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Commit to Level Up

[Dharma Center Monthly Mindfulness Tip – May 2022]

As the energies of Spring begin to move towards Summer, we enter into a time of conception. This is the moment when the seeds we planted begin to germinate. Take a few minutes to examine what projects have captured your attention – are these the ones you wish to bring into full being?

If not, there is room to shift. If yes, it’s time to go full on. The key in either case is making a decision of what you want to grow. Then move forward with intent. Remember you do not need to have everything figured out in the beginning – how could you? Part of fun of life is the unexpected discovery that comes from playing with creation. Commit to your plans, knowing everything is transitory.

A good strategy is to put a time limit on your commitment of working towards your goal. For example you could commit for 30 minutes every day for the next six months. Then keep your promise. Do something on your project for 30 minutes each day – and watch what grows!

At the end of six months (or however long you decide), take stock and decide if you want to continue. Then renew the commitment, or move your energy into a different project.

If 30 minutes every day for six months is too much, make the commitment smaller. Even 5 minutes a day, or 15 minutes five days a week adds up quickly. The important thing is to pick a time commitment you can stick with; you can always do more on the days you feel inspired. But on the days when you are dragging your butt, stick with your commitment!

During this process, if you find you cannot honestly make the commitment that is a clue you are focusing on something you don’t really want to do. Honor that wisdom! Then quickly pick what does light up your heart and level up.

On the tough days, use the practice of basic mindfulness. Watch your mind and the resistance you feel. How does it change when you follow your plan despite the complaints? Can you be gentle with yourself and move forward? Once you’ve completed the allotted time, can you reward yourself?

When we follow through, we build our personal power. Through repetition we root into the ground of our being creating stability. Through concentrated effort, our skills bloom. We level up exponentially. We grow, we change, and we discover we are much more than we think we are.

 I have several projects I’m working on right now. A newer one is learning Spanish. For 5 minutes a day, I play with Duolingo and pick up a few new words. Some days I’m inspired to do more. But the point is to always do at least the minimum commitment to level up. So far for the past 30 days, every day, I’ve had fun exploring and learning to move my mouth and brain in new ways. Progress is slow, but already I can see it.

How about you? What’s your power project?

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Published inBuddha Lessons / Mindfulness