Seriously? I bet you never thought you would see those two words together in the same headline!
Here I am sitting in the Lotus position, legs crossed, my arms by my side with my forefingers touching the tips of my thumbs, my eyes closed, listening to the sounds of the ocean! Do you get the picture?
Well here’s the thing, I’m not sitting like that at all! I’ve never even contemplated yoga or sitting in the lotus position when I meditate! I hardly ever listen to meditation type music either.
So, if I may, I’d like to dispel a few myths or perceptions about meditation, as it really is one of the best self-development tools to enhance performance and improve my focus I have ever come across.
I use meditation to stamp out procrastination, like putting off the important stuff and scrolling social media, chatting on WhatsApp or doing something less important instead. As a self-employed, work from home, business owner, focus is really important to ensure I’m delivering for my clients and showing up for my business.
A study completed in 2017 by small business UK, revealed that businesses in the UK are potentially losing out on a collective nine million work hours each day, due to employees who get easily distracted by social media and other things online, rather than completing the work they are meant to be doing. That’s a whopping £70.4m plus per day, paid out in wages for staff to procrastinate if every one of those hours was paid at national minimum wage rate, the true figure is probably much higher.
I have to hold my hand up and say as a self-employed business owner, I used to be so guilty of this too.
Meditation helps me to focus on the job at hand. Making me a productivity badass! I get things completed far more quickly than ever before, which gives me more time to either do more tasks and increase revenue and profits or I simply use that spare time I now find myself with the luxury of, to simply enjoy life on my terms.
I am a Meditation Freestyler, the easiest way to describe this would be it is simply ‘the practice of exercising consciousness’. I’ve basically learned how to switch off the autopilot sub-conscious decision making and be so much more aware of when I am becoming distracted, not paying attention, not appreciating something for all its worth e.g. work, food, drink, conversation, a movie, many things.
Just as physical exercise is important for your body to maintain physical health, the same would apply to exercise your mind, to maintain mind and mental health.
Meditation and conscious mindfulness really have helped to elevate my life and my businesses.
If time is a constraint for you and would be your typical excuse for not meditating, I would just like to challenge you on that perception if I may. This was my argument, I had no time to meditate, I couldn’t find a quiet spot in the house, there were too many distractions, excuse after excuse.
Then I discovered, that there are thousands of different meditations you can do, and I was surprised to learn that you can actually meditate anywhere, at any time. There are even 60-second meditations which are great for instant stress relief and re-focus, I’m sure we can all find 60 seconds!
Here’s what you need to do:
Firstly, for 20 seconds Focus on Posture: Sit up straight with your back, neck, and jaw parallel to the floor. Allow your shoulders and jaw to soften and relax and close your eyes.
Next, allow for 20 seconds of breathing awareness: Focus now on your breathing and become aware, as the air flows in and out of your body. Breathing in through your nose and expelling the breath out through your mouth.
Lastly complete 20 seconds of body-awareness: Allow your awareness to now spread and feel it all over your body, observing it from the top of your head to the tips of your toes. Mainly focusing on the centre area between your eyebrows, throat, heart, chest, stomach, and bottom of your spine.
The posture stage creates a suitable foundation for the meditation, a receptive body that will then invite awareness inwards. Followed by the breathing stage to create a focal point, which draws your awareness away from your entangled thoughts. And finally, the awareness stage, allowing you to come in touch with whatever is going on in your body. All of these feelings and sensations combined, reflect your reaction to life and practicing observation of them will allow your reactions to subside.
Try it, and don’t give in after a couple of attempts, you wouldn’t give up learning to drive after two lessons because you haven’t passed your test yet, the same applies here we master it with patience, practice and perseverance.
Once you’ve cracked the 60-second meditation, you can begin to explore other types of meditation until you find one that suits your circumstances and you find works for you. Meditation is a very personal thing and can help anyone. It definitely isn’t just about dropping into silence in an uncomfortable yoga pose.
You can meditate in the shower, whilst running, whilst eating or drinking, you just need to bring your focus, complete attention and awareness to the activity and learn how to prevent your mind from drifting.
Put simply meditation is yoga for the mind, so I guess I do know how to do yoga after all.
When you learn to focus your attention in a conscious state, with people, objects, tasks and really be present and aware you will begin to observe how much more you enjoy food and drink, conversation, books, working, people, nature.
It’s time to switch off the auto-pilot sub-conscious and be present. It’s time to stop procrastinating, get focussed and be proud to let people know you meditate for productivity.
Meditation isn’t just for spiritualists and yoga experts. It’s for everyone and can be practiced any time, any place, anywhere.
Warning! – Meditation will make you a focused badass!