Headspace

I’m often asked how to approach meditation.

Well there isn’t much to it. Sit, breathe, repeat.

Yet in our hectic society, the very action.. (or inaction, so to speak!) of turning off our minds can be quite challenging. Naturally there’s a number of books out there worth reading, and I’ll go into those in another post.

This one is all about Andy Puddincombe. A Brit who gave up his studies to become a monk, he eventually returned home to set up a clinic to promote mindfulness..

This eventually became Headspace, and helps anyone get into a meditative, mindful practice for 10 minutes a day.

While I’ll be linking my daily vlog at the bottom that accompanies this short post, I’ll fist embed Andy’s “virally popular” TED Talk.

Now mindfulness is something that’s received immense attention in the western world, and it’s only increasing.

Mindfulness GoogleGranted Google is a global “product” or service, but it seems most of it’s use in the more developed cultures who are often less in touch with their spiritual identities. I don’t intend this to be a discourse on religion, but on spiritual behavior, which I think transcends all faiths. In fact, searches for meditation using the search engine have climbed dramatically since 2004.

I am, for one, immensely excited to see where this trend takes us. While I got into mindfulness and meditation a bit late in the game, I do feel that I was able to get in right as the wave as started to crest.

I’ve often maintained that genuine, personal, spiritual connections with ourselves and with a similar respect for thah headspace in each other has been missing and vitally important in western urban environments.. We all live in a very dense physical space: mindfulness provides a key for coping and identifying as healthy individuals.

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Little Things

When you’re in a bit of a funk, or surrounded with a dark fog, finding that first step to bring yourself back out is often challenging, if not wholly insurmountable.

It’s easy to overwhelm ourselves with a massive list that sets ourselves up for failure before we even begin. While it seems like an optimistic goal in the moment, it’s effectively sabotage.

What we need is the linchpin (Word of the day?) that starts the ball rolling.. We need a single habit that is simple and easy to execute.

Little things

For you it might be letting your dog out into the yard, turning on the coffee machine, or meditating. For me it’s sitting up the moment my eyes open, and stretching, getting the blood flowing, so that I don’t lie back down and procrastinate.

Then I follow it up with a number of other small habits, each taking less than 5-10 minutes. This process is known as stacking, and is much more effective for creative positive habits, as each builds on the success of the last.. and since each one is tremendously easy to accomplish, you feel great for finishing each one!

I like to further build on this process by ensuring that most of these rituals creates some small instance of joy or happiness. For example, making the bed; takes under a minute, but provides a welcoming environment for me to collapse into at the end of a hard day. I also fill a bottle with some slices of lemon and filtered water… This give me an excuse to be mindful each time I take a sip throughout the day, keeping me positive and healthy.

So what are your “little things”? What gets you up in the morning and puts you in a great mind frame? I’d love to hear from you!!