Settle Down

I often integrate meditation practices as part of my business coaching. When someone is stuck on a setback or belief, it is the practice of looking within in stillness that often helps people recalibrate and move forward.

Meditation has been proven with evidence as well as anecdotes to help people think differently. According to research from Headspace, the popular mediation app, through meditation we can build up areas of our brain and actually rewire it to enhance positive traits like focus and decision making and diminish the less positive ones like fear and stress. Most importantly, here is a possibility to change your brain for the better that is long-lasting. There is more room for other opinions and the focus on self is lessened. Consistent meditators (10 minutes a day) have reported an increase in creativity, innovation and self-awareness, which are all critically important for the inevitable changes that are occurring in workplaces in every sector across the country.

Recently I had a client who was struggling with feelings of uneasiness. Not surprising as many of us are feeling some sense of unease because of the circumstances around Covid-19. She is a bright and effective leader but her unease was impacting how she was showing up for her team. She could not clearly articulate what she needed because difficult emotions were bubbling up and clouding her judgment. She had persistent jumbled thoughts of self-doubt and lack of motivation. There was a steady stream of negative self-talk that was not serving her and her team was feeling the impact.

Rather than try to fix the problem, I invited her to be still. I guided her through a short breathing exercise to settle the mind and explained that thoughts come and go with no need to chase after them. We will get distracted. That is what makes us human. Once we notice we have become distracted, we reorient the attention back to the breath – with kindness and curiosity. That is the practice. No need to beat ourselves up for having thoughts. Then we begin again by refocusing attention on the breath.

Once we notice we have become distracted, we reorient the attention back to the breath – with kindness and curiosity. That is the practice.

For the next ten minutes we virtually sat together in silence. Stillness. Quiet. No where to be, no one to be. Alone together. Breathing in, breathing out.

After the practice ended I opened my eyes and saw she was smiling. She described the feeling as clarity. She suddenly had the words that she was searching for only a few minutes earlier. She was kind to herself as she went through the process. In just a few minutes of stillness, she developed the calm and clarity to allow us to be more fully present for ourselves and others.

While meditation is not for everyone, for those who practice, it definitely helps. To find out if meditation is for you, contact me directly.

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