I'm always trying to increase & improve my meditation practice, which is ironic because the point of meditation is to become less distracted by desires or attached to outcomes.
When I moved to Brooklyn from Chelsea nearly 4 years ago, I packed up the corner of my living room that had become my yoga/meditation studio, including my altar, and didn't unpack it until a few months ago because babies/toddlers love to hide or swallow things like crystals and tiny Ganesh statues. I missed it at first, but then I just got caught up in the daily grind of life and motherhood, largely relying on great apps like Headspace, Stop Breathe & Think, and even Aaptiv and Peloton apps, to guide me through 10 or 15 minutes of snatched time for meditation.
Then a couple of months ago my friend and colleague Frank made an Instagram post displaying and briefly describing his altar, and I got the idea to make a pack-away alter to keep everything safe from the curious little hands that get into everything in my home.
In my new home in LA, I have a little meditation/reading nook in my bedroom that is heavenly. Though it could maybe use a soft pillow, I also like the emptiness of it, the austerity.
When quarantine started, I endeavored to streak 3 things for the duration: yoga, running, and meditation. If quarantine ever ends I'll write a post about my results, but it's going pretty well so far, though imperfectly. When this all started, it took me awhile to really grasp what was happening; I thought we'd have to stay home for a couple of weeks, maybe 3 or 4 at the most. As I write this post, we've been under a Stay At Home order for 2.5 months. And although I haven't been 100% successful in streaking these 3 things for the entire time, having the challenge and the chart to check off has given my days structure and discipline, as well as a feeling of accomplishment and something to look forward to--all of which creates MOTIVATION.
Motivation is a mysterious thing that everyone's trying to crack at some point. I too am fascinated by the science of motivation--internal and external, abundance and lack. But the very nature of motivation is that it wanes and re-emerges. We've all been on the motivation rollercoaster throughout the last 9 or 10 (is it 11? 12?) weeks of staying home. I started out kind of excited to tackle streaks, catch up on this blog, and expand my knowledge and experience in things like social media and online teaching. But as with pretty much everything, I've had moments of disinterest and boredom with these ventures.
Sometimes we need an external kickstart: a new pair of sneakers, a new online yoga class, a fresh pack of incense, or a gorgeous little meditation nook. This is all ok, especially for that immediate boost to get going. But we have to recognize that novelty and excitement wear off faster and faster in our consumption-driven society. We have to dig a lot deeper to tap into long-lasting drive to keep us going when it would be so much easier to stop or just take a day or two off.
For me, the structure and discipline of streaks help give shape to these amorphous days. And I have never once regretted a yoga practice, meditation session, or a run.