My mother was a Yoga teacher while I was growing up, which is kinda ironic, because up until very recently I couldn’t meditate to save myself. My mum even had a swami who came to stay with us, complete with swishing orange robes, for several weeks. Oh my poor long-suffering, conservative dad. Now, well into her eighties, shes a real pro when it comes to meditation.
Fast-forwarding to 2014, you’d be living under a rock if you didn’t know about mindfulness and its incredible gifts. Especially in leadership circles. Meditation has come a long way since mum’s kaftan-swinging, tree-hugging, incense-burning days – and has assumed its rightful place in the corporate world.
Here’s a compelling clip by Dan Harris explaining why mindfulness and meditation is da bomb.
But back to me and my difficulties with meditating. If you’ve tried and failed ‘cos you fall asleep, or are worried you can’t get all zen-like, then boy have I got a Friday treat for you.
Enter Andy Puddicombe and Headspace. This app, which sits nicely on your phone, is nirvana for first-time, would-be meditators. It’s also versatile enough for the more experienced meditators amongst you to enjoy.
I am now in my third month of meditating and I can quite honestly say, it has had a big effect in all aspects of my life. Plus I think I have fallen a little in love with Andy, the former monk, and his soothing English accent.
Benefits for leaders? I could go on all day, but here’s some of the main ones…
It activates the ‘rest and digest’ part of our nervous system, helping with stress management.
Promotes creativity and divergent thinking.
More focus and self-control.
Helps with concentration levels and stamina.
Reduces anxiety and stress.
Do you practice meditation? What benefits have you experienced?