So often in business, we are looking for ways to do more and achieve more. As a business owner, it is all too easy for me to get caught up in the urgency of life and business. Recently, I did exactly the opposite. I spent my evening, with five powerful Social Wahines, doing less and it turned out to be the most productive night.
On July 12th, I went to my first class to learn the basics of how to meditate. It was a balmy evening at Ala Moana Beach Park in Honolulu, Hawaii. I arrived at the park around 5:30p and the beach was all a buzz with families playing in the water, people fishing, and all forms of fitness in high gear around us. I was not scheduled to do any of those activities. I was on my way to learn how to meditate. Lia Catanzaro, an amazing yoga and meditation instructor, led our group of Social Wahines through the meditation practice. Lia found the perfect spot for us amidst the beach goers, yogis and fitness groups. We were positioned beneath a large shade tree, facing the ocean, perfectly poised to see a Hawaii sunset similar to the one you may find on a post card.
I signed up for this workshop seeking strategies to relax and calm my action oriented mind. As with anything in life, I went for one thing and gained three stunning pieces of wisdom.
Lesson #1: Meditation Only Takes a Few Minutes
I learned that meditating just 2-3 minutes a day can improve your creativity, intellect and overall health. I used to think that meditation took hours. I was wrong! Lia taught us that it takes just a few minutes of meditation a day to be more creative, smarter, and healthier. Meditation does not need to be complicated. It can be as simple as focusing on your breath and reaming calm while driving in traffic, spending a few minutes journaling each day or simply closing your eyes and focusing on your breathe in a measured fashion. I was a big fan of breathing with a simple mantra. I sat for 5 minutes breathing in through my nose and saying (in my mind) “in with love.” Then, breathing out through my mouth saying, “out with fear.” This meditation is powerful because fear and love cannot exist in the same space. I had never thought of that before, and as I pondered the idea, I realized that fear frequently hijacks my emotions and I kick into action, which is usually not handled delicately,
Lesson #2: Enjoy the Moment
I was able to truly sit and enjoy the place that I am at and not just let the day fly by me. When was the last time you just enjoyed where you were and chose to live in the moment? For me, it had been a long time. I am usually hectically picking up kids, finishing work and trying to figure out what to eat for dinner from 5:30p – 7:00p. This workshop reminded me to stop, slow down and enjoy this life given to me.
Lesson #3: Enjoy My Friends and Have Unique Experiences
I am reminded how much I like spending time with my friends while having unique experiences. These women were amazing. We were all in the same boat. Nervous that we could not slow down to meditate well (apparently all over achievers since we were afraid of being successful meditators), not sure if it was something we could enjoy, but knew we needed meditation in our life. Each one of us walked away with a different epiphany and felt closer as a result of the shared experience. By the end, we found our favorite form of meditation and enjoyed ourselves. One woman committed to starting her day at 6:00an and begin with journaling, another was heading out to purchase essential oils to diffuse in her house every night before bed. Me, I committed to going into yoga class 10 minutes early to meditate before yoga.
If you have not meditated before, I encourage you to find a guide to take you through the process. To my friends in Hawaii, reach out to Lia Catanzaro directly @ firstname.lastname@example.org Lia makes meditating an accessible experience that is not overwhelming. With my limited experience, I can say with confidence that practicing meditation will help me improve my emotional stability and intellectual clarity, both essential to be my best at home and work. I used to see slowing down as wasted time and being unproductive. Now, I see it as an investment in myself that will allow me to give more and do more for others.