Articles

Tools (Not Rules): Has your meditation practice become a prison?

The pros and cons of 7 common meditation instructions.

Has your meditation practice become a prison? The pros and cons of 7 common meditation instructions

Meditation instructions are paradoxical. When we’re used to “getting sh*t done”, “smashing it out” – then being rewarded for it – the thought of “doing nothing” in meditation feels absolutely pointless.

So we take the instructions; the techniques, and we try to smash those out, too.

And because we’ve spent months (years!) “hustling” with the techniques, instead of being boss, we become their servant.

The tools become rules.

But it’s not the tools’ fault! For the techniques were merely designed to help us. We just need to step back, reframe the meditation instructions as suggestions rather than commandments, and get back to being curious about what happens to us in meditation.

Here are 7 common meditation instructions, how they help, when they hinder and how to tell when the tools have become rules.

  1. Sit Up Straight
  2. Follow the Breath
  3. Meditate for 20 Minutes, Twice a Day
  4. Don’t Move
  5. Choose an Anchor
  6. Close Your Eyes
  7. Be Grateful

Tool (Not Rule) #1: Sit Up Straight

Meditation Myth - Sit up straight
Tool:

Sitting with a free and straight back is the advised posture by many meditation traditions. It helps to promote alertness and focus and ward off sleepiness. With the back in a relaxed, upright position, the neck and head come into alignment which helps the breath flow easily. It’s also the physical representation of an intention to bring dignity and confidence into our practice. These are noble intentions!

The typical seated meditation position is the one in which I learned to meditate. I’ve had some amazingly still, centred, and comfortable meditations where I quite literally looked like a statue of the Buddha. This position is a wonderful tool and I recommend people give it a go, practice it enough to build up some “fitness” in sitting unsupported, and see what they notice.

Rule:

But sitting upright isn’t the only position in which to practice mindfulness. The Buddha himself taught the Four Postures.

You can meditate standing up, on a walk, laying down, or my new morning favourite: slumped back into the sofa.

For many years after mastering the meditation instruction “free and straight back”, I realised that it had become a rule.

I was limiting my practice only to the times where it was convenient to get on the floor, cross my legs and sit upright. This meant, when I was dog-tired, I didn’t meditate. When I was restless beyond belief, I didn’t meditate. When I was away travelling, I didn’t meditate.

Now that I’m not bound by this rule, I’ve finally become a morning meditator. I can get up while the rest of the house is still asleep (and I’m still sleepy), make my way to the loungeroom, snuggle back into my comfy couch with a blanket, and start my practice off from that position. No barrier. No rigidity. Just an inviting space luring me out of bed to watch the sun and hear the birds come up out of their slumber.

Tool (Not Rule) #2: Follow the Breath

Meditation Myth - follow the breath
Tool:

As far as meditation subjects go, the breath may be like the Swiss army knife of techniques. It has its own natural rhythm that when followed is conducive to calm. We can layer other meditation instructions like counting, phrases/affirmations and visualisations around it – which leads to experiences of concentration, stillness and clarity. We can use it deliberately in breathwork practices like box breathing or the 3 big sighs to affect our parasympathetic nervous system and relieve anxiety.

The breath teaches us about impermanence – every breath arises, is here and then is gone – just like our pleasures; just like our pain; just like our lives. It’s universal and accessible by us all and highlights over and over again what all living organisms on the planet having in common – we breathe.

The breath is like a beautiful, non-judgemental, trusted friend that sits with us in each and every moment.

Rule:

But what happens when we’re sick? What happens when focusing on the breath exacerbates our anxiety? What if we really just don’t gel with the breath? No problem! While the breath has a lot going for it, there are countless other experiences you could “follow” with your attention. Using any of the 6 sense doors – hearing, sight, taste, touch, smell, and the mind itself – your sensory experience is a smorgasbord of meditation subjects waiting to be explored.

Here are some suggestions for alternate meditation subjects to get you started:

  • Sounds – external sounds arising naturally in your environment (eg. birds, traffic, rain), meditative music, or meditation chimes (use Insight Timer’s free app and set interval bells for say every 2 minutes.) A mantra such as ah-hum works as an internal sound (and you’ve got control over it.)
  • Touch – the touch of your hands, the touch of your feet.
  • Sight – the flicker of a candle flame, or gazing downward at something non-descript like the carpet.
  • Smell – the aromas of your environment, especially if you’re in nature like in a forest or at the beach.
  • Taste – eat something slowly and deliberately like a raisin, a piece of dark chocolate, or sip on a cup of tea. Amaze at how differently eating is experienced like this!
  • Mind – thoughts themselves. Keep a journal nearby as it helps to note what thoughts you had, either at intervals during the meditation or to recall whatever you remember afterwards.

Tool (Not Rule) #3: Meditate for 20 Minutes, Twice a Day

Meditation myth - meditate for 20 minutes twice a day
Tool:

Having a predetermined duration and frequency for our meditation practice, especially when starting out, is excellent. It takes the decision making around when and how long to meditate out of the equation. Halleluja! One less thing to think about.

Meditating for 20 minutes once in the morning and once in the afternoon or evening is the common instruction of Vedic or Transcendental Meditation. Twenty minutes is relatively short and seems quite manageable. Yet, it’s long enough for the body and mind to sink beneath its activated state.

Repeating the practice twice a day helps build consistency (and therefore, more benefits). Many teachers agree that frequency and consistency in meditation are better than long but sporadic periods.

Rule:

Conversely, this meditation instruction just doesn’t work for all people. Twenty minutes may seem like a year, or it may feel far too short. And what if you miss a session, or you really can’t fit two sessions into your day?

Cue the guilt.

And guilt is not what we need in meditation.

What we need is for meditation to feel good so that we’ll be drawn to it out of excitement and authentic yearning, rather than shame. And sticking to a rule out of shame does not feel good.

So instead, try this on: experiment with times, days and durations and work out for yourself which one YOU LIKE. (Yes, you’re allowed to like it – you’re allowed to choose the thing that feels good rather than the one that feels bad out of obedience or wanting to “smash it”.)

You can start with 20 minutes, twice per day. But you can move on from there, too.

  • If getting up and enjoying a mindful cuppa before the house wakes up; listening to the birds and taking time for yourself is what you’re drawn to, then you’ve found your thing.
  • If sitting in your car for an extra 5 minutes before you head into work is all the time you can commit to right now, then you’ve found your thing.
  • If sitting up (or laying down) in bed before you go to sleep is the only time the kids won’t interrupt you, then you’ve found your thing.

Your thing won’t be your thing forever. It will change as you change. And that’s exactly how it’s meant to be.

Tool (Not Rule) #4: Don’t Move

Meditation myth - don't move. Sit still like a Buddha statue. Image by Anthony Fomin, Unsplash
Tool:

We live in a distracted world where we’re bombarded with messages, notifications, and sensory input most of the time. Our bodies respond by being activated and on alert and ready for action. So when we come to meditation and sit still for the first time in years, it feels completely foreign! We want to wriggle, we want to scratch, we feel compelled to check the clock every 60 seconds.

Training ourselves to not give in to each and every impulse that our overworked minds and bodies present us is an incredible skill. It builds resilience, patience, and what’s known as equanimity – a level-headedness or ability to go with the flow. To not get so triggered by unimportant things (lousy drivers, messy kids, bad umpires.)

Mindfully resisting the urge to scratch, move, and check the time in meditation (or get up completely and raid the pantry) – unless you’re in real pain or you’ve been sitting there for hours – is a way to cultivate these worthy qualities.

Rule:

But what if the rule here wasn’t “thou shall not move” in meditation – but “thou shall notice the desire to move and be kind to yourself if you do.” In this sense, you have the option to practice restraint or not – and it doesn’t matter because what’s important is the awareness of and the friendliness towards that which you have noticed.

As a beginner, I followed these rules. I set a timer and I fought with myself not to check the minutes going by. I got into my cross-legged position and straightened my spine and I fought with myself to remain that way for the duration of the sitting. I noticed itches that came out of nowhere and I fought with myself not to scratch them.

Meditation shouldn’t be a battle. Nowadays, I wriggle, I scratch, I check my phone. And my meditation practice has never been more enjoyable, more consistent, and more rewarding.

And it’s through the enjoyment of a regular, pleasurable meditation practice that I’m building resilience, non-reactivity and equanimity off the cushion.

Tool (Not Rule) #5: Choose an Anchor

Meditation Myth - use the breath as your anchor. Image by Ksenia Makagonova, Unsplash
Tool:

A common meditation instruction is when you’ve noticed you’re lost in thoughts, return to the breath. (Or your mantra, or whatever you decided to meditate on at the start.)

Having a pre-determined meditation “anchor” like the breath is a way to keep meditation, particularly for beginners, simple. There’s nothing fancy or complicated. Just a simple request to find the breath (or other object) whenever you’ve awoken from a juicy train of thought.

Using your anchor to return over and over and over again to this one aspect of experience.

Like the suggestion not to move, the suggestion to keep returning helps to build focus, patience, and stillness. And certainly, in those early days of trying mindfulness on for size, like learning a musical instrument for the first time, it’s nice to practise just one note.

Rule:

But as simple as the instruction is, returning over and over to your object of meditation at the first hint of a “distraction” can feel constricting, even suffocating. We can feel like a failure from the get-go.

What would happen if instead, you decided to do the opposite of this instruction? To let go into “doing nothing” whereby every single experience is a part of the meditation – including allowing the mind to drift in and out of “being present” (even, go crazy if it wants to!) – until it’s had enough and settles on its own.

Do you think it’s possible?

Former Buddhist monk Jason Siff writes about his approach “Recollective Awareness” in his book Unlearning Meditation. Where, rather than attempting to be perfectly mindful during your meditation, you journal what you recall of the meditation afterwards and use that practice as the means to better understand your mind and yourself.

Novel, huh? Give it a go, see what happens.

Tool (Not Rule) #6: Close Your Eyes

Meditation Myth - you must close your eyes
Tool:

As a beginner, I recall feeling completely self-conscious sitting down on my meditation cushion for the first time. I had to close my eyes. I was like a small child covering their eyes and thinking they’d turned invisible. No one can see me!

I’m unsure how common that experience is with new meditators, but personal quirks aside, closing your eyes in mediation helps you to turn inward, to draw the blinds on outside stimuli and bring the other senses into the fore.

And how many Buddha statues have you seen with his eyes open? (Come to think of it, I wonder if anyone knows what colour Buddha’s eyes even were?)

Rule:

But as I’ve discovered more recently, if you’ve made closing your eyes a rule in meditation, then you’re missing out!

Eyes-open meditation is incredible and can be just as powerful and deep as having your eyes closed. (I’ve had some intensely beautiful meditations whilst driving, and thankfully, I had my eyes open at the time.)

Using the sense of sight opens up your practice to a rich world of colours, shapes and vistas. It has led me quite naturally into feelings of gratitude for the things that lay before me.

There’s a feeling of awe and (quite literally) wide-eyed wonder at being present with eyes open.

Practising meditation with your eyes open also creates more opportunities outside of formal meditation to get in those meditative moments. Queuing at the supermarket, going for a walk in nature, or cooking the family dinner can all be turned into vibrant mindfulness meditations on the go.

Tool (Not Rule) #7: Be Grateful

Meditation Myth - Be Grateful. Image by Ava Sol, Unsplash
Tool:

Cultivating gratitude is a wonderful tool that helps us see the bigger picture. Helps us zoom out on the problems of me, myself and I, and reminds us how many amazing things we have.

Gratitude feels good. It produces serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin chemicals in the brain, flooding the body with mood-lifting feelings similar to “runner’s high.”

And thankfully, we don’t have to go searching far to find things to be, erm, thankful for.

When we’re strugging to find gratitude, we can look for it in the imagined lack of the very things right in front of us. I always find something there. In the very least, that I am alive to write these words, is a freakin’ miracle.

Rule:

However. You’ll know when being grateful has become a rule when you notice ungrateful thoughts, angry thoughts, hateful thoughts, jealous thoughts, sad thoughts – and you push them down, swat them away and tell yourself – I shouldn’t be having these thoughts.

I should be grateful. I should be grateful, because that’s what being spiritual is about, and I want to be spiritual so that I can be less human.

Being grateful does not mean denying our suffering. We can be compassionate towards ourselves by honouring the truth of what we’re feeling without trying to find a silver lining, a lesson or an “at least”, particularly when we’re right in the thick of a challenging time. These positives may come later but in the moment, we can let things be as they are.

There are plenty of ways to be authentically grateful without repressing or transforming our suffering.

So, if you’re inclined to turn meditation instructions into rules, I’ll leave you with two.

1. Replace ‘should’ with ‘can’.

You’ll know when the tools have become rules when you tell yourself you ‘should’ be doing this and you ‘should’ be doing that.

If you do become aware of internal finger wagging – try replacing ‘should’ with ‘can’.

  • I can sit up a little straighter – if I’m feeling a bit sluggish
  • I can do some rounds of breath counting – if I’m feeling I need structure
  • I can cultivate gratitude – because I’m needing some perspective right now

2. Be gentle with yourself.

There’s enough material in the world for our inner bully to feed on and make us feel bad about ourselves – like news, social media and advertising. Let’s not make our meditation practice one of them.

Meditation is a time to come home to yourself with open arms in whatever state you’ve arrived. Treat yourself with compassion and ease and watch your meditation practice thrive.

Articles

Why are we all so obsessed with thoughts in meditation?

And what actually goes on up there when you meditate?

mental noting meditation, what happens when you meditate?

Here’s something I’ve been pondering lately.

Why are we all so obsessed with thoughts in meditation? 🤔

I’m going to put it out there that the topic of thoughts comes up in 100% of post-meditation conversations. It’s the metric against which we all seem to define whether a single meditation was successful – or if in fact, we were meditating at all.

A mind that settles quickly = good meditation
An alert focused mind = good meditation

A scattered jumpy mind = bad meditation
Memories from the day = bad meditation
A sleepy, fatigued mind = bad meditation
Long trains of thought = bad meditation
Uncomfortable emotions = bad meditation
Restless or painful body = bad meditation

Why have we limited our measure of meditative success so narrowly that there are only two conditions in which we’ll deem our practice to have passed?

I can think of four reasons:

  1. We were promised a calm mind and so that’s what we expect, always
  2. We were taught that to meditate means to concentrate
  3. We assume effort = reward
  4. We want a “proven system” that will get us from A to B with optimal efficiency

1. We were promised a calm mind

This is so tricky. Why do we start meditating in the first place? Is it because we want to free all sentient beings from suffering? Ha! Not likely!

While there are countless benefits of meditation, the one that most people come for is Calm. I mean, there’s even an award-winning app named after it.

We want a better way to handle our stress, anxiety, overthinking and overwhelm – and we assume the way to achieve Calm is to have no thoughts.

What if we were to flip this expectation on its head?

What if we understood that to achieve Calm is to Surrender.

Surrender to thoughts, feelings, our body – everything.

That every single thing that happens in the meditation is what’s supposed to happen in the meditation.

MINDFULNESS OF THOUGHT

In Buddhist teachings, there are four foundations of mindfulness.

  1. Body + Breath
  2. Emotions
  3. States of Mind
  4. Thoughts

This very list is telling of all the things that are supposed to happen in meditation. We are supposed to FEEL. We are supposed to THINK. We are supposed to have different STATES OF MIND.

But we rarely seem to make it past first base. We stay stuck there trying to master body and breath, and in the process, pit the other three foundations against us.

Mindfulness of THOUGHT means that you are aware THAT you were thinking and WHAT you were thinking about.

So by this definition, mindfulness of thought assumes you will THINK in meditation – otherwise, would it not be called “mindfulness of blank mind”?

Here’s a mindfulness experiment I tried recently.

With my Wednesday meditation group, we did a version of the “labelling” or “mental noting” technique – where you call out, name, or give a label to thoughts, emotions or experiences. But instead of doing this silently to ourselves, we used a notebook to record our “notes” as the meditation unfolded.⁠

For me, this practice was:

A) Surprisingly very grounding in the present moment; and
B) Completely illuminating!⁠

Here’s a list of about 5-10 minutes worth of “notes” from my own meditation:⁠

  • Breath⁠
  • Cold knee⁠
  • Heart rate fast
  • Shower upstairs⁠
  • Lights⁠
  • Breath⁠
  • Foot asleep⁠
  • Foot sore⁠
  • Breath⁠
  • Breath⁠
  • Sore foot⁠
  • Sore knee⁠
  • Eye pressure⁠
  • Nose energy⁠
  • Cold leg⁠
  • Kids arguing⁠
  • Shifting⁠
  • Creaky stairs⁠
  • Breath⁠
  • Foot sore⁠
  • Why don’t I move?⁠
  • Breath⁠
  • Biting cheeks⁠
  • Kids noisy⁠
  • Matchbox on the bed⁠
  • Kookaburra⁠
  • Nails⁠
  • Tory⁠

Look at all the things that went on!

How did I feel during this practice?⁠

Peaceful. Contented. Relaxed. ⁠

Countless thoughts – yet blissful at the same time.

And how did others report feeling?⁠

Grounded. Present.⁠

So really, it’s not thoughts that are the enemy in meditation. But perhaps our expectation that there should be none.

2. We were taught to meditate means to concentrate

Another benefit of mindfulness practice is that we build the capacity to single-task; to be with one thing fully – i.e. our concentration increases.

But just because concentration is a benefit, doesn’t mean it has to be the method by which you get there. Does it?

If by Surrendering to ALL experiences in meditation the dust from your mind’s “snow globe” settles, then you will have experienced Calm; and through Calm, natural concentration has the opportunity to arise – without the need to “concentrate” on anything.

Sure, there are “single-pointed concentration” practices where you choose something to focus on (eg. the breath) and whenever you’ve noticed your mind has wandered away from this one aspect of your experience, you “bring it back.” Over and over again.

It sounds simple. It sounds perfectly legitimate. (Like doing reps at the gym, right?) But when the “bringing back” is clocked up as a “failure to be present” it doesn’t make for a very enjoyable or long-term practice. Furthermore, in the failure to master the single-pointedness of the practice, we neglect to move onto the other three foundations. We get stuck.

So, the question is there to be asked: Is this the only way to develop concentration?

In marketing terms, this would be coined a “push strategy.” You are “pushing” concentration onto yourself through technique and willpower.

What if the opposite – a “pull strategy” – were also true? Could concentration find you through the acts of letting in, letting be and letting go – of everything, and anything?

⁠3. We assume effort equals reward

If to meditate means to concentrate then that must also mean more effort equals more reward, right?

Wrong.

Well, kind of.

Effort in meditation is more likely to result in self-punishment. The kind of efforts we normally make out in the world are counterproductive to achieving the elusive Calm.

But there are right kind of “efforts” to make.

In meditation, what we’re putting “effort” into is non-striving. Allowing things to BE just as they are. To take a back seat, and practise being a passenger (and not a back-seat driver.)

i.e. Surrender

The other kind of effort you can make is building consistency into your practice. Consistently showing up to practise non-striving, being a passenger, allowing things to BE instead of BE FIXED and being friendly towards ourselves.

It’s here that top marks are awarded. (But be careful – striving to achieve non-striving is just another form of striving.)

4. We want a proven system that will guarantee results

And finally, like everything else in life, we want meditation to be efficient, effective and repeatable by a known formula that guarantees Calm FAST.

We’d rather not sit with our body’s aches and pains or hear just how loud, insistent and disparaging our thoughts really are. We want to skip the distance between A and B and teleport to Calm by magic.

As far as I’m aware, teleporting hasn’t been invented yet, so there’s a period of adjustment that one needs to go through.

If your starting point in mediation has been 10 hours in the office, shovelling lunch down at your desk and only coming up for air in the evening – expect to auto-correct!

Of course there’s going to be thoughts. Of course your body is going to make its tension known. Of course you’ll feel fatigue.

So is there any point in doing it?

100% yes!

The measure of success for a meditation practice isn’t what’s felt, heard or noticed during the meditation; it’s how it shows up as improvements in the rest of your life.

  • Sleep
  • Illness
  • Relationships
  • Mental Health
  • Career
  • Finance
  • Healing
  • Productivity
  • Growth
  • Resilience
  • Eating

Have you noticed meditation has rubbed off on any of these aspects of your life?

If so, which ones?

A final word

So the next time you wrap up a mindfulness meditation session, notice what judgements are present. If you catch yourself rating it on how much thinking went on, see if you can ask yourself a different question: What did I notice?

And from that perspective, all meditations will be deemed a “good meditation”.

Articles

Every change worth making in your life starts and continues with mindfulness

What will you discover when you start a mindfulness practice?

What will you discover through mindfulness, The Modern Meditator

The short answer is: sh*tloads.

When I first started meditating I was there for just one thing: cure my anxiety.

What I ended up with was so much more.

  • I discovered that mindfulness doesn’t “cure” anxiety. But my practice led me to understand anxiety better, to learn what it actually is and what it’s for. So now, I feel kinda cured.
  • I discovered how amazing gratitude makes you feel. And so started being more grateful.
  • I discovered that giving a sh*t about others (even animals) makes YOU feel great. So I stopped eating animals and started teaching meditation. And I feel great.
  • I discovered that meditating feels better than getting drunk and there’s never a hangover – so I don’t drink that much these days.
  • I discovered I can change the internal narrative that tells me I suck at a lot of things. This one’s hard. But I know it can be done.
  • I discovered how bad my body feels when I’ve eaten too much crap or just too much in general. So I don’t eat as much crap anymore.

I’m sure there are many more things I could add to this list!

But enough about me. How about you?

How mindfulness works to create change

Mindfulness looks like a sedentary practice. Just sittin’ there blissing-out self-indulgently. But we all know you can’t judge a book by its cover.

Sometimes mindfulness does feel like bliss. Waves of peace and contentment lapping over your entire body; a delicious, warm feeling in the chest; a smile that appears on your face out of nowhere.

Those are the moments that signal, I’m on the right track, keep going!

But the benefits of mindfulness and meditation are much farther reaching than a few moments of bliss.

Mindfulness is the start and continuation of every change worth making in your life.

Hold up. Whaa? Ploise explain.

Mindfulness is awareness. Being aware of what’s happening; seeing things clearly. It’s pretty difficult to change something you’re not aware of.

When you sit down to meditate, lots of things that were there all along are revealed. You’ve opened the blinds to let in the light and oh, wow, is that what’s been calling for my attention but I’ve been too busy to see?

A meditation practice also gives you the space for your intuition to come forward. To understand it and strengthen it so you can start to trust your own internal wisdom and make better decisions.

So many of my own questions and problems have been solved “on the cushion”, outa the blue, when I wasn’t thinking so hard.

Examples of changes that are born out of mindfulness

HEALTH & FITNESS
  • Wow. I didn’t realise how tired I was. I need more sleep. I’m going to take more breaks.
  • Huh. There’s a pain in my back that I haven’t noticed before. It feels off. I better get it checked out.
  • My shoulders and neck are so tight and tense! OK. I’m going to actually do the stretching program that the osteo gave me.
  • I’m feeling lethargic and gross. It’s time to stop getting Uber Eats and start eating more fruits and veggies.
  • I’m feeling flat and my mouth is really dry. I’m getting a drink of water.
  • My clothes are getting tight. Going to start running again.
MENTAL HEALTH & WELLBEING
  • I’m worried. Come to think of it, I worry a lot. I’m definitely going to keep meditating. And I’ve heard cognitive behavioural therapy can help so I’m going to ask my GP for a referral.
  • I’m completely overwhelmed. It’s all too much. I really need to work on setting boundaries and learning how to say no. I’m going to get help with that.
  • Gawd. I can’t even sit here for 2 minutes without wanting to do something. I’m so scattered and distracted! I’m going to ramp up my meditation practice. And do a digital detox.
  • I really don’t speak to myself kindly. My inner critic is an a-hole! I’m going to start journaling all the things I like about myself. And start a gratitude practice, too.
RELATIONSHIPS
  • I can’t stand the new woman at work. She’s such a control freak! But I don’t want to leave and I can’t make her change so what good qualities in her can I focus on?
  • I haven’t had a decent conversation with my wife in weeks. We’re both so busy and distracted! I’m planning a date night.
  • Dad is chronically depressed. He’s never going to change. Stop trying to fix it.
  • I’m lonely. I want a partner to share my life with. I’m going to start getting out there!
CAREER
  • I’m done with my business. I’ve lost passion for it. It’s time to wrap it up and do something new.
  • I hate asking my brother for money all the time. I can’t stand living from paycheque to paycheque. I’m going to finally get help with my finances.
  • I’ve got so much more to offer at work. But I don’t know how to go about it. I’m going to get a mentor.
  • I like my job… but I don’t love it. I’m going to start a side hustle where I can have full creative control! And I’m enrolling into that course I’ve always wanted to do.
  • I hate public speaking! But I can’t keep running from it my whole life. Time to face the fear.

The slow-burn of change

In Jimi Hunt’s book Inside Out, he offers some wisdom that I totally agree with. Changing your life is a slow-burn. There are lots of aspects of life and everything can always be improved. So, don’t beat yourself up if all the things you’ve become aware of are not instantly transformed. It’s OK to focus on one thing at a time. Remind your inner critic of that. (For what have they ever achieved, anyway?)

Understand that your change, your growth will not happen in one giant fell swoop… it will only happen from the aggregation of marginal gains, 1% at a time.

– Jimi Hunt –

Now, go forth on your journey of mindful discovery. I’d love to hear about all things you find and change along the way!