Meditation has a ton of awesome benefits.
But if you’re finding it hard to sit and meditate for a certain period of time, all hope is not lost.
You might want to try and practise informal meditation instead.
To do this, simply remember to pay attention to the breath, any bodily sensations you experience, or sounds you hear throughout the day.
Although this means doing very short bouts of mindfulness, you’ll be doing it many times throughout the day.
“Short time, many times.”
And it’s a technique recommended by tibetan monk, Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche.
“If you have time to breathe, you have time to meditate. You breathe when you walk. You breathe when you stand. You breathe when you lie down.”
– Ajahn Amaro
Life consists of a ton of things we have to do.
We have to pay the bills.
We have to go to work.
We have to do chores.
Yet, we neglect the things we WANT to do.
We want to spend more time with friends and family.
We want to spend more time doing leisurely activities.
We want to spend more time resting.
The more we get to spend time doing the things we want, the happier we’ll be.
Let this be a reminder for us to prioritize time to do more of what we want to do.
Balance your have-tos with want-tos.
“Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.”
– Zig Ziglar
If you have the power of choice, choose to do less at any given day.
Choose to take on fewer tasks.
Choose to work at 70% than 100%.
This might seem like controversial advice.
But this actually makes you more productive, happier and healthier in the long run.
Let’s take the example of a sprinter and marathon runner.
Sprinters can only run at maximal effort for a very brief period before being exhausted.
Marathon runners though, can run very long distances for long periods of time by not exerting maximum effort.
You can be like a sprinter and choose to work super hard but be burnt out frequently.
Or you can be like a marathon runner and work at a more relaxed pace without risking burnout.
For your mental health’s sake, consider adopting the latter.
Be a marathon runner in life.
“Life is not a sprint but a long, arduous ordeal, a marathon. If you don’t pace yourself you will burn out. So keep a steady pace and keep your focus on the road ahead.”
– Mufti Menk
When we say we don’t have time to do certain things, we actually do.
We just don’t place enough priority for them to be worthy of our time.
Imagine having a plate of food.
There’s only so much we can fit on the plate before it becomes full.
To make room for a certain type of food, we’d have to remove some of the existing ones.
The same goes with our time.
So the next time you catch yourself thinking, “I don’t have time to do that”, think of how you can make time by cutting back on other activities.
You always have time.
“Time is a created thing. To say ‘I don’t have time,’ is like saying, ‘I don’t want to.’”
– Lao Tzu
Notice the sounds around you.
Notice any tension in the body.
Notice the sensation of the breath as you inhale and exhale.
Don’t attempt to change anything.
Just watch, listen and be aware.
Nothing is as blissful as the present moment.
“Life is short. We can live it lost in thought or we can choose to be present as life unfolds around us.”
To think is to analyze.
To feel is to exist without being interrupted by ideas and concepts.
To think is to brainstorm solutions to problems.
To feel is to experience how problems affect you emotionally and mentally.
To think is to rely on logic and reasoning.
To feel is to rely on gut instinct.
Know when to think and when to feel.
“Here is natural instinct and here is control. You are to combine the two in harmony. If you have one to the extreme, you will be very unscientific; if you have another to the extreme, you become a mechanical man and no longer a human being.”
– Bruce Lee
Life is not smooth.
We all know that by now.
We face obstacles, problems and stressors.
Instead of fighting them, ease into them without putting in more effort than necessary.
Life’s challenges are bound to happen anyway.
Don’t resist them.
Flow through/around them like how water in a river would around a huge rock.
Be flexible, adaptable, and malleable.
Be like water.
“Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”
– Bruce Lee
Stop doing and start going.
Stop trying and start flowing.
Stop rowing and start sailing.
Try less, flow more.
“By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try, the world is beyond winning.”
– Lao Tzu
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with a seemingly huge, impossible task, rest assured that it will get done in due time.
Any task will get done when a certain amount of effort and time has been fulfilled.
Bigger tasks simply take more effort or time.
Lesser effort requires more time.
Lesser time requires more effort.
And excessive worrying does nothing to help.
The best we can do is to think less and continue putting in the time.
“Everything is possible. The impossible just takes longer.”
– Dan Brown
Accidents can be extremely financially costly burdens to bear.
Think about the costs involved in a car accident.
Think about the cost of falling down and injuring your lower back.
Think about the cost of spilling water on your laptop’s keyboard.
The best part is, almost all of them can be avoided.
So many costly accidents can be prevented from the simple act of slowing down.
Slowing down makes us more present.
Slowing down forces us to be more careful and meticulous.
Slowing down reduces anxious/nervous energy.
All of these certainly help to prevent mistakes and accidents from occurring.
This doesn’t mean you should move at a snail’s pace.
But whenever you feel the urge to speed up or rush, remind yourself to be calm and take your time.