5 Seconds of Courage
I wish to thank Halan Guedi of the Tao Tribe for the inspiration for this weeks blog...
"The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."
Tao Te Ching
We've all been there; it's morning and your eyes open to the agreement you made with yourself the night before; to start your day with meditation (or exercise or whatever it was that your heart has been calling you to do for ages). The impulse however, quickly fades to the voice in your head (the mind) barraging you with all of the excuses to skip the meditation and get right to the coffee, news, and breakfast that awaits you in the kitchen. You lie there listening to the excuses in your head, knowing your choice will take you one way or another; to starting your day as you intended - with peace and joy - or by telling yourself that you'll begin tomorrow, when the mind is more cooperative. Of course, tomorrow never comes, because it's always now, and the mind will use any tactic to keep you from waking up...
But what if, in those moments of lonely trial, when the mind is trying desperately to undermine our attempts at growth and awakening, we simply took a refreshing breath, gathered ourselves with '5 seconds of courage', and moved forward with what we had planned to do? What if, instead of allowing the mind to spin it's story of everything that is more important than sitting quietly, you acknowledged your resistance and then got up and did what you had planned to do in the first place, despite the minds arguments? After 35 years of regular meditation, I know that at least 70% of my meditations happened because of my '5 seconds of courage' (not to mention 80% of my exercise sessions!).
In just 5 seconds, you can find yourself sitting up and beginning your meditation, tying up your shoelaces for a run/walk, or beginning the project you had long been planning. What you may find is that, after the 5 seconds has passed, you are locked into the activity you had planned on doing, and flowing with a feeling of happiness and joy that you kept your agreement with yourself for doing so. In this way you strengthen your discipline and integrity by keeping your word with yourself, and find yourself deepening your meditation practice easily and effortlessly, day by day, moment by moment. Remind yourself often; if increased joy and happiness are what you truly want, all it takes is '5 seconds of courage...'