Practice Makes Progress
Do you think about wanting to meditate? Do you think about making more time for yourself to be quiet? Do you wish you were more able to help yourself in stressful and challenging moments?
It's nice you're thinking about those things. That's the first step-- well actually, it's not really a step. It's like thinking about a pool when you want to learn how to swim.
We prevent ourselves from really committing to anything new because we allow our minds to distract, confuse, disrupt, or create obstacles like:
"I'll do it when I go on vacation, when I really have time"
"When my kids get a little bigger I can have more time to myself"
"It's just too hard to be consistent"
"I have so much other stuff I HAVE to get done"
AND SO ON, AND SO ON.
Honestly, it's human nature to reject change. Change is a disruption. Change is insight. Change is uncomfortable. Change is effort. Change brings up our fears. Change shows us we're not really as great as we thought we were. Change forces us to change!
Our brains in fact feel their vulnerability, knowing they are only surrounded by a small skull, and project thoughts of fear and self-protection all the time--- whether it has actually anything to do with what's happening to us in reality.
The thing is, if you can't make the effort to change right now, in the moment, when your life is the way it is now, then you won't do it when you go on vacation, or when the kids get older, etc. Change isn't complicated, it's just a choice to BEGIN.
Then you say, "well I can begin, but I can't really keep it going." The answer to that is: Don't get it perfect, just get it going. So many times we prevent ourselves from going any further because we don't feel like we're doing something good enough, or that it's not "working" the way we imagined -- basically our mind is creating an expectation of an outcome, in turn creating more obstacles for ourselves.
In fact, our eternal fear as human beings is the mind ping pong of "I'm not good enough" vs. "I'm the best, so don't tell me what to do". These are the conscious and subconscious thoughts driving most of our actions every moment, but it doesn't have to be. We teach grown ups and kids tools for actually getting at the root of these feelings inside, transforming these thoughts on a deep inner level. Meaning, those thoughts can go away permanently. Yes, it's true, we are experiencing it, and it's something everyone is capable of.
Every time you make a step, whether that's setting your alarm 10 minutes early, sitting in your car quietly on your lunch break, not speaking and just observing your thoughts for 2 minutes at your desk, or creating a space in your home where you can practice, it's change. It's progress. No effort is made in vain. If all you can get done this week is clean up that corner of your bedroom for you to begin to do a daily practice, then that is great! On the other hand, if you don't push yourself to make change, then you won't make any real progress. Ultimately, giving up completely is the only failure.
No one is ever "good enough" at meditation or working on themselves in the beginning, or in the middle, or at the end, because practice makes progress. It's in the DOING that we perfect our practice: our awareness, our focus, our ability to observe thoughts and feelings, our willingness to "face & erase", and our ability to have a quiet mind with outward stressful conditions.
There is never an end to progress. There is always another glass ceiling to break. This should not be disheartening, this should be thrilling, because when you have something to look forward to you are always hopeful, growing stronger, curious, and never bored. So, your job is to simply use the obstacles along the way to push you further. This means every time your mind throws up an excuse, complaint, confusion, self-defeat, or resistance, you observe it, and face it & erase it. (We can teach you how.) Conquer a molehill. Conquer a small peak. Conquer a mountain. Conquer a mountain range. Practice + patience + persistence = progress.
The world does not need more theories, ideologies, or mental level analysis. What it needs are practitioners who can experience things for themselves directly, because through direct experience comes true wisdom. It's like someone trying to learn how to swim only by reading books on swimming, or believing there's only one way to swim, or being more concerned with how many calories you are burning while swimming than the experience of swimming itself. The thinking mind is very limited. Consciousness is ever expanding, and with practice, you can directly experience this for yourself (don't even have to take our word for it.)
What we're really trying to say is that your mind is your own worst enemy, and that the real YOU is not your thoughts, the real you is the SILENCE behind it all, and with practice you can live more and more in this quiet mind, with inherent wisdom and peace. The only thing you have to do is PRACTICE. Does that sound like something worth doing? Better yet, does that sound like something you're willing to change for?
Once you learn and experience these things for yourself, then teach them to your children. And always remember, you can't expect your children to do something you don't do yourself.
Want to get started with a daily practice? Here's our guided audio daily practice for kids & grown ups found both on our free kids and teen program pages.
Want to learn the face it & erase it tools? Check out our learning videos for kids and teens (and grown ups too)
Daily practice + facing & erasing = changing & evolving on all cylinders!