“We cannot see our reflection in running water. It is only in still water that we can see.”     Taoist proverb

Scheduling time for meditation may sound counterintuitive…but it’s not. In busy, everyday life, it seems we’re constantly inundated with deadlines, running from one appointment to the next, and preoccupied with “getting things done”. For some, it may appear that the only way to meditate is to schedule it.

When an individual sits quietly, even if it’s just for a few minutes, it helps their body and emotions to sort of calibrate themselves, which allows them to authentically be more in the moment. It’s important to make room for feelings when they come up. Often, people don’t give their emotions the attention they warrant, whether it’s due to suppressing them, convincing their brains that it’s “not a big deal,” blaming it on lack of time, or not wanting to feel due to fear.

The mind is a powerful tool that should be nurtured; one way to fuel it is through meditating. Meditation is something I highly recommend and practice with my clients. I’ve seen tremendous benefits, particularly with grieving clients. When someone experiences a major loss and they haven’t truly grieved, they may believe that they won’t be able to stop once they start – they’re afraid of feeling the feeling due to the absence of an emotional endpoint, per se. They then may become distressed about the possibility of feeling, working themselves into quite a tailspin.

When this happens, I encourage these individuals to slow down and meditate. Using the principles I discussed in the previous blog – a soft voice, simple language, and a slow pace – I gently guide them into a “mini meditation”, which lasts about 5-10 minutes. During this process, I’ve observed more relaxed facial expressions, body language, and normal breathing patterns, to name a few – all signs that the individual is regaining control of their mind, body, and heart.

TAKE-AWAY: For those of you who are open and willing to try meditating, I have a challenge for you…

Over the next two weeks, schedule five minutes per day where you can sit alone, be quiet, and feel everything you can in those moments. It could be grief, frustration, happiness, anxiety, gratitude, stress, serenity…anything. When you’re finished, jot down whatever comes to mind – the size or significance isn’t what’s important here.

Continue with the rest of your day. Do brief emotional and body check-ins with yourself throughout the day and write down what you notice. Compare these with your previous notes.