Three Tips to Make it Happen
By: Sarah Stokes
I never dreamed I’d be meditating in the morning. As a former TV news anchor who worked past 11 p.m., I would have called you crazy if you would have told me I’d prefer to wake up at 4 a.m. to start the day! Back then, the sheer laughter would send Diet Coke shooting out of my nose if you would have told me I’d be drinking green smoothies made mostly of celery and spinach and go to the gym at 6 a.m.
These have been some of my biggest game changers.
As a business owner with a big payroll and a million things to manage, these unimaginable lifestyle choices are now total “musts” in my life. When we’re trying to do big things in business, we have to be at our best. What’s that look like for you? What things are you avoiding because they sound hard or silly to you?
Meditation used to be something I thought was impossible for me.
Now, I crave it.
Yes, it took like a year to get to the point where I can focus enough to feel good at the end of it. But it is truly one of my best revenue generators, because it’s where I find a lot of inspiration and clarity.
So how can I help you fast-track meditation? Some purists may be annoyed by me combining the word fast and meditation, but hey, we all have to start somewhere and perhaps this will be the gateway for you on your way to serenity!
1) Start Small
Even one minute is a good start to introduce your busy brain to this whole meditation thing. It’s going to feel like you’re failing for a while. This is why they call it a “practice”. I still only get about 15 minutes on a good day. And you know what, that’s better than zero minutes!
2) Find a Phrase
Your monkey mind will be going a million miles per hour. It’s normal. Every single item on your list, every weird worry, each unfinished task will try to pop into your quiet time. I’m not a pro yet, but even after a year of practice, I have to constantly sweep the unhelpful thoughts out of my zone. When you choose a phrase or “mantra,” you can at least go back to something. I use a couple of phrases to bring me back to a focus point. Sometimes I say, “I expand my capacity for love, success, and abundance,” based on a mantra from the book “The Big Leap,” by Gay Hendricks. It can be “Om” or whatever works for you!
3) Keep Going
Several of my friends meditate. Many of them are pretty advanced in this practice and they still say there are times when the squirrels in their brains are pretty active. Just keep showing up. When your brain gets off track, go back to the phrase you chose. You will have to steer your brain over and over again into a more relaxed place. This is the biggest challenge. Breathe and start again. Breathe and start again. Don’t get mad. There’s no way to fail this except to give up on yourself.
When you listen to some of the world’s most successful people, you’ll hear that meditation changed their life. I used to groan because it sounded so annoying to me. Now, when my little timer goes off, I’m sad it’s over. I finally have found a way to get into zen mode pretty quickly. With three businesses, twelve staff members, and two little kids, sometimes it’s the only quiet time I get all day. When you give yourself these precious minutes, you’ll notice that some of the most-needed clarity comes to you in a brief thought that squeezed into your awareness only because you got quiet.