Meditation is a core practice in my daily routine, strategically planned at specific times to provide moments of center and effective transition from one part of the day to the next.
But, it wasn’t an easy habit to form. For someone always on the move, preoccupied with endless projects and ideas, any time not engaging those pursuits was a distraction. The mindset was that if I wasn’t working on something, I wasn’t being productive. The problem wasn’t a lack of understanding of the need and benefits of meditation (or exercise or sleep for that matter), but rather priority. I was succeeding fine without it, so why justify the time? Until something becomes a necessity, our brains continue to follow what is — it’s our basic survival instinct.
Long story short, the struggles and anxiety from maintaining that lifestyle eventually forced a change. The result was a renewed life plan and focus, which featured two blocks of time for meditation each day. After much trial and error, I found that the most effective placement of these time blocks are during transition periods: before the start of my work day, and from my work day into family time (one in the morning and one right before the evening). This allows me to reorient and adjust state so that I approach the next sets of events with a calm, renewed energy. After months of consistent practice (like most habits, it took a while to build), I’ve noticed:
Meditation comes in many forms, and I‘ve experimented with a number of them. But, if you’re busy like me and want something abbreviated and highly effective, the following exercise is a great starting point and can be done anywhere. It’s also beneficial because it helps train how we handle thoughts — seeing them as they are; observing, not judging; and letting them pass without the need to hold on. That alone has been the most transformative aspect of this exercise, and I hope that it’s the same for you.
The goal of this exercise is intense concentration and a focus on the breath. There are three variations/scenes — choose the one you find most comfortable. The exercise should last for a minimum of 10–15 minutes.
Optionally, you can include a mantra during your session. This is a repeated word or phrase (verbally or mentally) to help guide concentration, and is usually positive-focused. If you don’t have one, here’s one I find particularly effective:
I expand in abundance, success and love every day, as I inspire those around me to do the same.