Day 8: What if You Skip a Day of Practice?

What what a blossom bud in March. . .

Day 8: A group of us are on a 30-day trek of meditation and journaling. Yes, we are doing it at the busiest time of year, and just for that reason–it’s a good time to build in some quiet and personal peace.

If you want to catch up, start here. It’s not too late, just start.

Wisdom from the Comments:

Arelene Holtz had an Aha! Moment: “Then I decided to do a short sitting meditation to quiet my mind. That’s when the proverbial lightening bolt hit me. I have struggled with my own worthiness most of my life, so that part certainly struck a chord in me. However, what really stood out was that I have just had surgery for hip replacement 6 weeks ago and have been recovering from this since then, so now I am really ready to MOVE FORWARD in the new year! ”

Wanda discovered: “I am going to have to work on my focus when walking as my mind kept wandering to things I need to do, instead of relaxing and seeing what was there. I walked for 30 minutes and it was only during the last 7 or 8 that my mind felt clear and open.”

*     *     *     *
The weekend is over and it’s possible that by now you skipped a day of practice. Maybe meditation didn’t go smoothly or you put off journaling and then it got late. What now?

For an artist, the biggest danger is not turning out bad art, it is leaving the studio

. . . bears sweet and juicy fruit in December.

without a reason to return. There is no guarantee that the artist will discover a reason to make the effort to go back.

And there is no guarantee that you will discover a reason to go back to journaling and meditation if you quit. The idea behind doing it every day is to reap all the benefits without struggling with the difficulty of starting up.

The inclination is to examine why you skipped, or even yell at yourself. In my experience as a creativity coach, I’d suggest that doesn’t work. The best tactic is to ask yourself when the best time is to write, and do that. I do believe that we fall into a habit of writing, and choosing the same time each day makes it much easier to remember when it’s time to journal.

Changing your practice time is worthwhile, because finding the best time will lead to a consistent practice. But keeping up the practice is most beneficial of all.

Arelent and Wanda have already discovered something important to bring with them. Don’t risk losing your moments of awareness. If you skip a day, keep looking where you want to go and pick up your journal. It’s always there for you.

Let us know of any positive changes you are experiencing or discoveries you have made.

–Quinn McDonald is a journaler and creativity coach who is strengthening her daily practice with a group of like-minded souls.

17 thoughts on “Day 8: What if You Skip a Day of Practice?

  1. I started a few days later than some of the group, but I have written every day so far. What I haven’t done is the meditation every day. Perhaps I could make it part of my writing time – either before, after, or during the writing! It certainly worked well the other day for me!

  2. I skipped Saturday and Sunday. During the week when my husband isnt home I enjoy writing at night, but that doesnt work on the weekends. I found that the inclination was there – I just didnt do it.I didnt beat myself up. I just need to find a timing that works on the weekend.

    I too am grateful to Quinn and this community to help me set this as a habit. Thank you!

  3. Krystyna, I also find community to be a big help. I participate about twice a year in a blogathon with this end result–to build on the habit of blogging daily. I find I need the periodic assistance to help grow my blog and find new readers to inspire. It’s important to know we have a community to lean on sometimes. I, too, am grateful for Quinn’s great idea and willingness to share her time with us.

  4. Finding it a struggle to battle the tiredness of the season – dark nights, dark mornings – and keep up the practice. Without the support of this community created by Quinn, I would probably sink into not bothering. Thanks Quinn.

    • I’m with you on this, Krystyna. I’m tired and feel over-worked (although I’m not.) I’m so enjoying the people who are in the supporting pool here. Last night I dreamed I was in a wiki-up, and at first I thought I was alone, and then I realized that all the people in this group were holding up the roof. And we are!

  5. Saturday morning I woke sluggish with a sore throat, last week was a very long and stressful week, and looked out to see the first snowfall. After admiring the pure white covering on our evergreen bushes, I tucked myself back into bed. I thought I’d meditate in bed instead of walking, as someone menitoned last week. I fell asleep. When I got up, my husband was already up and chatty. The urge to write was there and I found some quiet time here and there to journal. Not quite skipping but not fully engaged, either. Rest and many cups of tea helped and I fell right back into the new routine on Sunday morning. The snow had melted, walking was brisk and good. I got up early to write while it was quiet. I’ve found that writing and walking without my glasses (I can see the sidewalk just fine, the paper less so) helps me keep an inner focus.

  6. I’m such a nerd about writing that I wouldn’t think of skipping a day with the journal in an exercise like this. Also, I like to complete things. When I don’t complete them, I feel as if I failed myself. It’s a bit dramatic, I realize, and I get over it soon enough, but that does motivate me. The walking meditation just feels great, and that’s motivation enough for me to continue. Plus, I do exercise regularly, anyway, just not with a specific purpose in mind, necessarily. That being said, I’m going to meditate on being easier on myself tomorrow. I think I need to do that right about now. That way, if I do need to miss a day (It could happen), I won’t beat myself up about it.

    Deb, I think it’s great that you write in your journal more than once a day. I’ve been experimenting with writing both before and after the walk or ride to see what happens differently on the page. I’m easier on myself after the walk, I’ve noticed.

    • I think walking (or exercising, but mostly walking) helps release a lot of tension, stress, and narrow thoughts. I tried writing this morning, first thing, and I overslept. So today I’m back to writing at night. When I teach downtown, I have to get up at 5:30 just to make it out the door in time and still write, so I forgive myself for not getting up at 4:30 to walk. There are limits.

  7. I have not skipped a day yet. YAY! But one thing that I did change up over the weekend. I realized while out walking that a lot goes through my mind and that perhaps I need to write down my impressions from the walk immediately following it, then write again in the evening, like I had planned, going over my impressions of the rest of the day. It seemed that by waiting til evening I was losing my focus from the walk and I didn’t want to do that.

  8. The idea that habits make practices which can be life changing is hard to believe – and hard to master, so many excuses. But when I ran out of excuses (real and imagined) I began to see progress. Writing and meditation has already been a major help. I only wonder at the possibilities when it is ritual in my day. I am a believer.

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