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Tracking a 40-day meditation

In Kundalini Yoga, most meditations come with the recommendation to practice the same meditation for 40 days if you want to truly master it and experience its effects.

We did this twice throughout teacher training, keeping track in a booklet that was then signed off by our instructors as part of the certification process.

So at that time, doing it and keeping track had built in accountability. I had to do the meditation, then write that I did it on the dotted line in the book, so I could get my teaching certificate.

Since then, I haven’t had that accountability. I’ve had to come up with a way to keep myself accountable.

Here’s what I found that works for me.

The meditation I’m doing right now is one I found in a new kundalini yoga book I ordered recently. When I got the book, I started flipping through it, and the first meditation to greet me as the book randomly flopped open was called Meditation for the Immune System: To Balance Red & White Blood Cells.

That day, I had had a phone call with my nutritionist in which she said the dreaded phrase “More tests are necessary.” I had recently had lab results that my red blood cell count was low.

I’ve struggled with low iron anemia before, got my iron up, and tested in the normal range back in May of this year. I thought this was behind me, and had moved onto dealing with food intolerances.

So when the low red blood cell count showed up on my recent lab results, I wanted to ignore it. I’ve been feeling great, my energy is up, better than ever, so there’s nothing to worry about, right?

My nutritionist made sure I understood this was not something I could ignore. More tests would be needed. More blood drawn, more money, more time, probably more supplements or dietary changes.

At that time, it was all too overwhelming. I was distraught, overwhelmed, frustrated. So when I flipped through my new book, and the first thing to leap out at me mentioned Red Blood Cells, I decided to take it as a sign from the Universe.

The meditation itself is fairly simple. You sit with your right two fingers up straight by your right shoulder as if taking an oath. Your left two fingers touch the center of your chest. You breathe slowly and deeply with your eyes closed.

As you inhale, you visualize the breath coming in your nose and collecting at what yogis call your Third Eye point between your eyebrows. As you exhale, you visualize that breath or that energy moving from your third eye to the center of your chest, where your left fingers are touching.

After 11 minutes of that, you end with three deep breaths.

I wanted to complete 40 days of this meditation. So I created a page in my bullet journal to track my progress and hold me accountable. (Want to see the tools I recommend for bullet journaling? Download my quick start guide!)

I’ve shown you my sleep tracker before, right? I’ve found that the circular shape really works for me. It looks so cool as I’m filling it out, and I really want it to be complete, visually. I like having different colors with meanings.

So for this, I knew I could do a circular tracker again, and that would probably work well for me.

But I wanted to mix things up a bit.

I decided to draw a figure meditating in the posture of this particular meditation. I drew circles at the third eye point and the heart center. I divided the rest of the figure up from there into 40 numbered rings or stripes.

Then I created a little color key to track how the meditation went that day. I’ll color in a stripe for the day, gray if I didn’t do the meditation, or one of a rainbow of colors from “couldn’t finish” to “blissful”

There’s enough visual interest in there for me to be excited about what it’ll look like when it’s complete, that I tend to look forward to doing the meditation each day, so I can fill in another stripe.

(Are you curious about bullet journaling? Download my quick start guide and get a free mini-course on how to get started.)

I’ve noticed that regular trackers where you cross off a day on the calendar or just make a list of days to check off just don’t get me excited. I often peter out after three or four days. But having a shape I can complete seems to be enough to keep me going.

Sometimes just a little shift in approach is all that’s needed to find a trick that works for you. 🙂

Do you have any tricks you use to hold yourself accountable to a routine or to keep up with tedious tasks? Leave a comment and share! I love chatting about this stuff.

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