A meditation student recently contacted me and reported that she didn't think her meditation practice was working any more. She had traced a series of financial and personal challenges back to learning an advanced meditation technique three years ago, citing that as the time when her life began crumbling.
I listened, and gently reminded her that in order to grow and evolve, Mother Nature must trim away the aspects of your life that are no longer relevant, which can sometimes create a fair bit of tension that may seem to last for a while. Therefore, having a "my life is falling apart" moment just means you're in the middle of a spiritual growth spurt. Nothing more.
I then told her that she's not giving meditation enough credit for increasing her ability to adapt to the tension. Because she meditations, she can handle a lot more tension than she would be able to without her daily practice, and therefore she can evolve at an accelerated pace.
Think of it like lifting weights, I told her. A muscle that gets exposed to a higher degree of tension grows stronger faster. Therefore, a daily meditator is like a world-class bodybuilder of spiritual growth.
Instead of judging whether your meditation is working by the amount of tension in your life, judge it by the extent to which you can adapt to the tension.