Having recently gotten back into the swing of doing meditation, I can report that I’ve been relatively consistent with it. But at the same time, it’s been challenging as well, since one of the overall goals of meditation is to quiet the mind. As an introvert, my mind is almost always going and sometimes in several directions at one time. (I’m sure this is true for many extroverts too). Those who meditate on a regular basis will tell you it’s perfectly natural for our minds to wander off during meditation, to start thinking about the day-to-day stuff, to-do lists, the past, the future, and a bunch of other stuff. So the key is to catch ourselves whenever that happens, and come back to the present moment. It’s sort of a parallel for life in general: it’s not so much the particular situation we’re in, but more so how we react to it and make the necessary adjustments that help determine happiness, peace of mind and success.
Also recently, I discovered that even just a few minutes of quiet can make a big difference. One morning when I found myself running around before work, trying to do 10 things at once, I decided to just stop in the midst of all that, sit and do nothing. This was not insignificant, as I suddenly shifted my priority from getting stuff done to taking a moment just for myself in the midst of a chaotic morning. What I found was that it really helped to set a positive tone and mindset for the day ahead. And that’s actually one of Richard Carlson’s tips in his book, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff at Work: “Do nothing for 10 minutes a day”.
So I’ll continue with my meditation practice, knowing that’s exactly what it is: practice. It’s not about perfection, but about consistency to help quiet the mind, or at least slow it down especially when it’s running 100 miles an hour. My Apple watch has a handy Breathe app that reminds me to stop periodically throughout the day for quick 1-minute deep breathing sessions. Everyone has 1 minute, right? Oh, and when you have a moment, be sure to check out The Calm App, a great resource for meditations and other cool stuff!