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Excerpt 17, CYCLING in the CITY

[These excerpts are from CYCLING in the CITY — How I Got My Confidence Back, Book 2 in the Burnout to Bliss series. Book 2 is about a first step in recovery after intense burnout. (For that story, please see Book 1,  BURNOUT — How a Desert Lizard Restored My Faith.*)

Book 2, CYCLING in the CITY, was designed to be a guide for anyone wanting to make any kind of change in her life. “Part One: Cycling in the City” is my story, sharing the process of making a huge personal change — healing myself and reclaiming my confidence and self-esteem. “Part Two: Thoughts About Making Changes” explains why making change is so difficult; it addresses the different kinds of changes we make, the mental games we play, and the essential key for success. The book is $1.99 for a limited time. Buy it here.]

Excerpt 16, PART TWO, CYCLING  in the CITY:

You Have to

Want It More

 

Whatever the new thing is, you have to want it MORE than you do the old thing. You have to establish your WHY for making the change, and it has to be strong enough to carry you through the path of resistance we now know is inevitable.

Take my goal of sitting in mediation every morning. Why would I want to do that? If that’s something you want to do but never have, you could brainstorm your “why” and see what comes up. You might find reasons like this:

  1. It feels good.
  2. It’s relaxing.
  3. It’s part of my new spiritual path.
  4. It’s my power nap.

These are all good reasons, but are they enough to get you up in the morning in time to do it before work? They weren’t for me. I had to dig way down to uncover the real reason WHY I wanted meditation more than sleeping. Sleeping is what filled the time I needed to meditate if I were going to add that new behavior to a habitual morning routine. For example, at that time, my morning routine was simple:

  1. Get up.
  2. Drink coffee.
  3. Collect stuff for work.
  4. Get dressed and leave.

Because I showered at night and set up the 2-cup coffee pot, I could get ready for work in about thirty minutes. I lived close to my office, and traffic was never an issue. With my routine, I could arrive in my office by 7:30 am. I’d been doing that for years. Slipping meditation into that schedule was tricky … until I found out why I wanted it more than what I was already doing.

Before I continue, let me state specifically what I mean by meditation. I’m an academic, and defining terms assures both parties we’re talking about the same thing.

First, here’s what it’s not. The kind of meditation I wanted to incorporate into my routine wasn’t just listening to something on YouTube. It also wasn’t an experience guided by someone else on a recording. And it definitely was not done with music.

The kind of meditation I wanted to adopt was something I had experienced in a yoga place on my journey from Burnout to Bliss, 1988-1991.

It is done in silence. It begins with a sequence of breathing techniques that relax the body and mind. Then there are the techniques to control one’s focus – like focusing on the breath, a point inside the head, or a mental image.

When thoughts come up, I allow them space but do not give them my attention, which is focused on my breath or a point inside my head or a mental image. I let those thoughts happen, but do not bring them to me so I can inspect them and recall their details or otherwise give them audience. Instead, I just notice “thoughts” (some say “thinking”) and bring my awareness back to my chosen focal point.

After a while, from lack of attention (just like humans or pets), those thoughts will go away and be replaced by SILENCE.

It was that SILENCE, that feeling of being At One with All That Is, that first compelled me to “be a meditator.”

However, as I continued the practice, I realized that by getting some control over my mind, I was developing a skill that generalized beyond the meditation itself. I was becoming less and less bothered by comments and events that happened during my day. My WHY had become more important than anything that might prevent me from meditating.

Meditation is a part of my life because my WHY to do it is more important than the WHY of resistance. And I have kept a journal for many years about my meditation experience – not only to make sure I did it, but to discover all the gifts that come with doing it!

Is there something you’d like to add to your routine? What’s your WHY for making this change? Is it strong enough to go the distance?

_____________

Coming up next week: “To Break a Habit, You Have To Make A Plan”

_____________

CYCLING in the CITY is $1.99 for a limited time.

Buy it here.

Till next time, please be kind to everyone you meet, for we all have our hidden sorrows. ~Tzaddi

 

BURNOUT — How a Desert Lizard Restored My Faith is Book 1 in the Burnout to Bliss Series. It’s available in both print and Kindle formats. The digital is currently listed for $4.99.

Buy it here.

 

In Progress: Book 3, Burnout to Bliss series

Book 3 relates my story of “surrender” — trusting that my life is in Divine Order.  It is the final story of an awakening experience, my two-year journey with one modest paycheck and no plans that was launched with BURNOUT. The first getaway from that extreme situation was to a “sanctuary” in California as related in Book 2, CYCLING in the CITY. That getaway apparently was simply to heal myself enough to take the next step.

The real story of “surrender” began when that sanctuary was no longer available and I became like The Fool (Tarot card), jumping off a cliff with a tiny knapsack and a little dog for company…

Want to be with the first to know when Book 3 is available?

Click the BURNOUT TO BLISS tab on the far right at the top of the page and scroll down, and then follow the directions OR simply click the link below:

Sign up for our email list HERE.

Thank you!

Till next time, please be kind to everyone you meet, for we all have our hidden sorrows. ~Tzaddi

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