Hey there, friends. It’s hard to believe we are already into the second week of January. Despite feeling a little behind, I’m always excited for Monday to arrive. I know that a lot of folks dread it, but for me, Monday always hold this “fresh start” feeling. It’s a clean slate, and as most of you know from reading my last post, a clean slate is a really good thing.
I also wanted to stop and thank you for the dozens of comments on said post. I’m in the process of responding to your comments. While I’ve read them all, I haven’t been able to fully respond to them just yet. Please know that your support, kind words, and forgiveness mean so much to me. It makes me eager and excited to tackle what I hope will be a truly amazing year.
Today I was going to blabber on about random things happening around these parts, but when I started writing my list and the first thing (the new book I’m reading) started to take up most of the post, I thought I would stop there.
Over the past few days I’ve been reading (maybe I should say listening to the audiobook while I spend hours shoveling snow) 10% Happier by Dan Harris. I believe the book came out this past year. Given its subtitle, “How I tamed the voice in my head, reduced stress without losing my edge, and found self-help that actually works,” I thought it was worth the read. Although I was a bit skeptical as I listened to the first couple chapters, as I near the end of the book I’m finding it to be thoroughly enjoyable and insightful. The story is Dan’s (He’s a correspondent for ABC News and the co-anchor for the weekend edition of GMA.) journey on the discovery of meditation and how it’s changed and improved his life. He references the good, the bad, and what he’s learned from self-help greats like Eckhart Tolle, Mark Epstein, and Deepak Chopra. Dan basically did all the self-help research and shared the parts that really worked for him and lots of others. (e.g., meditation).
While he spent years figuring things out, he really made the “simple” act of meditation seem like an approachable, but not necessarily easy, way of generally improving one’s life, increasing happiness, reducing stress and so much more. For not a huge commitment of time or money, and with nothing to lose, I figured it was worth a try.
After devouring the book over the past week, I decided that giving mediation a shot this morning couldn’t hurt. So, for six minutes I silenced the world, sat still, and mediated. Now, it hasn’t changed my life just yet, but I didn’t hate the process.
Since I’ve only mediated once in my life, I’m not going to begin to tell you how to do it best. However, as Dan suggested, I sat in a comfortable position with my back straight, closed my eyes, and focused on my breathing for six minutes. It was surprisingly simple and the time seemed to fly by. It felt like only a minute passed and the timer went off on my phone.
I actually think I could like this.
So after reading this book, I’ve committed to giving daily meditation a try. I figure I really have nothing to lose and much to gain. Right?
Now, as I near the end of the book, there is more to the process. Things like practicing compassion and eliminating multitasking are two things I’d like to be more conscious of in the future. However, I figured – one step at a time.
I have about two more chapters to go in this book, but if the idea of meditation or improving your overall happiness / life has any interest to you, I would definitely recommend this book.
I am also curious to hear if any of you mediate, and if you’ve found it helpful in your life. After reading this book, I’d like to know if / how it’s working for others. Please share your experiences in the comments.
And have a great week!