Be Still and Know...
I suddenly wondered something. So I Googled it. And you know what’s interesting? According to this research, about 18 million U.S. adults meditate. That’s a lot of people, huh? Not really. It represents 8% of the population. So if you had 10 people in a room, you’d barely have 1 person who meditates. If your job has, say 30 employees, not quite 3 of you are taking that time to still yourselves. I’m speculating now, but I wonder if we can extend that into the general arena of self-awareness? (Might say something about workplace violence.) If you try to take this global, it’s a little harder to quantify as the data really isn’t there, but again I think we could safely speculate that the practice is more common in Eastern cultures than others.
The meditation bandwagon is clearly a little on the light side, though proponents of it continue to grow and get vocal too. You really can't throw a click around YouTube without hitting someone who teaches it or advocates it, especially if you are an entrepreneur since we're all in the same space. I personally have always known it could be beneficial and I’d dabbled here and there, but I’m a fidgeter and asking me to be still is like asking a puppy to not jump and bark when it’s happy – or excited or simply awake for that matter. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t get the value of it. It just takes me a bit sometimes to adopt and adapt whatever it is that I choose to bring into my world. I have to be in the frame of mind to do so. But eventually I did. Meditation, just for short periods of time right now (up to 15 minutes at a time), has been part of my routine for about 3 months now. During that time I played around with doing it on my own, then I finally decided to try incorporating an app, so I played around with Headspace and Calm, liking both of them for different reasons. Then I started looking forward to it. Then I decided, “Hey, as long as I am up, I’ve been having trouble journaling consistently because it seems like I just can’t seem to make the time and I want to.” So I added that to the routine. Then I realized I really liked starting my day MY way. Me, a confirmed night owl. I was enjoying the quiet and the me time at the top of the day just like I do at the very end when the kids finally stop stalling and go to bed, and my husband goes to work (he works what I guess you can call 3rd shift). Plus, I’ve always enjoyed the darkness, so that helps, at least for as long as it’s winter, I suppose.
And then one day I said, “Well, you know I’ve been wanting to find a consistent time to read the Bible. Why not now?” So I added that. I’ve been doing a yearlong Bible reading program (I’m way past should-have-been-done, but I think I can be forgiven as long as I keep going.) Then I figured as much as I love the flexibility of my audio books, wouldn’t it be nice to actually get through the stacks of actual books I have in my room? So I set my clock back 15 more minutes and added that - happily.
Why stop at the morning? I’ve also been diligently working at getting myself to bed so I can at least shoot for 6 to 6.5 hours of sleep, which means needing to at least be in the bed by 10:30 p.m. But if I start heading there by 10, I can meditate/try to visualize for a bit before I go to sleep. Sometimes that leads to journaling, though, so it gets tricky there because it might wake me up. But here’s the thing. I like it. All of it. A lot. It means I own the beginning and end of my days and that makes me feel very happy and in control. It also means the time in between is much tighter, and I might be a bit slower about some things consequently because I have been truly trying to protect that 10 p.m. stop time, but I figure it will all gel eventually.
So why am I sharing this? Because when they say meditation helps with clarity, I can attest to that. When they say it helps with your level of peace and patience, I can REALLY attest to that. (Just ask both of my kids who each, separately attempted to highjack my morning 2 days in a row by missing the schoolbus. I was freaking awesome, in my own opinion, but they don’t know what I’m doing.) I’m not just stopping there as far as what I’m doing with my morning and evening time, but the ultimate goal is high vibration and clarity, my friends; for my business, my family, but most of all myself. I’ve gotten things done with a level of excitement that I think I’m getting addicted to.
For my writing clients and potential clients, I expect there to be times when you get stuck or overwhelmed or just not sure which direction to go. When that happens, I am suggesting coming to a standstill. That might mean going out and doing something completely different because it clears your mind, just like meditation can do. It could mean taking a nap or going to lunch alone or with someone else. Or it could mean meditating. But believe it or not I’m not writing this post to convince you to meditate. I write it to simply suggest finding whatever way works for you to slow down and give yourself room to think and breathe. That is what I was doing in November 2017 before I finally decided to make a better attempt at meditation. Last year was a wonderfully busy year, and I wanted to keep going, so I slowed down so that I could. For me that turned into this routine and I have no intention of turning back.
I guess I’m on the meditation bandwagon now, and I will subtly suggest it to those I work with because I know it will help them in the work they seek to do and even afterward when they go off to promote their work. While I haven't settled on anything yet, I'm pretty sure this is going to impact the number of clients I take on in a month too. I already limit the number of books we'll work on, but beyond that is the amount of shifting we'll be able to do because I want to maintain peace in my co,pany as well as for my clients who each deserve our unrushed attention. And given the addition of coaching to my services, it just makes sense that I delve more deeply into these still waters in order to build up more within myself so that I can give more to others. Interestingly, I think I’m the one who is getting the most from it because I have that to give in the first place. This is my #yearofconsistency, so it’s all about giving this the time it needs to really settle into my routine, but I’m pretty sure it’s a fixture now. More importantly, slowing down is translating into other areas of my life and conjuring up even more self-awareness than before, which is giving me the energy I need to take my business to the next level. That is all the impetus I need to keep going. It is all the result of me choosing to simply slow my roll.
By the way, as much as I loved the Headspace app, Calm is the one I finally decided to subscribe to. The variety of it sold me and it stays open on my phone all day because the music keeps me mellow and allows me to keep striving to stay at the high vibe I want to ultimately settle into for good. It’s worth checking out.