03 Jun INSTEAD OF MEDITATION
Doers and Go-Getters
What would be your real-time worst nightmare? Thinking about “right now” not the vast future, that is. For me that would be stillness. Doing nothing. Indolent inactivity for whatever reasons. Waiting in vain lines, doing the last 3 minutes of a yoga class :
For people like me meditation does not work, and I have tried all the apps too, which just gave me a different conception of anxiety. Not cool, not cool at all. So, instead of whining and crying about how meditation doesn’t work, how about we reformulate the concept to fit the personality of doers and go-getters? Here are a few active ways to get into that mindful state of being present in the moment without having to stand still and start wondering whether you’ve fed the cat when you don’t even have a cat…
Let’s get the obvious out of the way. Exercise is the most natural and effective way to improve cognitive function and get a serotonin boost at the same time while working on those glutes as well. It’s a win-win situation for body and mind and everyone is happy, or at least the same-level-happy but with better glutes and uncluttered mind. I run a lot and I make the most of it. Listening to new music, albums sent to me for reviews, I let my mind wander and brainstorm ideas about upcoming projects. I do my lists or go through the ones I have already put together and prioritize accordingly. Then it’s all about the runner’s high, everything feels better and you get the ultimate reward for running that extra mile and not giving up. Much, much better that meditation.
I used to think that games are a waste of time. Why play when you can use that time to work, work, work I heard a little devilish voice whisper sweet nothings to me…
And then I overworked myself to sleep, I woke up tired and tried to make up for it with more unfruitful hours of work, work, work…
The minute I allowed myself to take a break and unwind, my productivity levels skyrocketed and with a little help from my soy latte I made it through yet another hectic yet delightful day. That enlightenment came to me when I discovered these free online puzzles. In the midst of impossible deadlines and sleepless nights, when there was no time to take a full day off or stay still to meditate, I divided the day in working sections and in between I just assembled puzzles. And it worked. It cleared my mind, improved my focus, and provided a refuge, a safe place without me having to leave my desk. While I was sorting my puzzle pieces into color groups and finding the edge pieces I subconsciously went on a creativity journey hence returning to work with fresh ideas and the right go-getter attitude. This specific game site that I take shelter in whenever I feel the need to unwind, gives you a new puzzle every single day while changing up the themes to keep things interesting, lets you choose from a variety of sizes from 9 to 225 pieces,large or small-your call, and keeps track of your time so it motivates you to focus on your speed.
Breathe in. Breathe out. Do a puzzle.
I distinctly remember the day I stumbled upon an article about non-judgmental awareness. I was fascinated with the concept. We are biologically programmed to judge everything and everyone around us and that acts as a defending mechanism against all sorts of danger. Natural like breathing but I never took the time to consciously think about it. In nature that kind of judgement may save us from a pack of wolves or a poisonous handful of blueberries but in our urban environment it’s basically a mental prison. They say it takes years of meditation to be able to learn how to release judgement and frankly my dear who has the time or energy for that? What I do is every now and then while I’m performing an everyday thing like doing the dishes, or waiting in line at the post office, I try to play that game of approaching each situation and everyone around me in that specific room without judgement. Think of it as closing the shutters to all biased perceptions. It’s fun, it’s refreshing and a useful form of alternative meditation.
THAT THING YOU ENJOY DOING
For me it’s cooking. You may think I’m nuts (correct you are) but I prefer cooking than eating. I find it soothing and productive and the best cure for a craving as well.
You cook, you eat. You can’t eat the outcome of your traditional meditation, now, can you?
If cooking is not your thing, I’m sure you have a thing whatever that is, go do it, indulge in the moment, remove all sorts of distraction and decompress with your creative outlet.