Are You A Full-Time Superhero?
There’s one big obstacle people seem to encounter when it comes to finding clarity, calmness and peace of mind.
They take a bit of time.
So if I told you that the benefits of meditation twenty minutes twice a day are an increase in your mental focus, sense of serenity and inner harmony, how likely would it be that you respond, “Well-l-l... I think I’ll have to pass. I’m way too busy for that!”?
BUSY, that bittersweet word.
Saying “Heck, I’m too busy!” actually makes you feel sort of good, right? It means you’re in demand, after all. “Yes, I’m overwhelmed and stressed out, but doesn’t that mean I’m important? Irreplaceable, even?” It’s as though you can feel proud of your hardships, like any true martyr would. “I’m self-disciplined enough to keep on going, even though my plate is overflowing (and I haven’t had a vacation in seven years).”
In our culture, being busy is a type of self-validation.It’s an undercover value judgment you might have picked up from your parents (yes, those two people living at your house when you were young who may have often been “too busy” to spend time with you).
Or perhaps you went to an Ivy League university where BUSY = futuresupersuccessfulinvestmentbanker*Irock*yeahyeahyeah!!!
Or what about those fellow suburban stay-at-home moms who’ve informed you that unless you’re head-over-heels arranging every second of your children’s lives, they’ll grow up to be teenage video-addicted zombies (‘It’s true, darling! I read about it in a parenting magazine!’).
Losing the joy of life
But there’s a danger in that (mis)conception. If your life has the feeling of urgency typically found by those in a battle-zone, that’s what your brain will be prepared for – a struggle for survival. And then, since our subconscious mind affects our conscious mind, that is how your existence will appear to you. When you are hyper-vigilant day in day out, the part of your brain tuned for calmness, clarity and ease simply shuts off.
For most mere mortals, this means the 24/7 ‘busy bees’ will – more often than they would like to admit – get irritated with their loved ones, co-workers or friends for silly reasons, and even occasionally snap and snarl like a caged animal.
Inside, eventually, they will feel increasingly isolated, empty and hollow.
The Next Big Story
My Journey Through the Land of Possibilities By Soledad O'Brien “Story is our medium. It's how we connect emotionally with our viewers. And it's how we make sense of our world...When we talk about a 'big story,' we're really talking about what resonates with people, what matters to them.” Read the Book >
It’s not a matter of belief
Scientists whose profession it is to prod and poke around in the brain know the part of our “noggin” that’s responsible for our feeling calm, clear, assured and expanded is also the very same one where compassion and common sense reside. Folks in lab coats comparing neon-colored images that look like ads from the 90s have determined that when you are not regularly checking in with the ‘Zen-zone’ (i.e., too “on the go” to give your body and mind time to rest & recuperate), every once in a while you’ll start acting-… well, impulsive, irritable, short-tempered . . . you get the picture.
Now, you might say that’s not how YOU are wired up.
You say, “I thrive on the go-go-go mode.”
But being a (self-)prescribed Type A is not a doctor’s note saying, ‘Excused from all peace of mind.’ It’s simply a way of finding yourself in very good company with people who believed they would never have the time and the patience to meditate. As the star journalist and a mum-of-four, Soledad O’Brien, confessed:
“I really didn’t think I could do it, I mean, if you knew me, you’d know, I cannot meditate! I have a crazy schedule, I have four small children, I am always going, so the idea of calming my mind, I thought, was not possible! But I was able to learn it. I was able to do it, and I appreciate very much the opportunity to take the time…to meditate – that state of deep rest and relaxation can be game-changing, and sometimes life-saving, in a crazy world.”
And Pamela Peeke, M.D., best-selling author and a wellness warrior, added:
“It’s a miracle that I can meditate. I’m a type AAAAA-personality.I make Soledad look like she’s hypothyroid. I’m the best thing that ever happened to Transcendental Meditation, because if I can do it, anyone can do it…”
Do you notice how these two women are actually competing over who is more hyper? No further proof needed on how driven and competitive they are. Yet they acknowledge (with joyful relief, it seems) even they can, through meditation, relax and rewind and benefit from it.
The smartest investment possible
Similarly, it’d be wise to let go of any fear that feeling better about yourself and the world will make you lose your edge.
Work Zone Madness
By Nancy Slomowitz “Whether you are an employee, a manager or a business owner, you have the power to effectively change your situation from the daily soap opera to a place of success.”
Nancy Slomowitz, a successful CEO at Executive Management Associates and author of the book Work Zone Madness!, can pacify your worries with this description of her experience.
“I’ve always been and I still am a very neurotic person. And I’ve always been a Type-A personality, I’ve always been a non-conformist and doing Transcendental Meditation didn’t change that. But what it has done is it’s allowed me to be more comfortable within myself and to be able to manage my own behaviours. I’m a happier and calmer version of myself.”
So, could you do it?
Could you let go of your superhero complex and accept that you’ll be a better and happier superhero, once you stop being ’too busy’ to meditate?
Shoot me a line and let me know.