I told my brother in a week's time I'm going to do a 10-day silent meditation retreat. He laughed out loud. I can't blame him. He knows me. For me to sit still or stop talking for 10 minutes is a big ask, let alone 10 hours a day.
So why am I doing it?
I want to discover how life feels when I am not being run by "monkey mind." I want to dedicate 10 days to stepping outside of the Matrix to see Reality (and myself) as it is. Ultimately, I want to live my life more on purpose and unencumbered by "stuff" than I ever have before.
Am I apprehensive? You bet. But I'm also inspired. Maybe stillness comes easily to you, maybe it doesn't, but I want to know this: How might your life be different if stillness moved you beyond the story you tell about yourself?
I was chatting with a friend who wants to lose weight. She told me she'd worked out to a tough home exercise DVD. When I congratulated her, she immediately began minimizing her effort: "I didn't do it very well and it was just 20 minutes long," she said.
Her reaction saddened me and made me realize how much more accustomed we all are to judging and criticizing ourselves than giving ourselves credit for our achievements.
As a result, I have been making an effort to feel proud of myself for small achievements each day. It might be taking care of an errand I've been putting off. Or booking an appointment to see the dental hygienist. Or writing the outline for a new project.
Consider one way you could do yourself proud today - then do it - and celebrate. It's a great way to promote your inner coach and demote your inner critic.