Friends and family know me to be a happy and joyful person. I hope you think the same. But let me say, if you met the “me” of several years ago, you wouldn’t recognize me. Most likely, you’d think you were meeting my younger, but more stressed—and way unhappier—sister.
You would rarely see a smile on my face. I might complain and be prone to mood swings. And though I was younger, I was prone to health problems.
My number one priority then was to succeed at being an archaeologist with a PhD AND being the best. I would have told you how I was “pursuing my dream.” But my face sure didn’t show it.
So what’s the big difference between me-then and me-now, the person more known for smiles, calmness? It’s just one word, the big scary M word: Meditation.
It’s time I introduce you, dear friend, to the blessing of meditation. I’ve spent two years on Being Teacher, sharing realistic tools for happiness and balance, and yet I’ve never shared the one tool that transformed my shabby life into one of everyday miracles.
Why have I waited so long?
Honestly, I think I’ve underestimated you. I didn’t think you would want to hear about meditation. However, you—dear teacher—have proven me wrong. I had in my heart a doubt of you and I am sorry.
Most of you maybe think about Meditation and imagine sitting for long periods of time, with all your crazy thoughts, in some uncomfortable position. Nope—that’s so 1960’s.
It’s time to learn about meditation, 2018 style. Here’s how to begin:
Baby steps. Because our brains are so used to the noise and commotion of the digital age, sitting still and becoming quiet requires more effort than it did 20 years ago. It’s so ironic—we have to work harder to do nothing. Or what will feel like nothing (at first) to your over-stimulated brain.
We will hack around that disconnect by just sitting for less time.
The first week you begin the practice of meditation, just plan to sit in a comfortable quiet place—maybe your classroom at the beginning of the day—for only five minutes. Set a timer for five minutes.
For those five minutes, close your eyes as you focus on your breathing. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Feel the air moving. Imagine it. Focus your thoughts on the sound and the feeling of air filling your lungs and exhaling.
Your brain can to do this for five minutes. It will be only five minutes. Every day. One week.
Next: Increase your time. The following week, extend your meditation time to ten minutes.
Focus on your breathing still, but if you find yourself losing focus, then add a mantra. Some common mantras include, “Om”—pronounced “Aum” (meaning peace of mind) and “Yaweh”—meaning God.
That’s it! Ten minutes meditating every day will transform your life as it has mine.
I cannot emphasize enough how powerful meditation can be in your life. I created Being Teacher to provide teachers realistic tools for happiness and balance. I sincerely believe with the right strategies, any teacher can be happy, healthy, and whole.
Why does it work? What happens? You’ll see.