I’ve been big on keeping written journals for as long as I can remember. I love typing away on a keyboard, and “brain-dumping” into Evernote or Asana, but then there are those times when it’s nice to have a good old fashioned paper journals. You know, one of those no-fluff kinds that you keep around to write pertinent pieces of information that serve as little inspiration nuggets later that can  your very own”wisdom workbook.”

At the beginning of my session, my mind can be busy with ideas and thoughts and my tendency is the desire to capture them in my journal.  If thoughts arise, I work hard to let them go, because if they are really that important, I will  remember them at the right moment.

Actually trusting this is the first step, because total focus on the present moment is essential to making REAL progress on the mindfulness path.

When there’s a peak, there will be a valley. When I’m in the valley, I try to remember the peaks.

I’ve identified three key areas that get in the way of a solid mindfulness practice:

  1. Impatience: when I lose momentum in my mindfulness practice, it’s because I’m impatient. I’m like a kid who thinks they’ll miss something.
  2. Restlessness: I’m restless because I don’t know where to turn, or what to do next. I want to do it all, and perfectly…so I do nothing.
  3. Distraction: I’m distracted when I sit to meditate, so I cannot concentrate and nothing of any real value happens. Remove the enemy of lack of concentration! Read this post for steps to eliminate distracting thoughts, and help bring you back to the present moment.

These are the enemies of my practice.

If I had to pick my biggest enemy, it would be impatience. In my life, which seems like there’s never enough time, I’m always racing the clock to fit things in, so I tell myself “later,” but later does not happen. Or, maybe I should stop wanting so much!

Get in there early before the other stuff does.

First thing in the morning, start with at least a few minutes of sitting and calming your mind. Maybe we don’t always apply it because there’s that little part of us that doesn’t believe it because the benefits come gradually. They can be subtle, it’s hard to see the benefit. Ah…this is where patience has so much power!

How can we be sure that what we see with our own eyes is real and true?

I try to remember those “ah ha” moments when I’m amazed at how my practice worked a tiny miracle in my life because I was able to shift my mind and see a situation differently. I was able to “see” with new eyes. Those are the little realizations that help me trudge up those mountains when I’m deep in the valley.

Photo Credit: glenn