The garbage needs to be emptied. The cat’s claws need to be clipped. The back closet needs cleaning, and that letter to Aunt Flo simply can’t wait any longer. As you approach or think about entering your quiet corner for meditation practice, you may be distracted by the need to do something else. Don’t be surprised by this. There are many diversions waiting for you that often look more inviting than your corner. This is your mind resisting the idea of quieting down and facing yourself.
Your fears feed your imagination, and your quiet corner suddenly looms large, loud, and threatening. Anything but facing your corner and yourself becomes attractive. The longer you resist entering your quiet corner and meditating, the more powerful the force not to becomes. All it takes is a step over that line of resistance. Once you commit yourself, make the decision, and then take that step, quiet ensues almost at once. You begin to wonder what all the noise was about. You relax and soon find yourself comfortable and peaceful in your quiet corner.
This resistance to enter your quiet corner may never disappear completely. You may meet it each time. Sometimes it may fool you and appear as a legitimate distraction. Keep your resolve and try not to be swayed.
Simply acknowledge the resistance, accept it for what it is, and push through it into your quiet space, leaving it behind.
Finding the time, dealing with avoidance and fear, pushing through the resistance, learning to breathe again—you might be asking yourself, why bother? It all sounds like so much effort. Where will the energy come from, and is it worth it?
This is the Catch-22 of putting a quiet corner in your life. In order to get there, you do have to expend some energy. You get more back than you spend, but then you have to spend it for your next quiet corner. And so on and so on.
But as you continue the practice of your quiet corner, the quality of your energy will change and you will always have the energy you need. When you carry over your quiet-corner practices—breathing, mindfulness, and so forth—into other areas of your life, your energy will be constant and strong. You will rarely run out, and any loss of sleep you experience as a result of your quiet corner will more than be made up for in the energy you have gained.
In order to get energy, you must spend a little, and once a quiet-corner practice becomes a cornerstone in your life, you will not recall how you once struggled to find the energy to get there. In fact, you will someday get to the point where you will retreat to your quiet corner in order to replenish your energy reserves.