I noticed this bench overlooking the Manhattan skyline because of my bench intention. Once I photographed the bench, and then sat in it, I remembered my meditation intention. I started the month of May with the intention to meditate five minutes a day, and at this point in the pleasant evening I hadn’t yet done my five minutes. I’d forgotten. So, there on this Weehawken bench, I meditated.
Mine is a mindfulness practice. Instead of focusing on a mantra, I sit in stillness. I let my environment wash over me. A noisy background is no longer a noisy background, but simply part of what I’m doing, which is being aware. My timing was impeccable. What sounded like a fleet of helicopters turned out to be, according to my nearby non-meditating husband, yes, a fleet of helicopters. I also heard the soft lapping of the Hudson River, and felt the light breeze of a warm spring evening.
While I was grateful to have meditated in such a beautiful place, I realized it was time to bump up commitment to this meditation practice. After all, had it not been for this bench in Weehawken, I would have missed my five minutes for the day.
To transform this catch-as-catch-can practice into something stickier, I decided to create a specific meditation time. Instead of searching for a time slot in my day, I searched for an existing habit that I could link it to. This habit turned out to be my morning vitamin. Amazing success. I wrote the word “meditate” in sharpie on the lid of the vitamin bottle. Right after the vitamin, I grab a timer and go sit.
After a week, I was ready to do more. I increased my time to seven minutes. Not thirty or twenty or even ten. I want this to stick. I’m going slow.
Is there something you would love to do but never seem to have the time? Find the vitamin bottle in your life, and write that something on the lid.