I recently got into a discussion about meditation. My roommate was discussing how difficult it was, and that she didn’t quite get it. So, I gave her my take-away from Karl Palachuk’s Relax, Focus, Succeed (See our Reading List).
For the record, I completely understood her concern. I previously felt the same way. Meditation is for fru-fru yoga types and doesn’t do anything. Yet, as I was reading his book, he gave great examples of types of meditation that were quite practical and easy to do. In fact, they seemed quite non-judgmental with advice such as going for a walk, sitting in a hot tub, or sitting in a favorite chair, maybe even listening to light music without lyrics. The concept was simply to allow your mind to disengage, no agenda, and see what happens. Worst case, you’ve relaxed your mind for a few minutes and are ready to tackle the day. Best case, your subconscious comes up with a solution to something its been working on, whether its emotional, strategic, or tactical.
What resonated the most with me, was my own “Eureka!” moment when reading his book. I had realized that I had occasionally had successful meditation in my life already, despite not having believed in it. For me, standing in a hot shower for a while does the trick. I have two examples for you.
First, circa 2006, while I was working with a client rolling out a new POS system across his many locations in the city. Our client’s server was at HQ and HQ had ZERO good internet options (he had gone as far as getting 2 bonded DSL lines, and the ISP was trying to offer more of those for a solution). This was before the cloud was all the rage (one site says the bases of current cloud technology was finally available around 2008), and during a midday shower that week, I came up with the idea to pick up his application server and drive it to a co-lo I already had space and bandwidth for his application at. We were able to resale excess capacity, adding to our bottom line, and the client felt like he had struck gold with so much bandwidth available to his POS application for every location. Plus, we were able to get it all working that very week.
One more example (of many) to show this wasn’t just a fluke. I had traded off long, hot showers when I moved into my partner’s 24′ Airstream trailer with her and her pre-teen daughter, while still working from home. Later in the year, I had a business trip to visit a client for an EOS off-site meeting and IT process consulting. To my delight, there was a full sized shower in my hotel room. I was probably in there for 30 minutes before I had to dash out in nothing but a towel, to write down a billion ideas that flooded me during my shower. After finishing my shower and getting dressed, I sat down with those ideas for a few minutes of actual conscious thought, and turned them into several major ideas that I spent the next year successfully implementing (including our IT Process Template & Community membership website).
Bottom line is, mediation can be for everyone and might not be what you think. Perhaps pick up Karl’s book and look for some ideas. His book does cover far more than just meditation, It’s just that meditation was my “Eureka!” moment so I thought I’d share it, in case it helps you find meditation like I did. If I get stuck on something, I take a shower. Worst case, you know I’m recently washed next time we meet.
Do you meditate? Why or why not? What does your mediation look like?