A lot can happen in one year. 365 days.
For instance, in the past year, I’ve pivoted + simplified my business; applied to return to college; relocated from Connecticut to Texas (by driving, ugh, never again); began learning Japanese; began working out more consistently (3-4 day a week); read 30+ books … you get the idea.
The past year has probably been a whirlwind of change + growth for you too.
I’ve also been meditating every morning for 365 days.
That sounded like a brag, didn’t it?
It’s not. Because meditating every day for a year is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done (along with being a military wife + overcoming depression and anxiety).
New studies on the benefits of meditation are coming out every month. Meditating can help reduce stress, improve concentration, increase self-awareness, increase overall happiness, slow aging, improve your heart + immune health, ease chronic pain, ease anxiety … once again, you get the idea.
When I was training to become a 500-hour Yoga Teacher in 2013, I meditated daily – it was actually part of our training. Pretty easy to stick to something that you have to journal about daily.
But after I became a Yoga Teacher, and eventually stopped teaching full time a few years later, my practice fell apart (along with my life – that’s for a different post).
After having a sporadic practice for 2-3 years, I decided I wanted to meditate every day. I felt better when I did it, but I am one of the least disciplined people you’ll ever meet (most people don’t know that – oops), so I needed help.
I downloaded the Insight Timer app + added a daily reminder to my calendar to go off right after my wakeup alarm went off. I put my phone in airplane mode before going to bed so I wasn’t tempted to check ANYTHING before I meditated.
After 365 days of daily meditation, I’ve learned a few things about myself + about the process that may surprise you.
VK’s Top 3 Lessons from Meditating Daily for an Entire Year
1. Your Ego is Paranoid + Your Intuition Misses You
When you take time to meditate – whether you choose to listen to a guided meditation, repeat a mantra, or sit silently – you begin to notice there’s not one but two voices inside your head. I’m not bipolar – I’m serious.
One voice is your Ego – that’s the one that’s trying to protect you from getting hurt. This one’s job is to keep you alive at all costs. It’s also where a lot of depression, anxiety, + fear come from.
The other voice is your Intuition. You may call it your divine guidance, God, Spirit, Soul … the name is up to you. This is the part of you that’s inherently connected to the flow of life + your true desires (even the ones you don’t know about yet).
More than 90% of the time, your Ego does all the talking, and it’s an asshole. It’s the one that says things you’d never repeat out loud, let alone say to someone you care about.
But by meditating, you can learn to turn down the volume on your Ego by letting everything it says float by. Remind your Ego that you’re safe, you got this, + if you need its help, you’ll ask (you probably won’t though).
Progressively, you’ll be able to hear your Intuition more + you won’t be able to ignore it (which is a good thing!). From the outside, people may think you’re starting to make weird decisions + changes. That’s not it – you’re just listening to your Intuition + finally embracing the joy of being alive.
2. Silence is Actually Comfortable
Having had some meditation training before, I do my meditating in stages. I physically stretch, then do some breathing exercises, then repeat my mantra for a few minutes, and lastly, I sit silently.
While it took some time to find this routine, I always knew that I wanted silence to be a part of my daily meditation practice. Why? Because how often do we REALLY spend time in silence?
Some people are very uncomfortable with silence, which I’ve always found fascinating.
I love silence. I love the emptiness. I love the possibilities.
I love the beauty of knowing that if you CHOOSE to fill the silence, you will do so with intention.
It’s during the silence that you start to notice very little things. The twinge in your hip. The tilt of your head. The gentle beating of your heart.
I’ve never felt more excited and at ease with being alive than when I sit in silence.
The more comfortable you are with the silence, the more intentionally meaningful you can be when you choose to break the silence.
3. You Can’t Replace The Work
I mentioned earlier that I’m not very disciplined, no?
Well, I’m also really lazy. Super lazy.
I can find the simplest, easiest, fastest way to do most things, which helped a lot when I was a virtual assistant + online business manager.
I’d spent my 30+ years on this planet taking every shortcut that I could find, but with meditation, there are no shortcuts.
There’s no tricks, no Cliffs Notes, absolutely nothing that can replace sitting down + actually meditating.
That’s the shitty part, but it’s also the BEST part.
If you happen to be undisciplined and/or lazy (be honest!), meditating daily can help you see the joy of sticking with something long-term.
Personally, I’ve seen an exceptional number of benefits from meditating daily for an entire year: clearer skin, eating healthier, a greater desire for physical activity, communicating better with everyone in my life, less fighting, less alcohol, less sugar, less stress, less depression, less anxiety, less anger, less regret, more smiles, more laughs, more trust, more confidence.
But the most important part is this: I can look at myself in the mirror and know that I’m doing the best I possibly can every day.
Because if I can meditate every day for an entire year, I can put my mind + my effort to anything. That applies to you too.
P.S. I’m still meditating daily and frankly, I don’t plan to ever stop.
Do you have a meditation practice? Or have you always wanted to start one but don’t know what to do?
Comment + let me know.