After taking Columbia Business School’s Personal Leadership & Success, I started regular practicing meditation to improve my ability to focus, become more mindful, and operate more efficiently under stress. Around the same time, I incorporated a daily exercise routine and began making healthier decision around food and alcohol. I’d give myself a passing grade on the fitness changes, but I’ve been having trouble this last week making time to meditate.
We had friends staying with us last week, and to be honest, I felt slightly embarrassed and selfish about taking the personal time to break-away and from our friends and my son to focus on myself. Additionally, my apartment was full and there wasn’t an ideal place to unplug and collect my thoughts. In hindsight, I should have a back-up location to use, and I recognize that my insecurities aren’t doing me any favors.
There haven’t been many immediate results or from the meditation as of yet, which could have contributed to my recent inconsistency. In fact I’ve actively noticed that I’m just as forgetful and clumsy as I’ve always been. It’s slightly discouraging, but looking on the bright side, perhaps meditation has helped me become more aware of these behaviors as the first steps toward personal growth. Regardless, I know better than to rely on short-term results for validation in this long-term pursuit.
Lastly, I thought I’d share some advice about mediation that I received from a classmate, who struggled as I did. It’s a given that novices will be distracted by thoughts, ideas, images etc. in their early attempts to clear their minds. When this happens to me, it feels like I am failing. However, my classmate suggested that meditation is actually all about the process of pulling your mind back to center after each ‘distraction.’ He compared it to doing curls in weightlifting: you don’t get stronger by just holding the dumbbell up by your shoulder. You build muscle over time moving through the natural resistance.
This perspective shift has been encouraging to me, so I hope it’s relevant to someone else who’s having a difficult time keeping-up a steady routine.