I’ve told some of you about how things were for me when I first started meditating. I often describe my experience as a two-year war with meditation (and I also say that just because it took me two years to achieve consistency doesn’t mean it will take others that long).
When I think back on that time – the starting and stopping and committing to start over again and failing and being mad at myself and thinking I suck and my brain just won’t do it and I’m so disappointed in my sucky-ness… When I reflect on all that resistance, I have to ask myself, was I at war with meditation or at war with myself?
I think we all know the answer. I wasn’t really ever mad at meditation. That not’s even a thing you can get mad at – that would be like being mad at a flower.
I was mad because I committed to myself that I’d do something that I wanted to achieve and then, instead of achieving it, when the going got uncomfortable and my mind wanted to stay safe and small, I gave in. This pattern happened for a long time. Until I interrupted it.
Then I persevered, then I succeeded.
There’s a lot that goes into our personal journeys and our self-will. The road isn’t easy but traveling that road is why we’re here.
There’s a quote in the Bhagavad Gita (an ancient yogic text) that I love – the quote is:
Never let yourself be degraded by self-will.
For me, that quote can go on a post-it note on the mirror. Never let yourself be degraded by self-will.
I think of self-will as the voice in my head that says I can’t do it and my mind that will tell me all sorts of lies to keep me exactly where I am in avoidance of discomfort and growth.
Our biggest enemy is our mind.
If I can share one sliver of love Valentine’s Day, it’s this:
Always have high esteem for yourself. And know that you can do this, whatever it is you seek. Our teachers show us the way, but we all have to travel the road ourselves – and you can do it. Regardless of what it is that you want to do.
You’ve brought yourself right here, where you are now and you can find so much confidence in the knowing of what you had to do to get here. The effort that brought you here will feed your courage to know you can get where you’re going next.
Then fire up that self-will and get’er done.