During my times of struggle, which are more often than I would like to admit, my coach and/ or therapist will ask me one or more of the following questions -“have you been journaling? Exercising? Meditating?”
Often I would reply, not as consistently as I have previously. I used to get frustrated with that question. Why did that matter? Can’t they just help me figure out why I’m feeling this way? NOW I realize – without those basics, I can’t connect with myself. And if I can’t connect with myself, I can’t connect with others, and I can’t be impactful in the world. I’ll lose sight of what’s really important.
I have stumbled off the path so, so many times, enough to now recognize when I’m out of a rhythm of doing those essential activities. I was forced out of a rhythm a few months ago because of a temporary health issue.
Now that I am regaining “normalcy,” I’m working towards establishing the rhythm again. I realize now that it’s not about doing these activities perfectly, every day, but setting the intention, doing the best I can, and having compassion for myself when I am not as consistent as I would like. I’m able to recognize my self-critical voice more easily and non-judgmentally note, “that’s an unhelpful thought.” As a physician I know our brains are wired to keep us safe, and this inner critic is really just doing its job!
The other key for me is recognizing that one minute of meditation every day is better than one hour per week. I have a tendency to think, “If I can’t do 15 minutes, I won’t do any.” As a perfectionist, it’s been difficult for me to be satisfied with “good enough.” I know I’ll never be perfect in all areas of my life.
As a perfectionist, it’s been difficult for me to be satisfied with “good enough.” I know I’ll never be perfect in all areas of my life. Click To Tweet
Experience has taught me that, yes, one minute of meditation every day is incredibly helpful. We all do the best we can with what we have. We snag the moments and minutes here and there, and it adds up. We strengthen the muscle that helps us to align more fully with ourselves, moment by moment.
Along the same lines, I’m learning that 5 minutes of exercise every day is better than an hour per week.
I'm learning that 5 minutes of exercise every day is better than an hour per week. Click To Tweet
I’m a distance runner and I used to tell myself, “If I can’t run at least 4 miles, I’d rather not run at all.” Now that I’m returning to an exercise routine, I relish the 20-25 minute run/ walks I can take in the morning or evening. The beauty is in the process, not the outcome.
I have to remind myself of these lessons almost every day – but they have been instrumental to my personal development journey!
Off to meditate before my next meeting….