Why I Ended a 139 Day Streak

Last week I wrote you about the importance of keeping score

This week, I write you about the importance of NOT keeping score.

Ending a 139-Day Streak

Friday marked the 139th day in a row I’d meditated.

Later that morning, on Facebook, I posted that I would be ending that streak on Saturday. Intentionally. For this reason:

I’d become too attached to “The Streak.”

As a lifelong Achievement Addict, I constantly struggle to find the balance between what I’m doing for extrinsic vs. intrinsic reasons.

“139 days” had become more about maintaining the consecutive days than the quality of the practice.

Half of my meditations from the past week were slightly above dogsh*t, simply to keep The Streak in tact. I was out of balance towards the extrinsic.

Therefore I must release the attachment and start anew.

Releasing Attachment

Releasing attachment is something I learned from studying the wisdom of Buddhism and through my meditation practice.

Much of our suffering is borne from our clinging to those things that are temporary: feelings, beauty, experiences, “streaks.”

The only way to melt away our suffering is to release attachment to these things we cling to.

The Wisdom of the Sand Mandala

One of my favorite episodes of House of Cards is the “Sand Mandala” episode.

A group of Tibetan Monks use tiny handheld instruments to lay down individual grains of sand into an intricate work of art. It requires days – sometimes weeks – of devotion and focus. Ultimately what they create is a vibrant and colorful masterpiece.

A work of art, intentionality and pure beauty.

And moments later, they destroy and wipe away the entire thing.

They do this as a symbol of releasing attachment to that which is temporary – all things are temporary.

AND, so they can continue to create new beautiful works of art that they can throw themselves into. Fully.

I Lied

Instead of breaking The Streak, I ended up meditating again on Saturday. 

Not only did I do it again…

…but I did it for a full hour. 

The longest I’d done in 4-5 months.

But here’s the difference:

It wasn’t about The Streak this time. 

In fact, it was the opposite.

You see, as soon as I committed to resetting at 0, The Streak was already gone.

I’d let it go. 

It no longer meant anything to me.

AND, all of the original reasons why I’ve established a meditation practice – vision, peace, creativity, purpose – came rushing back.

Plus, I was dealing with some personal shi*t on Saturday. Whenever I can’t “think my way through” something, I need to meditate. It never fails me. 

So I sat down from 9-10pm, on a Saturday night, closed my eyes, and Observed for an hour.

It was exactly what I needed.

On Sunday, I officially broke The Streak, as I originally said I would. Just a day late.

Take Your Power Back

This is the power of releasing attachment to the things you’re clinging to.

That I’m clinging to.

That we’re all clinging to.

Let it go – and take your power back.

– DQ

Amy Merrill