How I Use Meditation as a Business Tool
I'm a highly emotional and sensitive person and sometimes (particularly in male-dominated corporate environments that I spent a lot of my career in), that hasn't been a business asset.
To quote one of my favorite actresses, Kristen Bell,
"The first thing you should know about me: if I'm not between a three and a seven on the emotional scale-- I'm crying."
And that statement my friends, couldn't be more true for me as well.
So, in the roller-coaster of work and entrepreneurship I've turned to meditation to do just that-- keep me in my zone of three to seven. Which isn't to say that I'm an unemotional robot-- it just means that the bad stuff? I don't let that take me out of my zone of power, and the good stuff? Well, people tend to be less judgmental when you're crying over major victories.
So what does a meditation practice look like? There's no right or wrong answer. As a yoga teacher I've been teaching meditation in my classes for almost 10 years and have had countless students say, "I could never meditate-- I can't sit still, and I have a lot on my mind."
And that? That's one of the biggest misconceptions about meditation. The ideas that you have to sit and sit and sit in order for it to be effective or that you have to have the serenity of a monk every time you sit down are just not what it's about.
The truth is, meditation and it's scientifically proven, mind-altering benefits, is actually for everyone. Whether you start at 30 seconds and work your way to 30 minutes or stay at 30 seconds until you're ready to sit longer, you're still improving your brain's elasticity and calming your central nervous system.
So how do you start?
Find a comfortable place in your home to sit, uninterrupted
Set a timer for what feels like a reasonable amount of time (30 seconds is a great place to start, but so is five minutes)
Find a comfortable position to sit in
Close your eyes
Begin to notice the way your breath is moving in and out of your body
If you need something "to do" count your breaths, and if you are able to get to 10 breaths uninterrupted by outside thoughts, start at one again.
If you are interrupted by thoughts, notice them, honor them, and let them pass, try not to fall into their gravitational pull, and if you do, as you will, return to your breath
As you develop your practice, add some time on. Don't be discouraged when a day goes poorly or ego-driven when a day goes well. Just notice the things that come up, and you'll start to have an understanding of the way these thoughts serve you and those that do not.
Could there be a better business asset or practice than something that helped to calm you, clear your mind, and make decisions from a place of clarity? I think not.