The power of the quiet mind, and how to get it.
What if you could enhance and improve your life not by another new technique or tips you get from the media or books or online personal development blogs (including this one!) but rather by awakening a true power within you?
What if you learned to quiet your mind before you began your day every morning?
What would that do to your happiness and inner peace? How would that impact your dreams, your goals, your whole life?
If we truly understood and believed in the power of a quiet mind, we would never allow the commotion of the outside world muddy our pure thoughts.
If we could only grasp the power of stillness in our mental capacity, we’d go through great measures to achieve it every single day and at every single task.
But it takes conscious effort and heaps of patience to move in the direction of stillness and solitude and we human beings lean into chaos, noise and distraction more often than we’d like to admit.
And let’s face it, we don’t exactly live in a Buddhist temple, tucked away far from civilization and surrounded by the quiet of Mother Nature, so that we can actively focus on quieting the noise. We live in busy homes and we lead busy lives. We are convinced that we don’t have “time” for stillness and solitude, but I beg to differ with you (and my former self!).
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I was in a hurry all my life, even as a child. A few years ago, I began to see the real irony: the times that I’d been in most hurry were times that I fell seriously behind, my corporate career the prime example of this one.
I let the important things slide thinking that they are going to take up time that I don’t have, but the funny thing about time is that it does not work as linearly as you may think.
Today, I want to tell you how meditation improves your life. Here’s an irony you can get behind: You slow down precisely so that you can move faster with true momentum.
Go in and in. Be the space between two cells, the vast resounding silence in which spirit dwells. Be sugar dissolving on the tongue of life. ~Dana Faulds
Don’t just take my word for it, look at history and our role models, our powerful figures, and esteemed leaders and you’ll find that the common theme in their lives is having (nearly) mastered the control over their thoughts – and thus their lives – by quieting their mind.
In A Manifesto for Meditation, I go into a lot more depth on the subject. I hardly have enough time to share with you the true powers of meditation and yoga in a few paragraphs. Many dedicate entire lifetimes and are still not finished exploring and learning from it years later.
Suffice it to say that the benefits of meditation are real, proven, and almost immediate. The only question is if you choose to reap the benefits by partaking in the act!
Meditation and yoga generally go together like hugs and kisses, but they certainly can exist on their own, as can hugs and kisses. You do not have to do one to enjoy the other. Some yoga practitioners never meditate and many meditate alone without the accompaniment of yoga.
A little-known fact: Yoga was originally born so that it could get the body ready for long periods of meditation.
So find which one speaks to you the most using these tips: Meditation may be more accessible to you if you’re a calm and introspective person, whereas yoga – especially power yoga, vinyasa yoga or Ashtanga yoga – will suit you best if you have a fiery energy and need more physical grounding.
If you had to choose between yoga and meditation for quicker results, choose meditation and let us focus on that now.
5 Powerful Ways Meditation Makes You Happier. Guaranteed.
If you’re too busy to sit still for 10 minutes, you need to sit still for an hour. ~Zen proverb
Here’s the top 5 compelling reasons why meditation can increase your happiness:
1. Meditation makes you aware of yourself beyond anything else.
Meditation makes you aware of your posture, your breathing, your gestures, your body movements, your energy, and your overall presence. This awareness alone makes you show up more confident and happier. And confidence is a contagious and attractive quality to wake up to daily.
2. Meditation brings you in-tune with the vibe you are giving the outside world.
Meditation makes you pay more attention to your surroundings and be totally present. You then easily pick up on the reaction of people around you, and as you tune into their energies, you show more empathy and compassion towards them. Giving and being of service to others increases your own happiness.
3. Meditation helps you collect your thoughts and think clearly.
Meditation reminds you that you don’t need to be in a rush all day long, you can pause, you can be silent, you can think and hear your thoughts, and you get a lot of clarity from slowing down. Meditation also makes you pay attention to your breath, sending more oxygen to your brain and centering your whole body and mind as a result.
4. Meditation enables you to channel your emotions with grace and control.
Meditation helps you show enthusiasm and exuberance without being overly silly. It helps you be more certain and more assertive in your message. It helps you smooth out the edges, if you will, just as you would do if you are cleaning up audio waveforms and removing the peaks and valleys (now if that’s not a geeky way of describing this benefit, I don’t know what is. Forgive the engineer in me!).
5. Meditation makes you grounded and connected to yourself and others.
Meditation helps you focus your attention on what is really important and let the unimportant stuff go and in the process. For instance, you focus more on relationships, and less on the minutia of life the longer you meditate. Happier relationships are the key to more happiness!
A total beginner’s guide to simple self-guided meditation
So how do you get started if you’re a brand new beginner?
The simplest answer is that you simply start! Really, I’m not being clever. You have everything you need to start right now.
Quick start to meditating right now: Right where you are, sit up straight, relax your body, put your hands in your lap or on your thighs. Your eyes can be open or closed, both have unique benefits. Then take 2 deep inhale breaths on a slow count of one to five. Hold the breath for 3 seconds. Then release using the same count on a slow exhale. Repeat five times. This should take you no more than 3-4 minutes.
After you do the above for a week or two, extend it to where you take 10 deep breaths and work up to 8 to 10 minutes of silence .
Before you know it, it has become the most brilliant yet quietest habit of your life.
The most common question about meditation is this: What do you exactly do while “mediating”?
The short answer is that you do nothing. The long answer is also that you do nothing!
If we are not fully ourselves, truly in the present moment, we miss everything. ~Thich Nhat Hanh
And for us human beings, living in this modern age, doing nothing is harder than doing just about anything else.
Just to clarify, doing nothing does not mean lounging on the couch, watching your kids, walking the dog, or washing the dishes or even – especially – thinking.
Doing nothing is the process of sitting very quietly and acknowledging and releasing the noise and the chatter, the thoughts and the worries, the distractions and the cries for your attention.
This is a practice that you can start right now. This is a practice that will take you a lifetime to perfect. This is a practice that starts giving back in abundance almost immediately. This is a practice worth pursuing and building.
So starting right now, sit up straight in a comfortable chair, breathe in confidence and love, breathe out tension and anxiety. Feel yourself moving closer to the inner space of your mind, the place where creativity, genius and intellect reside.
Begin to hear yourself, truly hear yourself – maybe for the first time. Begin to create space to grow, to dream, to be, to move past your blocks and your excuses and to a place where anything is possible.
Now that’s the kind of happiness you can’t describe. So get in position and feel the increase in your happiness: Meditate. Affirm. Shine!
Can’t wait to get grounded? Download my FREE morning affirmation audio now!
Want more happiness and peace right now? Ready to begin tuning in to what matters? Itching to see what all this fuss is all about? (Oh just you wait – it’s the greatest discovery you’ll ever make!)
Then get your 12-minute FREE affirmation audio download here and listen to it first thing in the morning to create the calm, the peace, the sense of self-worth, self-confidence, and joy in your life with me as your guide.