I was on a coaching call with one of my new clients and the topic of regular routines came up. I am a firm believer in establishing at least a couple of rituals that are devoted just to the individual. I wasn't always aware of this. Especially when I first launched my company. I would burn the midnight oil and wake up before the crack of dawn. There were lots of days I was grateful just to get a shower.
But I learned, as a business owner with several business streams, it is important that I take care of myself or I will fall apart. I am here to serve and it does take a toll. While I love what I do and I am passionate about it, it would be a huge disservice to others if I did not take care of the core assets. So one of the first things I drill into my new clients, is to establish a daily routine that has them in the center.
The first thing I ask is if they have a regular practice of meditation. At times I get stunned silence as the response. Now, I am not here to be New Agey or to preach any religious dogma. But the act of meditation can have a profound impact on the individual. Spending time centering and focusing and quieting the mind can help us drive down our blood pressure, gain perspective on priorities, and adds to our general feelings of well being. And a focused centered mind that is clear is very powerful.
Meditation, What is it?
Meditation is a time to quiet the mind. <period. End of Statement> This practice is as old as time itself and is often closely tied to spiritual practices as well and many religious practices have their own version or ritual practice. But does it have to be spiritual? No. The act of Deep Meditation is to simply quiet the mind.
There is also a form of Meditation that is Mindful. This is when you quiet all other mental noise and think only on the act you are doing. For example, preparing a meal for you or your family. You would focus all intent and all awareness on the carrot you are preparing or the celery you are dicing or the potato you are peeling. Musicians and artists tend to gravitate to this as well as chefs and athletes. For this particular customer, I told them to strum the cord of G. We can add D and C down the road. 🙂
The other one would be Meditation in Motion. This is when you are moving but you doing more than moving, you become both focused and fluid at the same time. Martial arts is a good example and so is dance or even endurance or body building training. In fact, athletes tend to phase from one to the other form very fluidly. When I was a marathon runner, I used all three techniques of meditation a great deal.
Meditation, How to do it
Simple! At least it can be. There are lots of ways to go about it and many practitioners who will teach you their ways. Some sessions take longer than others and some have a high level of ritual around it. But the truth is, meditating is as easy as breathing. At the heart of all meditation practice, that is it: let go of the active dialog in your mind and focus on your breathing. Breath inhale and release exhale. The rest is noise or filler.
Most people think they need to do something special or ritualistic. They have special poses and special pillows to sit on and incense to burn and chimes to ring. You can do this if you want to and I do on occasion. In fact I love the spiritual meditation practices but I don't have time for that every day.
The real secret in any form of meditation is the Eyes. What do you do with your eyes. Well, for deep meditation you don't close your eyes you just relax the eyelids and set your gaze to a focal point in the near distance and let it fall out of focus. For mindful mediation, you focus your eyes and your mind on the object you are centering on.For Meditation in Motion, it depends.
Meditation, Where to do it?
Some people think you need to be in a special surrounding. It often evokes images of nature and the outdoors. Tranquil lakes and flowing streams or big puffy clouds. These are lovely images but I live in the city and I can't get to the countryside every day. Meditate where you are. It is splendid to sit under a 300 year old Redwood in the peaceful forest, but I can't get there every day and you really do want to carve out at least 10 minutes a day to meditate. Every day!
Two things you learn when running busy life, leveraging and multitasking! This applies to everyone, even if you are not running your own company or trying to get your business off the ground. To fit my 10 minutes of meditation in on a daily basis, I multitask. We all do things every day that don't require our mental focus so I use those times to spend time quieting my mind. It's a form of Meditation in Motion.
Here are a list of ideas of when and where you might be able to fit in 10 minutes of meditation:
- Riding a commuter train or bus. Notice I did not say driving. You cannot meditate or should not try to when you are operating a ton of powered steel that can kill.
- Household chores: Washing dishes, vacuuming, dusting, etc……
- Preparing a meal (this can also be a great time to practice Mindful Meditation)
- Personal grooming time: Shower, shaving, and any number of activities that don't require thought.
- Hot Tub or Bath time is perfect if you are a tub person or you have access to a hot tub.
- Fitness training: Depending on the fitness activity you could do a releasing meditation or a mindful meditation.
- Walking or Running: Try doing these on your own and using this time to meditate. You can't meditate and carry on a conversation. People will notice if you have tuned them out.
- Waiting for an appointment, get there early so you can meditate before you go in.
There are lots of opportunities for you to create in your day so no excuses. Oh, one word of advice, try no tot pick the time someone is trying to interact with you as a time to “tune out” and meditate! There is always time in you day to meditate for at least 10 minutes. You can choose Deep Meditation, Meditation in Motion, or Mindful Meditation.
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