The Secret To Overcoming Procrastination

In Mindfulness by coltonswabbLeave a Comment

When beginning a meditation practice, there is an unexpected barrier many face that keeps them from receiving the abundant benefits of meditation.

Of course, that barrier is procrastination.

Overcoming the resistance, you sometimes feel about actually sitting down to do the meditation, among other things.

In my own personal experience, I notice that the longer I go without meditation, the greater this resistance becomes. It’s like a void appears – a magnetic repulsion that develops and pushes you away from even the thought of meditation.

It’s an illusion that takes place, which makes it seem harder the longer you wait to sit down and meditate. When in reality, it’s still as easy now as it has always been.

And the opposite is true, too. That when you meditate more often, it gets easier and easier to meditate. You’ll sit down and still taste the last meditation in your mouth when you begin anew.

This positive momentum builds quick, and develops into a habit, which evolves into a lifestyle. Unfortunately, the same is true that if you avoid meditating too long it can develop a negative momentum, or a downward spiral, until the practice eventually falls out of your life.

I like to think that this void which develops is a tangible sensation – something you can feel and perceive. You know when it is there, and when it is gone. Like a mass of emotion, a hurdle of guilt, that can be surmounted to reach that place of positive momentum.

The interesting thing is, the secret to overcoming this hurdle of guilt does not actually include jumping over the hurdle at all.

It requires acknowledging that the hurdle exists, and accepting the fact that you’ve been procrastinating…

But the very last thing you must do, which is the secret to overcoming procrastination in all areas of your life, not just meditation, is the most crucial step…

And that final step is to forgive.

Self-forgiveness, for having procrastinated.

You must acknowledge the void, the hurdle…

Accepting the fact that you feel guilt, regret and resistance from not having taken action…

And forgive yourself for waiting to finally take action.

Studies have shown that the act of forgiveness reduces the ‘negative effect’ which I describe as the void and hurdle, which makes it easier to overcome, and reduces the occurrence of procrastination in the future for the given task.

This is possible, because instead of actually surmounting the hurdle that is procrastination, forgiveness allows you to forge a new path in a positive direction. So, you can leave behind the path of negative momentum, and take a side step towards your desired goal.

Effectively, forgiveness feeds the positive momentum that pushes you towards our goals, which starves the resistance that keeps you from taking action, until it completely fades away.

This reduces the feeling of being repelled that grows larger the longer you procrastinate on a given task, making it easier to finally sit down and do the thing you’ve avoided for so long.

Forgiveness is the remedy to the emotional disease of guilt and regret that has grown infected over time.

So, if you feel any resistance to sitting down and meditating, it is because you have not yet forgiven yourself for waiting this long to treat yourself well with meditation.

To help you with this, I am offering you an exercise in self-forgiveness.

Follow along mentally, and emotionally, as you read these next few lines and really feel the truth in these words. Believe them, and believe in yourself.

First, acknowledge any resistance that you feel towards meditating.

If it exists, it’s okay. It’s neither bad, nor good.

Accept that the resistance you feel is composed of guilt and regret for having procrastinated. And no matter how large it is, know that it can disappear just as easily as it appeared.

Realize that as large as the resistance has grown, it is only proof of how much you can be drawn to meditation, as you begin to grow in a more positive direction.

And know that as this positive momentum develops, it will become easier and easier to meditate, until the meditation never truly ends.

Take this time now to forgive yourself for procrastinating, and mean it.

Treat yourself as kind as you would treat a friend. Would you abuse your best friend if they’ve been procrastinating to do something they know is good for them?

No. You would support them, even encourage and join them in the act of forgiveness that would help them feel better.

So, treat yourself like you would treat a friend.

Forgive yourself.

Feel the void disappear.

And know that you are ready to move on…

For the journey of meditation both short and long. 

If you are interested in learning how to meditate, then I urge you to check out my book, ‘5-Minute Meditation’ by clicking on the tab ‘Book’ in the menu on this page.

So, you can begin your meditation practice to cultivate this self-forgiveness and overcoming procrastination in your life today. 

Source cited: Bennett, S., Pychyl, T.A., & Wohl, M. (2009). The role of self-forgiveness for procrastinating in the prediction of future procrastination. Manuscript under review.

Meditation Is A Self-Destructive Process

In Mindfulness by coltonswabbLeave a Comment

“If it can be destroyed by the truth, it deserves to be destroyed by the truth.” Carl Sagan

When I surveyed over 10,000 people about meditation, I discovered that most people believe they failed at meditation when they tried it, because they couldn’t ‘turn off their mind for that long’…

I find this really fascinating because it shows me that many people are operating under the misconception that somewhere, deep inside the mind, is a ‘still place’ that you have to search and find.

And if you cannot find this still place, then you have failed at meditation.

The funny thing is, though, that the moment you begin to search for this still place, you have already failed.

That’s because in order to find it, you must do nothing at all.

Stillness is your natural state.

Life is the disturbance.

This is a huge shift you have to make in order to understand the truth about meditation, which is that…

Meditation is fundamentally a self-destructive process.

By self-destructive I mean identity dissolving.

You see, the things that make you, you…

Like how old you are, your height, weight, hobbies, loves, hates, thoughts and feelings…

Are merely the things that keep your mind busy as it references them to the experiences of your day-to-day. These things exist to help you form your beliefs about who you are, what the world is, and how you fit into it.

But all of this is merely static.

If you really want to find the still place within your mind, you must approach your meditation as a machete cutting away at all that is separating you from your natural, still state.

Except, to get to this stillness within, you aren’t actually going to cut anything.

You don’t need to try to turn your mind off, that’s purely counterproductive. Like trying to think about not thinking – it just doesn’t work.

Instead, you have to approach every thought and barrier between you and the stillness within, with the secret weapon of the meditator: non-reactivity.

Each doubt you face along the way…

“I can’t turn my mind off.”

“I don’t know what I’m doing. This is a waste of time.”

Must be cut away.

Every thought, positive and negative, must be let go.

And when you finally choose to let them go, you will easily and effortlessly fall into that still place within. Simple as that. If you have any doubts, just approach them with the fierce grace of non-reactivity, and they will slowly slip away.

By practicing this method of meditative self-destruction, you will be able see clearly as the observer within, peeling back your thoughts and the beliefs that form them, like an onion, discovering the stillness within.

Which is the sought after, that requires no seeking.

The paradox of finding, by doing nothing at all.

The treasure, beyond thought.

However, if you find this type of thinking (or non-thinking) to be a struggle, then I recommend taking up a mindfulness practice. It is a beautiful way to develop this fierce grace in your life, and you can learn it easily in my book, “5-Minute Meditation.”

An easy way to get started is by signing up for my inner-circle today, by using the form in the side-bar of this page you can get the first chapter free.

So, you can begin this process of radical self-destruction and find your still place today.

How To Heal Relationships With The Power Of Perspective

In Mindfulness by coltonswabbLeave a Comment

[intense_blockquote]“Perspectives are to the mind as jewels are to a crown.” – Sean Wylie [/intense_blockquote]

One of the greatest abilities that meditation gives us, is the ability to alter our perspective.

That is, the ability to go within ourselves, and come out, seeing that the world around use has changed, without us having to move at all.

Another way to explain this, is that when you change the way you perceive things, the things themselves change. Or rather, your perception of them changes.

This is because our entire human lives are a matter of perspective.

To show you what I mean, and how you can use this inner-power to heal the relationships in your life, I want you to think about the last time you got into an argument or fight with someone…

Maybe it was your husband, or wife, girlfriend, mother, father, sister, brother – whoever.

Try to remember the context of the fight. Who was ‘right’ and who was ‘wrong’? Who did what and who reacted poorly to it?

There are a lot of ways fights can go down, and of course it’s all subjective.

Regardless of what exactly happened, someone did something that upset the other person, or vice versa.

For example, let’s say someone else did something that upset you.

To the other person their actions were totally justified. It was logical to them, and they don’t feel bad for acting that way (until you make them).

And your reaction to what they did, was also totally justified.

Each person believes they are in the ‘right’ and that the other person is in the ‘wrong’. This is the essence of all fights.

Of course, there’s no proving who truly won or lost the fight. And if you ask me, both parties are the losers here.

Simply by having the fight you’ve hurt the other person and your relationship with them. In no light is this ever a good thing. Not to mention all the wasted effort and energy you put into the fight.

Now, when you think about what came after the fight how many days, or weeks, did it take for your relationship to heal? If it ever did?

Last question… was it even worth it?

The consequences of the fight are rarely worth it, if ever.

In hindsight, these questions can be easy to answer. If only we had this clarity well within the fight, perhaps we could avoid the consequences altogether.

This is why this ability, gained by meditation, to alter our perspective and perception has such tremendous power. If you took the time to meditate before indulging in this fight, you could have avoided it all together.

You see, in these sort of arguments, or fights, you cannot control the other person. You never could, never can, and never will be able to.

Even if you try to control them, you are only setting yourself up for another fight down the line, because no one likes to be tied up.

But there is something you can control: your reaction.

No matter who does what, and who hurts who, you will always have control over your reaction. Which means, you will always have the power to starve a fight from within, knowing it won’t be worth it in the end. 

This opens the way to healing. 

Whatever took place was outside of your control and is now in the past. And oftentimes what happened is not nearly as bad as what happens during the fight that follows.

If you take the time to meditate, if only for 5-Minutes, you can alter the way you perceive the fight and stop the altercation before it even begins.

Or at least, you can make an honest effort to communicate the way you see things now, in the hope this helps the situation. Often this shows the other person that you care, and are willing to adapt your perspective, or step down for the sake of the relationship, which is a true sign of strength anyone can recognize. 

An exercise you can try anytime you find yourself upset over a situation with another, is to force yourself to think about the situation from a new perspective.

Think, “How will this situation affect me 5 years down the line.” If you find yourself answering, “It won’t.” Then chances are it isn’t worth the energy you are putting into it now.

And if you find that it will affect you 5 years, then you will realize that now is the time to give the other party forgiveness, or your apologies if you find yourself at fault.

This quick 5 years exercise is any easy way to rapidly shift your perspective by thinking linearly, that makes things obvious in contrast. Give it a quick try and you will see just how powerful this thought exercise is. 

If you are interested in learning how to meditate, so that you can practice shifting your perspective and heal your relationships with others (or avoid fights altogether)…

Then, I recommend checking out my book, ‘5-Minute Meditation’ in the menu of this page under the tab ‘Book.’

The Thoughts You Feed, Grow

In Mindfulness by coltonswabbLeave a Comment

“Your mind is a garden, your thoughts are the seeds, you can grow flowers or you can grow weeds, make your decision wisely.” -Ritu Ghatourey

Meditation is your time to feed what you love with intention, and watch it grow. 

Like Ritu said, think of your mind as a garden. Each thought you have is the seed of what is to come.

Even the Buddha said, “What you think, you become.”

I’m no Buddhist, but to me that truth is self-evident.

Every action you’ve ever made in your life was preceded by a thought. Every regret and moment of triumph was originally a thought.

Thoughts as small as ‘Is this possible?’ or ‘I hope one day…’ have the potential to grow into mighty and formidable actions.

Although, no matter how pure a thought is, it does not grow on its own.

You have to water your thoughts with your attention. Give your positive thoughts attention in the forms of appreciation and gratitude, and they will grow abundantly.

On the other hand, if you constantly feed your negative thoughts your attention, they will grow into an ugly mess of tangled vines that may take some time to straighten out. If you find yourself in need of some pruning, then consider your meditation as your time to take care of these ugly vines, not by taking hedge trimmers to them, but instead by starving them.

You see, you do not wage war with your negative thoughts, because that only makes them grow more ferocious.  Fire feeds fire. And if you fight the battle, you lose – no matter what.

So, don’t fight your negative thoughts.

Instead, starve them, by feeding all of your attention to your positive thoughts.

Use your daily meditation as a chance to feed every supportive and empowering thought of yours, and watch them grow more tall and mighty each day.

Watch them graduate from thoughts into actions.

This is the natural way of things. And you’d do right by trying to mimic the natural order of things in your own life.

Don’t fight the flow, instead use this universal law to do some good for yourself.

And remember, you can’t count on the soil of reality to grow blessings.

If you want blessings, plant them. 

If you are interested in learning how to meditate, so that you can plant your own blessings and watch the positive things in your life grow…

Then, I recommend checking out my book, ‘5-Minute Meditation’ for a simple, easy to learn meditation technique you can apply to your life the same day you learn it.

If you’re interested, you can find the book on amazong by going to the tab ‘book’ on the menu of this page.