I tried meditation many times over the last 30 or so years. More often than not, I was frustrated because I didn’t see the results I expected. Probably because I expected results from little to no effort!
I tried sitting in the lotus posture in a formal practice and expecting instant enlightenment, then chastised myself for not being a good meditator. Making excuses for my “monkey mind”, blaming my lack of training, etc, etc.
I never lasted for more than a few minutes without the internal dialogue shutting me down, followed shortly by giving up altogether. Within a week or two, sometimes a month, I’d throw my hands up and go back to my frenetic life.
As I have settled into regular practice, the period afterward has become quite interesting. At first, I’d sit, and then jump up and rush back to work. That sort of negated the settling effects of practice, and now I will sit quietly for a moment, or finish up with a walk around the block.
This has resulted in flashes of unexpected clarity and, sometimes, insight
The oddest things pop up, answers to a dilemma on occasion, but more often than not, ways that I can make deeper use of my lessons, and also a clearer focus on what I’m doing in that moment. Weeding, picking vegetables, sitting in the sun with a dog on my lap, all give me quality soaking time and this has impacted my depression in a positive way as well.
Meditation has made me more productive
I get a burst of energy and combined with the clarity of a calm mind, this is a powerful thing. I’ve learned to stop beating my head against a roadblock in my work and instead take a break. Sitting in a short meditation, taking a breath, walking, or even climbing a flight of stairs gives my brain the freedom to process what’s going on. I come back refreshed and often with a new perspective on what the issue is.
I finally get it
Meditation is a solid part of my life and my business, but it never would have happened if I hadn’t stuck to it and extended the time that I sit for to 20, 30 then 60 minutes. I give myself permission to spend that first 10 minutes as time to settle if I need it, then deepen my focus. I set a timer to remind myself but I allow myself to sit for longer if that’s what I need. Flexible works for me.
As 2017 dawns, I am shifting my business to help other entrepreneurs see the value of cutting their brain some slack once in a while and simply BEING.
Stay tuned, it is going to be an amazing year.
By the way, here’s a short list of opportunities to learn more in the San Francisco Bay Area. Who knows, you might see me there, soaking up more wisdom!