I will be the first to admit I was a meditation failure! I’ve known that there are enormous benefits to be gained from the practice. If Oprah, Katy Perry, Barbara Walters, and a slew of other insanely successful people do it, it must be wildly helpful. Right?? But why was it so hard to sit still and clear my mind?
Thoughts of the following consumed my brain:
What am I supposed to do next? Why do I feel bombarded with all the concerns of what I should be doing? Need to hurry and finish this meditation thing!
Determined not to give up, I listened to Lewis Howes’ podcast, ‘The School of Greatness,’ where he interviews Dan Harris, who appears to be a somewhat neurotic anchorman on ABC. Dan was live on TV one morning when he was frozen by a panic attack. Knowing his future would be short lived in media if he didn’t ensure it was just a one-time occurrence, he set off on a journey that led him to immerse himself in the study of meditation. What I loved about Dan is he is unabashedly transparent and admits his flaws, which appear to be many. He has a fantastic sense of humor and does not shy away from letting us know he has a few glitches.
Coincidently, I interviewed Shalini Vadhera, the same day I listened to the Harris podcast. Shalini has created a beauty empire, travels the world, and is incredibly accomplished. She spoke of how her first business, one of many, was life-consuming and stressful. Once she began practicing meditation every day there was a shift. She said now business and life feel almost “easy” because she has clarity, focus, and peace of mind. Not only is her business growing at a monumental speed but she has cleared brain space, allowing her imagination to create new products.
Shalini’s statement that life flowed more smoothly, despite all she has on her plate, was insanely motivating to me. Also, I realized if this Dan guy, who is admittedly imperfect, can meditate with success, I can too. So I downloaded his app, 10% Happier. I began listening to it every morning. It’s been seven days at the time of this writing.
Here is what I’ve experienced:
•More clarity and calm. Although I feel more tranquility, I have an immense sense of excitement due to seeing a clearer picture of what I am establishing. It’s as though my head has been down and I’ve been driving at 100 mph but not certain of where I was going. I was in the fast lane to somewhere vague. Now, I am realizing, ‘wow, I’ve accomplished a lot, and I can visualize how to put it all together to get to where I want to go’.
•My brain is working better. The thought of doing techie work makes me want to hurl. This week I was able to complete some large tasks on my website with no outside help. I had been searching to hire someone but wanted to get the job done quickly. So, I opened my website, had a list of what needed to be accomplished, and got to work. I did it all! Holy crap, that was HUGE! It cost me about three hours, a large headache, ….and a glass of wine, but I did it. In the past, I would have worked on it for a few days, gained a headache, only to realize it was way above my technical expertise and hired someone.
Furthermore, I would have been frustrated that I wasted my time. The frustration would be magnified by the knowledge that now I would be spending more time trying to explain exactly what I needed to be done to someone who most likely would take longer than I wanted. Do you get a sense that I’m a bit impatient? Probably, a large factor in why I had difficulty meditating in the past.
•Neck pain. After the website work, I had a lot of tension in my neck and shoulders. I decided to try out doing the meditation before bed and incorporate a meditation technique I learned from Shalini. I concentrated on my breathing and began to focus on my neck and shoulders. Within a few moments, it felt like a warm heating pad was placed on the area and the pain completely dissolved. Seriously! The pain just went away like magic.
So far, I still look forward to the brain break each morning. I started at five minutes, and now I’m at ten to twelve minutes. The meditation app I’m using is a guided meditation. There are many types out there, but this one has worked well for me. I am dedicated to continuing the practice for a minimum of thirty days but confident it will become a part of my more focused, calmer, but more productive, lifestyle. Stay tuned….