Today is my birthday and, as a gift to myself, I have decided to go on a year long meditation quest. Apart from the internal kind, this won't require any actual travelling (although I will no doubt throw some in) and is really quite simple: I pledge to myself to meditate every single day for the next 365 days. Rain or shine. Whether I feel like it or not. No excuses.
Inspiration is the pull, the reason why I want to do anything, in this case meditate. Having experienced the feeling of calm and peace that meditation gives me, I want more of it. It's magnetic. I want to keep going back to that place where I reconnect with the universal self. It's my best tool for starting the day with clarity and a happy, content frame of mind. It makes me feel lighter, freer and more grounded all at the same time. And, as a bonus, I usually get my best ideas right after meditation, yay!
Motivation is the push, the reason why I do the work even when I don't feel like it, in this case meditate. I like a little motivational goalpost ahead of me. It does wonders for my discipline. I ran five times a week when I trained for a charity race and I've practice piano every single day since I signed up for my next exam. Clearly, goals do me a favour. There's a sense of achievement all along the road.
I have now been meditating for nearly 4 years but there are days (sometimes way too many in a row) when I just don't feel like sitting in silence with myself. Those are usually the days when I could benefit from sitting in silence with myself the most. Even though it might feel uncomfortable at the time, it would be seriously good for me (and everyone around).
Some of those days, I stick with it (even if for just a few minutes) and afterwards always feel so much better for it. Some of those days, I skip meditation and then for the rest of the day just can't shake the feeling that things are kind of off with me and something is missing. This is where the quest fits in.
A quest is a journey towards a goal. It usually involves an attempt to achieve something challenging, or a search for something that is difficult to find. The effort element is important. It's the overcoming of obstacles that provides that sense of achievement. A quest requires commitment, the accomplishment is progressive. It brings a deeper meaning to your life as step by step, day by day you come closer to your goal. And as you reach the finish line you are not the same person you were at the start of it because you have learnt something.