I do love to extol the virtues of meditation, especially when performed on a daily basis. I am never more in love with the world than when I have been sitting regularly for a good 20 minutes and really committing to it.
As usual, I started the semester a bit stronger than where I’m currently at 1.5 weeks after Spring Break. My daily bike riding has become weekly. My eating habits slipped, with those pesky dirty chais creeping in occasionally, then weekly, then thrice a week, and my face puffed a bit. Now here I am in April needing to commit to the 16:8 eating pattern to get that back under control again. Sometimes trying to maintain healthy habits in grad school feels like trying to hang onto Jello. The ambient stress of different, sometimes conflicting obligations hangs around like a light fog, subtly clinging and obstructing one’s greater vision.
Yet through that I have hung on to meditation. Even if it is for a shorter duration, even if I have fallen asleep during it, even if I’m so antsy at the end that I get up and brush my teeth as the guided session plus its last few minutes, I have been there.
And I have learned a great truth from this: that maddening irregularity, hated inconsistency–that’s it! That is life itself. To berate oneself for having a distracted day is about as useful as berating a dog for loving food. It is perfectly natural, expected, and is a sign of growth and curiosity, not necessarily lack of discipline or similar.
Of course now my task is to cultivate compassion towards my own unpredictability and failures–and that will be a journey indeed.