Shout out to all the mother's (and women who aren't mothers) for all the things they do to keep the rest of the family on track!
While you’re juggling responsibilities at home and work, it can be difficult to carve out time to sit down and meditate. However, it's extremely important for you, and those around you, to take care of your mental and emotional health.
Benefits of Living Meditatively
1. Increase your peace of mind. Even brief periods of meditation help to clear your mind of nagging concerns and pointless regrets. You’ll soon feel more relaxed and at ease. With your mind at peace, you can still feel content when you miss the last bus, forget to return that phone call before leaving the office, or lock your keys inside your car.
2. Accomplish more. Clarity of mind enhances your thinking and decision making. You manage your time effectively and achieve more with less effort. A calm mind is like still water.
3. Enjoy greater happiness. Once you start living meditatively, be prepared to smile frequently and feel more optimistic. The kindness and affection you offer to others will be returned to you many times over.
While you’re trying to organize your days (and everyone else's), you can still live a more meditatively right now. Try these ideas for building more reflection and mindfulness into your routines.
Basic Principles of Living Meditatively
1. Slow down. Do you feel like you are being swept along by external circumstances and obligations? Moving at a more leisurely pace enables you to take control. Set priorities and think strategically about how you want to allocate your resources.
2. Focus your attention. It’s easy to wind up being pulled in multiple directions. Set aside distractions and give your full attention to one task. Notice how much more quickly you complete your grocery shopping without forgetting a single item that you need for dinner.
3. Observe your surroundings. Extend your awareness outwards. Appreciate the beauty of nature. Seize opportunities to make a new friend or acquire a valuable career skill.
4. Let go of expectations. Expectations can undermine your happiness. Realize that much of life is uncertain, but you can shape your experiences by how you decide to respond to events. Resolve to learn from your mishaps and persevere through discomfort.
5. Generate compassion. Remember that you have plenty of company in adversity. Reach out to an acquaintance or coworker who looks like they need a helping hand. Validate the struggles of others and wish them well.
6. Express gratitude. Write up a list of the many things you have to be thankful for. Post it somewhere you can see it each morning. Tell others how they bring more joy into your life and help you to build your character.
Applying Meditation to Routine Activities
1. Care for your body. It’s easier to meditate when you keep your body in top shape. Eat nutritious foods and exercise on a regular basis. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. See your doctor for regular checkups.
2. Strengthen your relationships. Living and working with others often creates some of our most challenging and rewarding experiences. Mindfulness can help you to be more patient with your children and closer to your spouse.You may discover new solutions for resolving conflicts with coworkers.
3. Do meaningful work. Meditation is also good for your job satisfaction. Consider how your current position aligns with your values and talents. Take on new projects to learn what tasks give you the greatest sense of fulfillment.
4. Serve your community. Give back to your community through your work and leisure activities. Living meditatively will show you that kindness and generosity are highly gratifying.
You can benefit from meditation even when you’re under pressure to complete a sales report and pick your kids up from daycare. Living mindfully is a gradual approach that will help you to focus your mind and open your heart.
Need help with your meditative practice? Try my Guided Meditation, available via download.