When I was doing some show-prep for our interview with Jane Skullman from Mindful Business, I came across a challenge put forth by the mindful, enrepreneurial hip-hop mogul Russle Simmons.
I promise that if you meditate twice a day for 20 minutes for just six weeks, you will see incredible returns on that investment!” – Russel Simmons
It sounded like a good challenge, so I took it on, and here is my experience.
Week 1: First couple of days I did my mindfulness exercise on the train. I had an hour commute those days. It was strange closing my eyes and thinking people are staring at me. I quickly realized that nobody gave a crap. I used a relaxing noise app to drown out other sounds. I'm a very visual person, so when close my eyes, the theater of the mind kicks in pretty quickly. I visualised all the of the tasks and responsibilities I had running through my head. They were neatly sorted around me, floating in the air, and I could easily pull them down and manage them all. It was a nice peaceful feeling. "I can manage all this, no problem."
Week 2: A bit crazy. My wife was going back to work after being home with our baby boy for almost a year, and I was ending my time working to stay at home. With all the new things and changed schedules, I had a hard time managing the two 20 minute sessions every day. What I did do though was take three deep breaths to calm myself and make sure I was present. Especially in those first days I was hanging out with my baby, I really had to get my mind off of work and the future to get back into the moment. I know that I've missed a lot of my life becuase my mind was somewhere else. I can't remember a lot of stuff from when my older two boys were babies. I don't want to make the mistake I've made, that many of us make, where we always think "Life will start after..." you name it, "I get that job", "I have more money", "I accomplish this big thing", "The kids grow up". If we think like that, we'll miss everything, "and I don't want to miss a thing"-Aerosmith
Here is how I get myself "present":
- Slowly take 3 long breaths and breath out just as slowly.
- Ask "Where are you?"
- Ask "Who is around you?"
- Ask "What's happening?"
- Ask "What can you enjoy about this moment?"
Then the days went on, I started my parental leave with an 11 month old ninja (that's what I call my boys) and I had to adjust my approach. Enter Headspace!
Screw it. I'm doing it my way.
Russle Simmons was asking a lot. I couldn't manage 20 min x2 a day. But headspace made it more manageable.
This program made it easy and pretty fun to learn about mindfulness. I learned the basics, and have used them whenever I feel the need. The breathing exercise alone can give a great power nap. Go try it out.