A few of you have asked me about my meditation practices, so I thought I would give you a little story about my meditation journey. There have been many claims that I’ve read about what meditation can do - healing our hearts, bringing clarity to our minds, relieving stress, making us happier, and so much more.
When I first started my practice, I assumed that I had to clear my mind completely. Those who know me well are probably laughing right now! The more I tried to still my mind, the more I went off into every imaginable tangent. As they say: squirrel, squirrel.
I thought that it wasn’t for me and that I just sucked at it! Until I started doing some more research. Come to find out, there’s more than one way to meditate. Here are just a few examples:
Guided meditation - someone else is talking you through it
Transcendental meditation - using a silently-used sound called a mantra
Movement meditation - like Yoga, Tai Chi or even walking
Focused meditation - thinking about one thing / the opposite of multitasking
I could go on and on. The point is, there’s not just one way to meditate. But, it still didn’t strike a chord with me until I found the book The Code of the Extraordinary Mind by Vishen Lakhiani.
Over the past few years, I have used the six phases from this book, in unison with a few others I threw in, to create my practice. Here’s what it looks like. The first thing I do is go to my ‘spot.’ It’s quiet and comfortable, and I usually spend anywhere between 5-20 minutes right there.
Start with compassion: For me, I call it Cambri’s compassion because that thought immediately puts me into a compassionate mode. The belief is that all humans need love and compassion in their lives, which is super important. I start with visualizing a bubble around myself, then my family, next my neighborhood, and extend even further outward (state, county, world). Sometimes, I focus on specific places that are experiencing strife. For quite some time, I’ve been focused on the Black Lives Matter movement, which is very powerful.
Gratitude: I think about what I am grateful for at home and in my career. It is when I appreciate what I have accomplished in my life so far.
Forgiveness: This has been a struggle for me, but what I try to do is feel a pain I THINK someone has caused me. I forgive that person. It becomes more comfortable when we realize forgiveness is the release of resentment and anger. It doesn’t mean we have to go back to the person, place, or thing that hurt us.
Future dreams: I look three years out and picture my perfect day. It’s wonderful to have this vision pulling me forward.
My perfect day: I think about what today’s perfect day looks like. This sets me up and gives me a sense of control over creating just that for the day ahead.
Blessing: Think of this as the “higher power.” For some, that might be based around religion, nature, or spirituality. For me, it’s focusing on God’s energy by starting at the top of my head and going clockwise circles throughout my body. Whatever works for you. There is no right or wrong way.
Even with these pretty structured six phases, I still drift off. As a matter of fact, I drift off more than I don’t. When I skip a few days of meditation, it’s evident that I’m not performing at my highest level. For me, meditation is a lifelong practice.
There are plenty of sports stories out there that say the harder you practice, the easier the game is. Meditation is my practice to make life more full of joy. If you’ve tried meditating and ‘you sucked at it,’ I would encourage you to try it again. Find what works for you. It may be something as simple as a 15-minute walk every morning. Whatever it is, just find a way to reflect.
If you’d like to talk about it, I’d love to talk chat. I’m here. Life is good. -- Jeff