Support crystalwind.ca with your donation and help spread spirituality and positivity. Blessings!

This article was posted by CrystalWind.ca

A+ A A-

How to Establish a Daily Practice Of Almost Anything, in Six Steps

cushman featured 1

Whether it’s meditation, yoga, or your favorite creative activity, you’ll get so much more from doing it every day. Follow these six steps, says Anne Cushman, to enjoy all the benefits of daily practice.

Going to a retreat or program is a wonderful way to deepen our meditation practice. But how do we stay connected with these waking-up practices when we go home to the myriad projects, emails, responsibilities, and distractions waiting for us?

This is a question that applies not just to meditation, yoga, and other spiritual practices, but to any creative art we want to commit to, such as painting, writing, or playing an instrument. Paradoxically, the practices we know are most vital to our wellbeing are the very things that are usually pushed aside by daily tasks that feel more urgent.

You may start each day intending to spend half an hour on your zafu, practice walking meditation in the park, or write three haikus capturing the essence of your insights. But you’re out of yogurt and broccoli, there are 237 unread emails in your inbox, your taxes were due last week, and your child has knocked out a tooth skateboarding or needs you to buy Japanese print fabric for a history project. So you put off meditating or working on your memoir for one more day. And then one more. And then one more.

Lately I’ve been offering students a six-step plan that I’ve found effective for establishing and maintaining a home practice of almost anything—even in the middle of a crazily busy life. I’ve used these principles to maintain a yoga and meditation practice for almost 30 years—and also to pursue various long-term artistic projects, such as writing a novel.

Here are six steps you can follow to establish a daily practice of almost anything:

1. Set Your Intention

Get very clear about what you want to commit to—and even more important, why.

Why is it important to you that you sustain a meditation practice—or do tai chi, or paint wildflowers? What part of you does it nourish? Write down your reasons. The more specific you are, the more likely you will be to do it. It’s not just “I want to meditate more.” It’s “I commit to meditating for ten minutes before I wake up the kids for school because it keeps me calm, grounded, and more present for my family.” To make your intention even stronger, share it with someone close to you. However, be careful about talking about it too widely—that can dissipate the energy.

2. Establish a Cue

This is what reminds you to start your practice. The most simple and reliable cue is a specific time. For instance, you decide you will meditate every evening from 9 to 9:30 p.m.

It can also be a floating cue: you will do half an hour of yoga right after you finish work, whenever that happens to be. Or you will take ten mindful breaths whenever you are about to launch your email program. To ensure that your good intentions don’t get overrun by other plans, carve out the time in advance. Write it into your calendar and don’t schedule anything else during that period. Be sure to build in time for any preparations or cleanup that are necessary.

cushman featured 2

Remember, start modestly. Meditating for ten minutes every day for a year is more beneficial than meditating an hour a day for three days, then burning out. Again, it can help to let the people close to you know what you are doing, especially if you live together. That way they can support you in your commitment.

3. Round Up Your Supplies

Make sure you have everything you need for your practice in a place where you can find it easily. That way you don’t have to waste your precious time hunting them down. Maintain a meditation nook with an inviting cushion, a small altar, and a supply of incense and matches. If you want to write down your dreams every morning, place a notebook and pen on your bedside table.

cushman featured 3

4. Do Your Practice

So you don’t spend your dedicated practice time spacing out or trying to figure out where to get started, it helps to have a plan in place, especially at first. Know what meditation method you intend to practice—for example, breath meditation or loving-kindness practice—and stick with one method for at least a week before switching. (If you’re planning on using a guided meditation, download or bookmark the instructions in advance, so you don’t eat up your meditation time surfing the web.)

If you’re doing yoga, outline a standard routine you can fall back on, knowing that if you get inspired, you can always change it once you get going. If you’re doing writing practice, put some prompts in your journal to get you started.

5. Reward Yourself

Yes, theoretically the practice is its own reward. But especially when you’re establishing a new pattern, it helps to have an external reward as well. After your dawn meditation, make yourself a cup of green tea and sip it slowly while watching the sun come up. After your evening yoga, watch a silly movie with your kids. After you draw in your art journal, put a gold star sticker on your calendar. Our brains love this kind of positive reinforcement.

6. Track your progress

Keeping a record of what you have and haven’t done increases your sense of accountability. Make this part fun! You can go the old-fashioned route by checking off boxes on a calendar. Or you can use one of the many new habit-tracking apps that are available.

cushman featured 4

Remember, this is about celebrating your accomplishments, not beating yourself up when you miss a day. Through daily small changes of routine, your whole life can shift over time to a new trajectory. Just remember to enjoy the journey.

Illustrations by Tomi Um.

Anne Cushman is the author of the novel Enlightenment for Idiots and the mindful yoga guide Moving Into Meditation. For information about classes and retreats and to download some of her guided video practices, go to www.annecushman.com.
Source Here

Pin It

© CrystalWind.ca 2024. All content (articles, imagery, fair use) & design protected. Written permission required for copying. All rights reserved.

Join the Conversation Now! Comment Below! arrow down small 11

CrystalWind.ca is free to use because of donations from people like you. Please help support us! 

Follow this blog

Cut Through The Illusions!
Available On
Apple  | Android | Amazon
NEW Expanded Version - 53 cards!

Spirit Animal Totem Of The Day!

CrystalWind.ca is free to use because of
donations from people like you.
Donate Now »

CrystalWind.ca Donation!

Unlock Your Light: Join Lightworkers Worldwide on CrystalWind.ca!


Articles: Buddhism

Follow Us!


Who is Online Now

We have 31708 guests and no members online

Featured This Month




The Clearing Stone Citrine’s wide range of colours enables it to help balan... Read more

Sun in Gemini

Sun in Gemini

Sun in Gemini May 21 through June 20 An Overview of Sun Sign Characteristic... Read more

Birth Totem - Deer

Birth Totem - Deer

Birth dates: May 21 - June 20 Birth Totem is: Deer Read more

Gemini Mythology

Gemini Mythology

The Story Behind the Gemini Zodiac Sign Read more

Cornplanting Moon

Cornplanting Moon

Deer – Moss Agate – Yarrow – Green and White Read more

Litha - The Midsummer Solstice

Litha - The Midsummer Solstice

The Litha festival is one of the lesser Sabbats of the Witches annual calend... Read more

Summer Solstice: The Sacred Marriage of Heav…

Summer Solstice: The Sacred Marriage of Heaven and Earth

Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year, and stands opposite the Wint... Read more



The Divine Listener Stone Celestite has remarkable relaxing and uplifting a... Read more



Helps you create the future of your dreams Read more



Litha Ritual Celebrated on the Summer Solstice, around June 21st each year. ... Read more

Rutilated Quartz

Rutilated Quartz

The Energy Buster Stone Rutilated Quartz is an illuminator for the soul, pr... Read more

The Meaning Of The Letter X On The Palms Of …

The Meaning Of The Letter X On The Palms Of Your Hands!

Its not Palmistry or any superstitious method coming from India. This is a v... Read more

Litha Sabbat - The Summer Solstice

Litha Sabbat - The Summer Solstice

Gardens are blooming, and summer is in full swing. Fire up the barbeque, turn ... Read more

Dowsing With Your Pendulum

Dowsing With Your Pendulum

Einstein's famous equation, E = MC2, equates energy and matter. All living... Read more

© 2008-2024 CrystalWind.ca. All rights reserved. Site Creation by CrystalWind.ca.
Web Hosting by Knownhost.com




Right Click

No right click