“Respond from the center of the hurricane, rather than reacting from the chaos of the storm.”
―George Mumford, The Mindful Athlete: Secrets to Pure Performance
The kids are fighting. Sit. There’s a global pandemic. Sit. There are riots in the cities. Sit. Work deadlines are looming. Sit. You’ve just been told you have cancer. Sit. You’ve just logged onto the 30th Zoom meeting of the day. Sit (well, maybe stand.) You just lost your job. Sit. You feel alone. Sit. Leadership is failing. Sit. You disagree with someone you care about. Sit.
Even during a global pandemic when we are forced to shelter in place and stay home, we seek to find things to constantly DO….we just can’t sit still. Or, even if we sit still we find it incredibly hard to turn off the TV, put down the phone and just BE. When we see images of people meditating they are usually sitting peacefully, never depicted as being uncomfortable, yet sitting still, especially amidst the chaos is sometimes the hardest thing to do!
Meditation is getting more media attention in recent times, but the question is do you have a meditation practice? Consistently practicing meditation has been shown to have positive health implications, both physically and mentally. Many people get caught up on the word meditation. What is it anyway? Headspace, a popular meditation app explains meditation in the following way: “Meditation isn’t about becoming a different person, a new person, or even a better person. It’s about training in awareness and getting a healthy sense of perspective. You’re not trying to turn off your thoughts or feelings. You’re learning to observe them without judgment. And eventually, you may start to better understand them as well.”
"Stillness is the key to, well, just about everything."- Ryan Holiday
If you do not have a meditation practice you can begin with two to five minutes. Sit comfortably and set a timer. Breathe in. Breathe out. Ekhart Tolle says this, “One conscious breath in and out is a meditation.” Start small. Start where you are. There are many ways to deepen your practice once you begin. There are many teachers and resources available. Here are a couple of techniques to try: Box Breathing and 4-7-8 Breathing. I like both of these because they are easily accessible. You can do either of them almost anywhere and anytime. Find what works for you.
Meditation is one of The Four Seeds of Self-Care because we have personally experienced the transformative effect of sitting still. This is why we include meditation in all of our workshops, retreats, and coaching. But you don’t have to wait until you get to the beach or the mountains. You don’t have to wait until yoga class, or until the kids get to school or your spouse goes to work. Sit. Right now. Show everyone in your household how important it is to be still. Even when you doubt it yourself.
No matter your age, you may have realized that problems in your life aren’t going anywhere. But how you react to your problems can make all the difference in the world. Make time today to “TFM”, or “take a few minutes” to SIT.
With Love & Gratitude,
Kinda and Rachel