How practicing motivation got me in a rut, and meditation pulled me out!
Mar 05, 2019
I've found it's really easy to be motivated.
Motivated to get my horse going and progressing, motivated to eat healthy, to go to bed earlier and get up and achieving earlier. Motivated to spend more time with my family and have that ultimate work life balance, and motivated to kick career goals.
But the trouble is, motivation only seems to last a short time, and the weight of all the motivation of things I want to do and achieve fall on my shoulders and all of a sudden what was exciting and motivating is now overwhelming and it feels like there is SO much to do. And where do I even start?! Motivation leaves and the day can so easily become a bit of a trudge. Not to mention the guilty feeling at the end of the day because I didn't get it all done! Ughh the cycle!! That's how I've been feeling a bit lately.
We know that motivation isn't enough. It's more of a temporary thing to get you inspired, but we also need to take action and create discipline. And sometimes that works really well for me, but lately it just hasn't been enough and despite my tries I just haven't quite managed to pull it all together for it to become discipline, but more like the the odd sporadic day of totally owning it and then slipping again.
It's like I've been literally practicing motivation. I'd get that peak where I felt like I could get it all together and all the things got done ... And then the trough, where I fell off the band wagon. Unfortunately, that's not discipline. That's not creating patterns that are actually going to get me from here to there.
In 2015 I came across meditation after I exploded my L3 and was laid up in a hospital bed. It kept me occupied when I ran out of counting the tiles on the roof and soon became a daily practice. I loved it and I swear it made a huge impact on my recovery. I practiced it daily for a long time even once I was out of hospital, but then it too dropped off, only doing it now and again. Which was lovely, but definitely not enough to feel the full effects I had felt while doing the daily.
Ahh the motivation bug strikes again!
Recently a video came up in my news feed about meditation by Emily Fletcher with Mind Valley, and the incredible benefits. I said to my partner "this would be awesome for you, it would help so much with your sleep". Ha! You know, it's always so much easier to fix other people's problems than your own.
But I quite liked this Emily lady and what she was saying and before I knew it I'd bought her audible book - Stress less, Accomplish more.
I thought about the horse training principle of 'change one thing at a time' and realized I can apply this to me too! In-fact, I'd better apply it to me if I expect such changes to my horses!
I don't have to do allll those things that are on my list, but if I can change just one thing. If I can add just one thing in to my day to start with, then we can go from there. Meditation felt like the right fit, because right now the idea of getting up early to ride was way too big to comprehend. I mean like, that's great for those who don't have kids or massive projects on the go. But for me?! Me?! Definitely out of the question. Haha. But I can totally fit in a 15 minute meditation. So I did it. I set my alarm for 20 minutes earlier, had a glass of water and went and got started.
I'm still learning Emily's teachings, but for now I've been doing a great guided one called 'six phase meditation' by Vishen Lakhiani. In it, I practice being mindful, giving gratitude, Forgiveness, visualizing where I want to be in three years and then my day today. I love it, I come out feeling energized and motivated for where I want to be but unlike what I was doing in the past, by seeing my day unfold I can be realistic about what I can actually fit in without feeling guilty at the end of the day for not getting it all done. I've found that playing out my day I've already made the good decisions like eating healthy, or not getting distracted, so when it comes time to it, it's so much easier to actually go through with it, because I've already done it in my head. I've already practiced it and have created the discipline. Including time to do my own horses!
So as a result of adding in my 15 minutes a day, I am getting so much more done and my mind is in a better place, not slipping in and out of the motivation train!
I'm just at the beginning of my journey, and I know there is much more to learn and of course, like going to the gym to keep fit, you have to do the same by practicing it daily. I'm sure there will be times that I slip up. But changing one thing is easy, so I know I can find my way back!