Time To Meditate

Photo by Joe Lanman

In my previous article on the two biggest obstacles to meditation, I mentioned that energy and time were actually the biggest challenges that anyone and everyone faces when it comes to meditating.

To give you an indication of how I’m going, I’ve been very conscious about my energy, and having recently received an Xbox 360 Kinect system as a gift from my wife, Shreeti, I’ve been using that to do some workouts, and that has been quite helpful in building my energy levels.

In terms of energy, I need to be more conscious of the food I eat – lighter foods – not necessarily just salads, but in general I have set the wheels in motion to reduce foods that are high in carbohydrates, which have become fairly regular foods for me.  As a general rule, I’m not eating anything that is white or could be white, like rice, potatoes, breads and milk based dairy foods.  I’m also avoiding drinking carbohydrates like soft drinks, juices, cordials, milkshakes and alcoholic drinks.  I’ve started this yesterday, and have already started noticing the difference in energy.

The next thing I need to be conscious of is the amount of sleep, so I’m making it a point to spend 8 hours in my bed, of which 7.5 hours will be spent sleeping peacefully.  This has recently been really challenging as my daughter, Saanvi, has finally been put into her own bed and is being trained to sleep there.  It’s tough, because she wakes up frequently and cries during the night – and me being a light sleeper… well, I get woken up quickly, and my sleep gets disturbed.  However, thanks to the support of Shreeti, she’s taking care of Saanvi (although sometimes I do need to give Shreeti a bit of a poke to get her out of the bed), and that’s a big help.

The next big issue for me to manage is time.  I work for an online marketing company, which operates as a sales based organisation.  In between working and sleeping, I’ve got to factor in time with Shreeti and Saanvi, travel time, meditation time, eating, writing articles and reviewing products, exercising, and a bit of me time to play the Xbox or do something else fulfilling.

And this is where the challenge comes in!  This week, my writing has taken a bit of a backseat as we’ve been inspecting cars for Shreeti, and being a bit of a control freak that I am, I’ve missed out on writing to my schedule.  To me it’s a bit of a big deal because there’s just so much I want to write!

It also means that other things have been suffering, like meditating, eating regularly, sleeping properly and exercising.

More importantly, Shreeti and Saanvi aren’t getting the time with me that they should be.  It’s had a noticeable effect on Saanvi, especially when I drop her at day care in the mornings, and she starts crying and not wanting to let me go.

Like any parent, I don’t like seeing my daughter cry, and so for me this is an exercise in managing priorities and also learning to let go of lesser things.

Schedules are always good if they can be followed – but from my experience they should be used as a guide.  On a daily basis, life happens, it’s not as cut and dry as a schedule – and I certainly need to be flexible with myself.

I was recently reading an article on The Meditation Blog titled “Meditation and daily rhythms“, where the discussion touched on not how much meditation one should do, or what type of meditation.  The author states that:

…for somebody just learning to meditate, what is more important is to first try to fit meditation into one’s schedule…

Here’s what I’ve scheduled for myself so far – and my meditations may be as short as 10 minutes, but it’s about fitting it into my schedule.  Let’s start with below, and I’ll revisit it every 6 weeks, to update and make changes.

Monday:

This is the day we have our company sales meeting, so I need to be at work by 8am for an 8:15am meeting – so here’s how I’m arranging my Monday:

Wake at 5:30am, start exercise at 5:45am.

6:15am Shower, meditate, breakfast and get ready for work, leave by 7:30am

8am – Morning session at work, break at 12:30pm for lunch

1:30pm – Afternoon session at work, wind up at 5pm to leave by 5:30pm

6pm – arrive home, unwind, up at 7pm again for dinner and some writing

9pm finish up, and in bed by 9:30pm

Tuesday:

For the next 3 months, I’ll be working from home on Tuesdays so as to take care of Saanvi, as Shreeti will be at a training course.  Here’s how I’ve arranged my day:

Wake at 5:30am, start exercise at 5:45am.

6:15am Shower, meditate, breakfast and get ready for work from home.

8am – Morning session at work from home, break at 12:30pm for lunch

1:30pm – Afternoon session at work from home, wind up at 5:30pm to finish by 5pm

5pm – unwind up at 6pm again, ready for dinner and some writing

9pm finish up, and in bed by 9:30pm

Now, knowing that I’ll have my daughter with me, I’m not fooling myself that I won’t get distracted by her.  I know I will, but the truth is, I have more distractions at work with people asking me for help, wanting a general chit-chat or just the other distractions that come with corporate life.

Tuesday is the day that I’ll be doing my admin work, so I won’t really need to speak with clients, however if it is required, I’ll be doing so when Saanvi is having her afternoon nap!

Wednesday – Friday:

Shreeti’s training course will continue, however she’ll be out of the house early in the morning so the responsibility falls to me to get Saanvi ready for her day care.  Here’s how I’ve structured these days:

Wake at 5:30am, start exercise at 5:45am.

6:15am Shower, meditate, breakfast and prepare Saanvi’s breakfast.

7am Get Saanvi up, ready for school and out of home by 8am

9am Morning session at work from home, break at 12:30pm for lunch

5pm – unwind up at 6pm again, ready for dinner and some writing

9pm finish up, and in bed by 9:30pm

The good thing here is that Shreeti finishes just after lunch, so she’ll be picking Saanvi up and that allows me to stay until my work is complete.

Saturday & Sunday:

Wake up anytime before 10am – meditate in the morning for 30 min.

Afternoon nap with Saanvi

Plan writing for the week coming

Grocery shopping and household chores

In bed by 10:30pm (Sat) and 9:30pm (Sun)

The flexibility of the weekends means that I get to spend more time with Shreeti and Saanvi, and also more time with my meditations.

Let’s try out this schedule from Monday, and let’s see what how my meditations go!

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