Despite research showing that mindfulness-based meditation is very beneficial for those of us dealing with chronic pain/illness, I have yet to maintain a daily committed meditation practice. I have definitely tried…I have taken meditation classes through the pain clinic at my local hospital, as well as online classes, I have mindfulness apps on my phone, I have chronic pain mediation CDs, YouTube mindfulness videos favourited, and I own many books on the topic. I have resources galore but somehow after a week or two of meditating I stop. Often a month later I will start my practice again. I don’t think I am alone in this start and stop relationship with meditation. Am I? Please tell me I am not!
As my level of disability and pain increase, along with corresponding depression, I recognize that I truly MUST make meditation be part of my daily routine. This time I am adopting a multi-step preparation approach to ensure I stick to my goal of daily meditation! I would love for you to join me for the next 21 days (this is the length of time it apparently takes to make a practice a habit!).
6 STEPS TO PREPARING FOR A 21-DAY MEDITATION CHALLENGE
1) Make a public commitment to meditating
I am writing this blog post.
2) Make a daily checklist or write daily meditation time on a calendar
I have printed a checklist and hung it on my fridge.
3) Create reminders
I am setting my phone to remind me daily. Once at 10am and again at 4pm in case I chose to ignore the first reminder!
4) Make a list of meditation resources for quick reference
My resources are listed after these steps (see below).
5) Pick a realistic time of day to meditate each day as well as a realistic length of time
I am choosing to meditate after I eat my breakfast cereal which is the first thing I do each morning.
I am committing to meditating a minimum of 10 minutes per day but with the hope that I will do more.
6) Report back to someone
I am reporting back to my therapist in two weeks.
I am also going to do a follow-up blog post.
I encourage you to follow the steps above or create your own. I would love to hear what additional steps or ideas you think would be help yourself and/or others to stick to a 21-day meditation challenge.
MY FAVOURITE CHRONIC PAIN MEDITATION RESOURCES
I have used ALL of the resources below so I can personally say I found them valuable.
I will put this list of meditation resources on the Meditation page of this website so you can refer back to them in the future. I will also add additional resources and details to the Meditation page that aren’t in this blog post.
iPhone and iPad Apps:
Jon Kabat Zinn – Mindfulness Meditations for Pain Relief
Peter A. Levine – Freedom from Pain CD or download
Online Meditation Courses:
Oprah and Deepak Chopra’s – 21-Day Meditation Experience
Susannah Conway’s course – The Sacred Alone
Please let me know if you are going to join me on the 21- day challenge! I would love the motivation that comes from doing a challenge with others 🙂