I’ve started to think about the effect meditation has on me as “ironing my mind”. When I wake up, my mind is usually a bit wrinkled from sleep but mostly fresh. My first 3 hours of work involve a constant barrage of notifications and e-mails, urgent deadlines, last minute requests, etc. By noon, I’m wrinkling my mind even more as I’m forced to rapidly bounce around tasks and projects that need attention.
Years of this lifestyle have tricked my mind into thinking that if I’m not “bouncing around,” I’m not being productive. If I’m not checking e-mails, getting Facebook notifications, banging out texts, I can feel lazy and unproductive. By nightfall, my mind is usually fatigued, tired, more wrinkled than ever and still looking for more things to respond to. As I start meditating, I notice my impulsive desire to be “busy” start to soften. By simply noting the thoughts and feelings I experience, then re-focusing my attention on my breath, those impulses start easing.
Post-meditation, I feel like a freshly ironed piece of cloth. I’m able to concentrate on what I want to, not what’s pushed at me. I’m able to re-prioritize my goals. I can fully feel my body, enjoy my work, taste every bit of food, enjoy the pleasant breeze on my face. It’s been a pleasant surprise and an important habit I’ve started to form. If that sounds like you, and you haven’t tried it yet, I’d recommend starting with Headspace. It has been a big help to me, and I hope it can be of help to you too.
– Tim Hedberg