1. Start Where You Are
Remember, the moment you think, "I should meditate" is a moment you can practice mindfulness.
Whether you're watching television, working on the computer, playing with a friend etc., you don't have to drop everything and run to your meditation cushion - nor do you have to wait and hope you remember to do it later.
Instead, in that moment, pause and start where you are by bringing mindfulness to whatever is happening in that moment.
Then . . .
Each time we tune into our breath in the present moment, we are honoring and exercising the miracle of mindfulness. Notice how it feels to breath mindfully in. How does it feel to breath mindfully out?
We often meet resistance with more resistance - often trying to get rid of it or judging ourselves for having it. Instead start where you are by bringing a curious and kind awareness to the resistance itself. Simply notice it, letting go of any expectation that you "should" do anything about it (like "I should sit now").
This is so simple that we often miss it. Invite resistance into your awareness. Get to know what it's like, without trying to change it. Instead of making it another brick to carry on our backs, use it to pave your way to freedom. Aligning with resistance in this way, it will become a trusted friend and teacher.
What do you enjoy? What inspires your spirit? Dancing? Being in nature, hiking or camping? How about going to a concert or having a lovely day of barbecue with family and friends. Have you inspired your spirit recently?
You can practice mindfulness in nourishing your body and soul. You know what lightens your step and delivers your heart from its burden. Simply ask, "What's missing?" and open to what comes up. Expect the unexpected.
A ten day retreat! Ok. Maybe that's a bit of a challenge if you haven't been on retreat yet. Or perhaps you really don't have the time to go away for several days right now. In that case, take a day-long retreat or even a half day will do.
Retreats provide the time and the atmosphere you need to meditate both on and off the cushion. A chance for your mind to settle in a way it can't at home or at work. A chance to befriend your own heart and to connect with other mediators in a noble silence.