How to Stay Committed to a Practice of Silence
“Commitment is what transforms a promise into a reality.” Abraham Lincoln
While we can start with our own practice of sitting in silence, I highly recommend that sometimes it helps to also combine that by practicing in a group. The energy of a group can be very supportive and allows us to tap into the group energetics of silence. This gives us a prop to keep going even when we want to bolt. Our mind is a very powerful tool, and it will tell you all kinds of excuses not to sit in silence. The group energy supports you in continuing and deepening your practice and can make it easier than doing it on your own.
If instruction or group practice is of interest, there are a number of programs available by searching online for mindfulness meditation, insight meditation, and group meditation in the area you live. If you need ideas, feel free to send me an email and I will provide resources.
I talk about the topic of commitment in my book, Be Happy Now. When you are committed to awakening yourself through a practice you do every day, even when you don’t want to do it, you begin to train your brain into a new pattern. This opens your awareness to see when and what you are resisting, and when you get caught in your patterns of dysfunction that support your head instead of your heart. Whatever your practice or your intention, ask yourself what is your level of commitment with it.
What you are doing here is putting new software into your brain and cleaning out the subconscious. This is no easy task, as you have been programmed from the time you came out of the womb. So, commitment is a big deal, and it is commitment that will support you in creating the depth of change that you desire.
If you have a practice, I congratulate you. Keep it up! If you have a practice that you undertake once a week, and it allows you to be able to expand your awareness with what is in your heart – and observe yourself in a mindful way – I invite you to step it up to more than one day a week. This level of work takes daily attention. Meditation is like a shower for the mind. You take a shower every day to clean your body. It is no different with meditation; you have to clean your mind every day to stay healthy and free from unwanted thoughts and behaviors.
This is so important, and, at first, it seems so hard. It requires learning to hold boundaries around your self-care. Sitting in Silence is a form of self-care because you are taking care of your emotional health. With any new practice, it is important to create strategies that support you in being accountable to this new behavior. Boundaries are the infrastructure that build accountability towards the change you are making.
If your company is one that is interested in strengthening its culture and supporting employees in being more effective and productive, perhaps you can generate interest in starting a sitting in silence class or creating a space in the office that allows individuals to rest, recover and be in silence.
Key steps for staying committed to a practice of silence:
- Set a time daily/weekly on your calendar to commit to your practice.
- Tell a buddy to check in with you on your commitment.
- Decide how you will celebrate when you have completed a week, month or a certain time frame of your practice.
Here are some guidelines that will help with being accountable to starting a practice:
- When you write down what you are going to do, you increase the probability of success by 28%.
- When you write down what you are going to do, and you tell a colleague what you’re going to do and how you’re going to achieve it with a time line, you increase the probability for success by 68%.
- When you write it down, and tell a colleague how and when and how you will hold yourself accountable, you increase your probability of success by 98%.
Staying committed during times of change is always challenging, but it is the key to creating the results you desire. Start small and remember baby steps create the leaps. Be gentle with yourself and remember to always celebrate every baby step along the way. Acknowledgement is love balm and supports you in continuing to honor your commitment to yourself.
Come meditate with me this
Wednesday, June 27th from 8-9pm MT
During the full moon, our glands are most active.
This can make us feel very emotional and reactive; if we channel that energy,
it affords us the opportunity to accelerate emotional healing and direct those feelings into positive actions.