Falling Off the Meditation Wagon

By way of a confession, I fell off the meditation wagon around the holidays. Funny visual, isn’t it?  I picture an actual wagon pulled by reindeer, through a snowy scene, with a bunch of people quietly meditating in the back. Then, I literally fall off.  People just shrug and continue meditating, and I’m left to gather myself, on a cobblestone street, dusting off the reindeer dung.

OK, so the real story isn’t so dramatic.

But it’s a familiar one to many.  We’re on a roll with a healthy habit– meditating, going to yoga, or running, for example– until we miss a day. That day becomes a string of days, and soon, we’ve lost our mojo.  (Yes, even yoga teachers and people who are health buffs for a living lose mojo).

Mine came back at New Year’s.  (Also a familiar story– time of resolution and recommitment).  And I’ve meditated each week-day morning since.  This time, it was the easiest and most enjoyable climb back on the wagon I’ve ever had.  Not only did I regain momentum, but my meditation practice isn’t feeling like a chore, which it’s wont to do.  Instead, I look forward to it each morning, and it’s not hard to carve out the time.  Sounds crazy, right?  What made it so easy?

The answer is simple.  The only thing that matters is that I do it.  I don’t have to do 45-minutes at my Buddha School in Cambridge at dawn.  I don’t have to do 20-minutes or even 10-minutes.  I just have to do it.  7 minutes?  Wonderful.  5 minutes is all I have?  Fine.  Forgive me for being a little thick, but this was a revelation!  So, I told Boyfriend, who obviously doesn’t need yoga, when you hear how Zen his response was.

“Isn’t that the deal with anything?  Do SOMETHING… Not nothing.”

So, there you have it, friends.  If you’re losing healthy mojo for any reason under the polar vortex: do something; not nothing.  Recalibrate your expectations a little.  Do less, and see more of it, any of it, as progress in the right direction, from where you sit, back on the wagon.


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  • Jessica Hayman

    I have fallen off the wagon so many times, I have brusies! I tend to fall into the perfectionism trap: “if I can’t run five miles I am not going to run at all!” It has taken me a long time to get to the point of just being able to grab my sneakers and head out the door with the goal of just getting out in the healing sunshine or taking my cup of tea out to the back porch and let the meditation flow.

    • http://omgal.com/ rebecca pacheco

      Love the images & thoughts you shared. Wishing you fewer wagon-falling bruises & more sun, tea, & meditative flow. xo

  • http://unionjackcreative.com/ Kate Z

    So, so true. Thank you for the well-timed reminder!

    • http://omgal.com/ rebecca pacheco

      My pleasure:) Here’s to you & your reinvigorated mojo!

  • http://fittek.com/ fitTek

    Yup agree 100%. Meditation feels amazing afterwards, but I put so much pressure on myself to do it, that I tend to forget the joy. I think a metaphor is like marriage. A couple that love one another decide to get married and then once it’s official the pressure of living up to assigned roles overwhelms all involved. It sounded better in my head, but yes thanks for the reminder to enjoy meditation again. Oh and just wondering, do you meditate with a bell? I didn’t use to, but then I found myself wondering how close I am to the allotted time, or if I was meditating with an open timeframe, I’d catch myself wondering, “how long has it been?” Now I use a cellphone app that sightly rings every 5 minutes. Wondering if anyone else is using this.

    • http://omgal.com/ rebecca pacheco

      I simple use my iPhone alarm, with the Harp ringtone. It’s gentle enough and always on hand. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on your practice & how it relates to life & love.

  • http://www.peacelovecarbs.com/ Francesca

    Great post…I have really struggled with meditation/yoga, but just need to constantly remind myself that even a couple minutes is enough to help stay on track and get the calming benefits!

  • Kathy

    Wow – pulled me right back onto the “accountability-for-my-own-life” Wagon! Rebecca- I was the newbie at your Power Yoga of Cape Cod class the Saturday after Thanksgiving. I took such calm and renewal from that – so thanks for the gentle kick-in-the-ass – I really needed it. I’m folding my laptop away and doing my 3 minutes now! Kathy

  • http://herohealthroom.com Luke Jones

    Great post. I have been struggling with meditation a little too recently, but have taken the same approach. I definitely agree that it’s better to do a little than none at all.

    I’d even go as far as saying that it’s often necessary, to build lasting sustainable habits – start small and repeat often.

  • Darrin Buchanan

    The best
    way to find some inner peace is by practising meditation. I personally do it
    and it seriously helps. Infact I have seen persons reducing their weight and
    are getting fit day by day just by doing it. Seriously it gives some great

  • http://www.curamedicine.com.au/ Shannon Burford

    It is nice to see an article dedicated to this important topic. Thank you for sharing.

    Naturopath treatment

  • http://www.womentips.co/ Women Tips

    Great post!Meditation helps to relive stress and it gives a confident.Can you suggest some other post for meditation.

  • http://ourherbalnutrition.com/ http://ourherbalnutrition.com/

    It is nice to see an article.Meditation feels amazing.I absolutely accede that it’s bigger to do a little than none at all.

  • Jeremy

    Hi, I was doing your recovery yoga session after a particularly hard track session and found myself here afterwards (reading this with my legs in the air). I’ve now picked up my guitar for the first time since my wife got ill. She’s now better but I didn’t start again, I just lost my mojo. Thanks.

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