Some mornings or evenings I pray and meditate. The value of both is immeasurable but the awareness has yet to steer me to consistently practice both each day.
In this new season, I realize my lack of consistency is because I have not made either a priority. On the mornings that I do not make time to pray or meditate, I make excuses.
I wake up early but my husband sleeps late. Because he is asleep, I don’t want to wake him (there are other options).
I enjoy prayer and meditation with a diffuser (lavender oil) or scented lighted candles. I lay on a yoga mat or sit on my meditation pillow. All of my tools sit in a designated corner of our bedroom, which is supposed to be my meditation and prayer space.
The area is pretty and ideal for its intended purpose. Two plants, a beautiful bronze meditation statue, stones, candles rest atop a wooded foot high table, and a backdrop of beautiful wall art.
Visually, my spot is ideal. Although it is functional during the evening, it isn’t functional for most mornings. During my routine, I listen to soft music and don’t want to be bothered in the morning by having to use earphones.
The new year has prompted an intentional shift in my thinking so I decided to scrutinize my excuses.
Five months ago, my daughter moved out of the house. I readily planned to make the bedroom a bohemian themed prayer/meditation space. Saved on my Pinterest page are pretty images that inspire my future decor. No TV! No computer!
“Once the room is completely decorated, I can start using it.”
The hard truth is, I thought to myself, girlfriend, why do you need to wait until the room is completely decorated? That’s silly. Start where you are.
Beautiful and new truffle dark hardwood covers the floor surface. Freshly painted light gray colored walls, a chocolate ceiling fan, covered windows, and even a bathroom is set to go. The room is distraction-free, which is what I need to calm my busy mind. It is a clean slate.
A clean slate, I realized is my goal. Executing plans often go astray with many of us but tomorrow always clears the way for a second, third, fourth, or however many chances we need.
We are 13 days into the new year. I know that many of you made resolutions, some of you are participating in the Daniel Fast, a new fitness or health goal, a career change, or something else.
Or, you may be the person (like me) who awaits ideal conditions. You know, once I get (fill in the blank), I will be ready to start. Are you the Type A personality (I still struggle) who has to get everything perfect first or maybe you are afraid. Perhaps the wait is to get the money to buy a new pair of sneakers or purchase a gym membership, a grocery overhaul to start cooking healthier, or maybe you are waiting to find an accountability partner to jump-start your new regime. Be honest with yourself.
Instead of waiting for my plants, rugs, pillows, and chairs, I decided to stop bullshitting around and to takeoff where I stood. Consider this post the fire under your butt to get you moving… go ahead. Get on with it and take off!
The night before, I moved my oversized meditation pillow, my yoga mat, three candle jars, a devotional book, and a lighter into the empty room.
Morning came. After my son left for school, I lit the candles because I wanted to smell the scented candles while praying and meditating. Fifteen minutes later I re-entered the room to the heavenly scent of amber and musk. I smiled. The sun had not yet risen, so the darkness from outdoors maintained the nighttime feel, permitting the flame’s reflections to dance around the room.
My first experience using the empty room was superb! Once I closed my eyes, I could not see anything; therefore, the missing material items were insignificant. It did not matter that a fluffy area rug was missing. The absence of tropical plants had no bearing on my ability to focus. All that mattered was me, my comfort, my thoughts, my breathing, and God.
The same mindset that delayed me from fulfilling my goals, maybe preventing you in a similar way from accomplishing yours. Use the three steps below to get started:
- Assess your REAL needs. Let’s say your sneakers are run down and you want to do a couch to 5k run. Your current budget does not allow for new sneakers and you know that jogging on rundown footwear is not good. Brainstorm and ponder over what can you do in the meantime? Just walk instead. Walking is underrated and has many benefits. Walking can help to reduce blood pressure, increase circulation, lower cholesterol and more. WALK on your lunch break at work. WALK at the mall. WALK in your neighborhood (if it’s lit and safe). WALK up steps instead of using escalators. By the time you buy your new sneakers, your body will be conditioned to start running.
- Explore your GOALS. What are you trying to accomplish? Weight loss, eating healthy, career change, relocating, enrolling in college, or something else? Break your goals down into bite-size pieces. Tackle your list one item at a time and stay consistent. No matter how small the steps, you CAN take ACTION today. Do what you can today and you will move forward toward your goal. If your goal is to lose weight and cannot afford a personal trainer, go to YouTube, search exercises at home, and START at home TODAY. There are literally thousands of “how-to” videos online. Select one that resonates with you.
- Use your RESOURCES and NETWORK. What if you want to start a business and are waiting until you save “X” amount of money? WHY WAIT? Start now! Create a file and begin your research. Learn everything you can about the topic. Look for FREE workshops and mixers for entrepreneurs. Visit the U.S. Small Business Administration’s webpage for resources to plan, launch, manage, and grow your business.
Something is tugging at your heart to make a change, but you keep waiting. Why are you waiting? The longer you wait, the greater the chances that you will not act on your plan. What are you waiting for? I waited needlessly and so are you. Now is the perfect time to start. Quit making excuses and stop procrastinating. Start now. YOU’VE GOT THIS! I believe in YOU!
By the way, Happy New Year!