Back in 2004, I enrolled in an NLP course in Belgium led by the wonderful Paul Liekens. Learning to understand how we translate whatever our senses pick up and how language patterns get interpreted by our mind was, and still is, one of the most important things I’ve ever learned. It’s something I use every single day.
However, this post is not about NLP, it’s about something else Paul taught me: meditation. We would have these long weekends of 4 to 5 days where every single day before we started the day, we would commence the day by doing meditation.
Even though it felt very unnatural to me at first – I mean, come on, I’m supposed to just sit here wide awake and close my eyes and channel my attention inwards? Wut?! – I soon began to feel the positive effects of beginning the day with some dedicated “me” time. Presence time. There’s something to be said for taking a few minutes aside each day to bring focus to your thoughts and relaxation to your body. It’s a habit I took home with me and started to enjoy even. In the years after my visits to beautiful Belgium I continued to take the time to ground my thoughts and set the focus for the day (or sometimes week).
In spite of the benefits I experienced, after a few years this started to fade in a period where a lot of things were going on for me, resulting in my barely taking the time to sit down and meditate. For years I couldn’t find the time, which is ridiculous, to find a few minutes to center, to focus, to ground. This changed this weekend.
There are a lot of things going on in my world currently, and even though this forces my tendency to solve everything in my head, even more, I decided I would start to remember that meditation actually makes me more focused. Which in return makes me deal with all the stuff that’s going on more effectively.
And as of this weekend, I started to act on that regained knowledge. I’ve downloaded an app – yes, of course, there’s an app for that – that’s going to help me set 5 to 10 minutes aside per day to meditate. To be, to be focused and to become aware again. As a reminder I’ve allowed the app I’m using, Calm, send me a push notification on my iPhone and since I don’t let any other apps send notifications that works pretty effective.
I’m quite happy to have set this change in habit in motion again (thanks for the reminder Chris!) and am looking forward to solidifying this. So, how are you finding your calm and focused self?
Update: Just discovered this one today: possible age-defying effects of long-term meditation on gray matter atrophy. That’s not a bad reason to start either 😉