriend, catching up with my girlfriends, posting on facebook and instagram, replying to emails, eating food, drinking water (sometimes I forget this), studying a Life Coaching Certificate and every other minute I have time I fill that space with listening to audio books, checking my personal facebook, instagram and pinterest (if I’m lucky) and I thank god I don’t have kids!
So your “busy badge” may outweigh my “busy badge” or it may not, but that doesn’t really matter because we both experience ourselves as busy. And where the hell do we fit in time to just sit still and have a single pointed focus? Man, I got waaay too much to do to sit still!!
So lets have a chat about this thing called “time” and work together to free ourselves up, because we all want to fit meditation into our day, right?
Time has been popping up a lot in my world lately. I’ve been listening to this audio book called The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks (you can get a copy here) and he has this whole theory about Einstein time vs Newtonian time and how time really lies in our own perception. Sometimes we are keenly aware of the seconds that tick by and sometimes we lose hours. As well as Gay’s perspectives, Marie Forleo through Bschool has been spreading her inspiration about time reminding us that we all have the same amount of time in the day, ie: the President of the USA has the same amount of time as lil’ ol’ me, and what we do with our time is a choice of priorities. She's inspired me to stop whining that "I aint got no time" and be empowered by the choices I'm making.
But I thought after all of that, I would share with you my perspective of time so here goes;
Time is a human made “thing” to help us come together and get stuff done. Before time was created people would, I’m guessing, just have to accept what was happing to them, rather than making stuff happen. Let me explain; you wouldn’t be able to so easily “make happen” a catch up coffee with your girlfriend from another tribe so you could discuss how to weave more fabric for a shop you wanted to set up down the road. You very well may have to look at the movement of the sun and say something like “in two dark cycles we will meet under this tree when the sun is high in the sky” and hope that from where she is standing the sun looks high at the same time that the sun looks high for you. Who thought catching up for a coffee would be such a struggle!
So the clock was created, and thank goodness, and this tracked movement of a stick thing around a circle at a particular speed. We loosely based the speed and movement on the sun (as you know time magically changes with daylight savings to make up for our looseness), and we chucked numbers around the circle. So now when the stick thing has moved enough times around the circle we know to meet under the tree to catch up for a coffee.
I don’t know about you but this starts to get a little boggling for my mind, because thinking about all this starts to open up my mind to thoughts about the ever present moment, you know the idea that there is no other moment but now. There is no past or future, just movement. There was no 6am in the past, the stick was just in a different place around the circle from where it is now, like at 6am maybe you were in your bed and now you’ve moved to your computer or phone to read this. So really you’re just moving about in your life, which is all happening NOW. (Look, I totally understand you might have to read this a few times!)
The sun is moving, the earth is moving, everyone around you is moving, your atoms are moving and we think because we were somewhere else at 6am that was the past and now that we are here we are in the present moment and because we will be somewhere else later in the day that is the future. But when we were in “the past” at 6am we were actually in the present and we moved to our computer and phone and we are still in the present and when we get on with our day “in the future”, that will be the present too. Its really just movement through space and the “past” that we can remember really only exists in our mind and the “future” we stress about or look forward to also only exists in our mind.
And so all this “past” hurt and pain and all this “future” anxiety lives in our mind and we carry it with us, along with our handbag and iphone, as we move about the present moment (because really there is no other moment). Luckily we have meditation, which helps us observe our mind, let go of the “past” and “future” illusions and has training our minds to live in what is real, the present moment. (Phew! Are you still with me? Take a deep breath and slowly read it again letting the words sink into your being, not into your mind)
But I told you Mish, I don’t have time to meditate! My life is too busy! I’ve got all this stuff that I didn’t get done in the past and all of this stuff that I’ve got to do in the future and I’m totally overwhelmed and to even think of sitting in the present moment, just being present, is just friggin ridiculous!
Hmmmm now is it? It seems to me that what is ridiculous, and we all do it, is we believe this illusion of “all the stuff I haven’t done in the past” and “all the stuff I need to do in the future” when none of that exists!
My mind just piped up and said “Yes it does! It does exist! Have you seen your wall of post-its with everything you’re yet to do?” But you know what, its just a wall of post-its, that keep getting moved from the wall and into the bin once I’ve moved around enough in space to create what is written on the post-it.
And I can hear you're mind going “Whoah Nelly!! You speaking crazy shit now Mish!” But if you’re willing to give up your “busy badge” for just one second and allow these concepts to really sink in, you could truly live a life of meditation, a life where you lived in the present moment, where you could fully embrace the way in which your body is moving and the world is moving around you.
Don’t get me wrong, I love planning for the "future"!! I’m the planning, vision boarding, visualisation queen!! Its great to think about what I want to create in the world and the next movements I’m going to take. But do I really have to bring all of that stuff right now into my present moment? Or can I decide to leave it up on my wall of stickies until the time that I choose to move on it? And could I actually fully immerse myself in what I’m doing right now rather than have my mind tricking me into believing the illusion that the sticky notes are looming and I’ve got “so much to do in the future” (that never comes).
You know the only limitation within all of this is that we can only be moving around in one place in the now (well that’s my belief right now, perhaps when I’ve moved around some more I might change that belief haha) and so in this moment I can only do one of my sticky notes at a time. I also get to choose which sticky note I want to move on in this moment. Even if you feel you “have to” do something because the world would crumble around you if you didn’t, you still have choice to allow the world to crumble.
You do have a choice not to go to work, but you choose to be able to pay your bills, you have a choice on whether you pay your bills, but you love a hot shower, you have a choice on whether to cook for your children, you could take them to the Golden Arches of death (Maccas) but you choose to have healthy children, you could also choose to not feed them, but you’d prefer to have living children (sometimes!), you do have a choice to meditate, but you choose that the other things in life are of higher priority in this moment, and you have a choice of how you move around this ever present moment.
What a gift! That everything is up to YOU!! There is no “time” pressure saying “you must get this done by this time or else” because time doesn’t exist. Yes, you do hear that voice but, like we discussed earlier, that is you just your mind and you have choice of whether to listen to it or to let go.
If you do choose to let go, I’ve got a really exciting surprise for you!! YOU ARE MEDITATING!! If in every moment you choose to let go of your “busy badge” and you choose the present moment, if you choose to let go of the illusion and choose reality >> the real, palpable, totally awesome present moment << YOU are living your life in meditation.
So throw away that meditation pillow … pfffttt who needs it … and make your life a meditation.
Now just so you know and so I don’t put myself out of business here, sitting on your meditation pillow, going to a meditation class or jumping head first into a 21 day Meditation Challenge is a really helpful way to make “living your life as a meditation” easier. It helps train you to let go of the illusion and fully embrace the now.
But I know, you’re just too busy for that …
Om Shanti xx
PPS: If you have a friend who is too busy to meditate then please extend a helping hand by sharing this post with them.
PPPS: And if you have any questions or comments about anything in this blog or anything whatsoever, please comment below!