For those of us with active, creative minds, the call to meditate can feel like too big an ask. We know it’s good for us, or that we “should” carve out the time; but it’s just too hard to slow down. And what will we find when we slow down enough to listen to the noise in our heads? Yikes.
Start small. Keep it simple. Just checking in with yourself for one minute is enough to notice a negative thought pattern and re-direct it toward a gentler, more compassionate one. You’ll feel more grounded and centered. It only takes a moment of focused thought to remind yourself that, as Emmy award-winning casting director Deborah Barylski says, you are the captain of your own life and career.
The following practices will help you begin to reap the significant benefits of meditation, without feeling like you have to dedicate hours at a time, or be someone you’re not.
- Regular, small practices add up. Do you spend time on public transportation? That can be a time to center and focus. Pop in some ear buds with soothing music, close your eyes, and simply listen to the music for 5 minutes (or 3, or 10, or …) When your thoughts wander, gently re-direct them to the music. Imagine the music traveling through your whole being, healing, calming, energizing. Then imagine the music flowing out, in, and through everyone else on the train, filling them with healing love. You’ll have a noticeably more resourceful day.
- Anything can be meditative. Meditation is simply mindful focus. Mindfulness means bringing your attention to an activity in the present moment. Re-direct your thoughts back to the present moment when they wander to the past (often thoughts of regret), or to the future (perhaps thoughts of worry or fear). Mindfully chopping vegetables, or tying your shoes, or going for a run, benefits your mind and soul in countless ways. You will feel the benefits in surprisingly short order.
What are your favorite meditative practices? Care to share below in the comments section?