Meditation has become an integral part of my life. There was a time when I would have looked at you like you were nuts if you asked me if I meditate. “I don’t have time for that!” I might have barked. Back then I believed that. I had no understanding of what it could do for me. I’m not sure I was in the proper headspace to think about meditating. During my football career, I lived in an adrenalized psychological state. My life was: get ready to attack and then get some rest. Survival. The chaos in my head restricted my ability to think about taking time to breathe. The trick of it is through meditation would have made me a more mindful athlete, a more mindful football player. Maybe even a better football player.
It took me about two and half years after football to find meditation. In many ways it simplifies things. I start breathing. I follow the breath into my lungs, imagining the air, the oxygen nourishing my body from the inside out. It’s gentle. It’s peaceful. My mind may start to wander and over time the recoil back to the breath becomes smoother. Always coming back to the breath. Gently noting thoughts as they drift in and out of mind’s view. I see geometrical shapes, pyramids, waves and rays of movement and flux.
The effect it has had on my life though is the truly magical part. I find that I am much more at home in my body. I’m much more at home in my mind. The thoughts of fear and chaos that have been a common theme in my life are reduced to grains of sand on the beach of my consciousness; rather than the immovable boulders of yesterday. It is not that I don’t experience ill feelings, or stress, depression, and sadness. In fact, I experience all of those emotions and feelings on a daily basis still. However, the difference is in the scale and my ability to ride those waves with curiosity and openness rather than resistance and frustration. Allowing myself to approach each day with gratitude and peace.
Meditation has given me the chance to breathe between thoughts and reactions. My mind and spirit are more resilient. I am better equipped to handle chaos and adversity. In business and life, we are constantly interacting with others in all different states of consciousness. We all give off energy and part of being human is unknowingly carrying emotional baggage around into places it does not need to enter. Give meditation a try. Like I did…