With any worthy endeavor, consistency is key. While it’s easy to get started, obstacles will undoubtedly come our way. Sometimes, it can feel like these obstacles are determined to see us fail. And without consistent defense, obstacles can outsmart us, especially when we grow complacent. It’s human nature. Whenever we strive to grow into a higher state – whether on the physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual dimension – obstacles are bound to get in the way.
Meditation – and Sahaja meditation in particular – can be likened to a type of workout routine. Just like a fitness regimen, meditation requires working your routine daily for best results, including some collective meditation, too. Meditation isn’t immune and is susceptible to the same dissenting inner voice and subtle negative scripts that discourage any kind of healthy routine.
Here are 7 of the top excuses I hear from my lazy and complacent inner voice.
Excuse #1: I’m too busy.
I like to focus on the outcomes – the benefits. And so, I’ve decided that I’m in this for the long haul. I look at it this way. We are never too busy for essential personal hygiene. We always make time for the essentials in the morning, like a hot shower, brushing our teeth, or putting on clean clothes. We simply can never be too busy to ignore these non-negotiable habits. And so, I make meditation part of my daily routine, without excuse. I meditate every morning, no matter what – as it is as essential to my well-being as brushing my teeth.
Even then, again at night, the lazy voice creeps up on me when I want to meditate or do my foot soak. To defeat that negative script, I schedule time on my calendar in the early evening, so it can’t dissuade me and win when I’m physically tired or feel like going go to bed. In fact, that by itself is a great strategy. Allocate the time slot for meditation when you’re fresh and energetic – the best part of your day. When you invest in meditation during this time slot, you’re making an investment that pays you handsome returns by giving you greater inner calm, composure, productivity and clarity for the rest of the day.
Excuse #2: Now is not a good time.
There are days when I play hide and seek, dodging meditation and waiting for the right time to meditate. Then, I realize that the perfect time doesn’t exist, other than in my head. Any time that you have some free time or a break from work is good for meditation. So, if I find my inner voice telling me that I need to wait for a better time when I’m fresher or less stressed, I remind myself these are delusions and the right time is right now.
Excuse #3: – I’m too tired.
This one is quite common for me. At night, I tell myself I’ve done so much work during the day that I deserve a pass on meditation. In the morning, I tell myself I have so much to do during the day that I should skip it. But Excuse Theory 101 tells us – the exact opposite is true. Those two scenarios are the exact reason I need to meditate and stop putting it off. Facing physical and mental exhaustion? Meditation is the antidote.
Surprisingly enough, when I do meditate – I tend to create more time for myself and things I need to accomplish because I am always more productive after I meditate.
Excuse #4: I’m overwhelmed with too many things in my life right now.
This is a variation of the other types of excuses, but it comes cleverly disguised, offering a strategic and long-term view of my life. This excuse tries to tell me that I have too many things going that are more important – and I can’t be spending my time on something like meditation, as it requires too much dedication and focus. Very clever and compelling. But, the irony is – once again – that I need meditation to help me prioritize my life, to see clearly as to what really matters in my life and take decisive action. There is nothing like meditation to help me with this. Long-term results are only achieved by taking steps each day.
Excuse #5: I’ll be fine without meditation.
This happens to me all the time, and I’m sure is often true for you. What can we lose by not meditating? On the surface, not much. At least nothing that we can really call a loss or a serious problem. After all, how powerful can meditation be that our lives can be upside down without it?
The problem is that we’re giving in to a very subtle weakness inside us, a crevice that negative voices can exploit gradually. We tell our negative voices that we’re open to negotiation and compromise. One compromise leads to many more and before we realize it, our meditation schedule and consistency can be disrupted.
And it’s not true that someone can be better off without meditation – it’s just that they don’t realize it or aren’t sensitive enough to detect what they are missing. As you meditate for many weeks and months, you’ll easily notice how bad your day is if you have not meditated. If you haven’t yet gotten there, you’ll need to build your sensitivity. Give it time.
Excuse #6: Meditation is hard and I’m not seeing results.
This one is probably the most legitimate of excuses out there. First, I remind myself that there can be no success or reward without hard work and patience. Second, when I’m struggling, my #1 strategy is to attend collective or group meditation sessions as often as I can. The collective energy makes Sahaja meditation much easier than doing it alone. I try to reach out for help from more expert meditators and somewhere along the way, I suddenly find that I’ve gotten stronger and feel motivated.
Excuse #7: I’m an established meditator and can afford to be inconsistent.
This one mostly attacks experienced meditators mostly.
It plays on my ego and makes me think that I’ve gained some level of expertise so that I don’t have to be as consistent as beginners. But the truth is, the further you get with meditation, the more difficult the tests. Just like higher levels in a video game, early levels are fairly easy, but as you keep winning, it takes a lot more to keep winning. The stakes are higher.
Likewise, the more you progress, the more you’ll need to focus to get better. This doesn’t mean I have to meditate longer and longer as I progress, only that the requirements get subtler. Daily meditation, at this stage, is a rather easy goal. The challenge is higher quality and better meditation and seeing just how much meditation is impacting my way of life and behaviors.
But sometimes, when posed with more complex challenges, we can falter at basic levels, too. And any ego or presumption that regular meditation isn’t required can be dangerous.
Identifying the excuses early
There are two things that help with this – I remind myself to be humble and tame my ego. I tell myself that I’ve achieved very little and need to improve a lot. Second, Sahaja meditation, fortunately, enhances the power of introspection within us. It’s possible to be hyper aware, all the time, and watch your thoughts to see what tricks they have up their sleeve.
And if you have not discovered already, the practice of Sahaja meditation turns our attention and focus inward quite a lot, thereby aiding self-improvement.