Why your career needs you to meditate (or breathe, or eat mindfully, or…)
Imagine a career chock full of what lights you up. It actually energizes you to do the work. Sounds like a dream, right?
It is. But if you’re like many people, you’re losing a lot of that energy unnecessarily.
Try this on and see if it feels a bit too familiar. You get up and hit the ground running. You’re late getting out the door, and then you feel the stress rising as you want to fly down the road at Mach 10 and traffic is moving at Mach 0.000001.
You finally get to the office, check your e-mail, and discover the big project you’re leading is going sideways. You look at your to-do list and realize you have three months of to-do’s crammed into your morning. You can feel the stress and anxiety start to build.
Your scenario may look different than that, but for many (if not most) people in this high paced culture we live in, the end result is the same. Your energy goes flying off in all directions like spinning fireworks.
The negative impact of an energy leak
In a scenario like the one I described above, it’s like your life has an energy leak.
Think of the sum total of energy you have any given day as water going through a hose, maybe to water a garden. When you love what you’re doing you have plenty of water coming through the hose. Lots to keep your plants healthy and robust.
When your energy is flying off in all directions, when you feel frenzied and frantic, or just plain stressed, it’s like that hose springs a leak. Or multiple leaks. You don’t get the full benefit of all the energy of loving your work.
Not only that, you don’t have that energy to put back into the work you’re doing. So the virtuous cycle nature of work you love (you do work that energizes you, and put that energy back into doing work that energizes you) gets interrupted.
You need a grounding practice
That energy loss effect is precisely why I include some kind of grounding practice as one of the foundations of well-being in the Wild About Work ecosystem (along with diet, exercise, hydration, and sleep).
A grounding practice, like meditation, or mindfulness, or any one of a bazillion beneficial practices, stops the energy from flying off in all directions. It plugs the leak in that hose, so more of your energy goes in a positive and productive direction.
It also gives you more space to deal with the challenging things in life. If somebody bumps you while you’re teetering on the edge of a cliff on one leg, it’s going to stress you out a lot more than if you’re standing on solid ground with both feet firmly planted.
A grounding practice helps create that solid ground to stand on.
You don’t have to be a yogi
If you don’t currently have any kind of grounding practice, you don’t have to wrap yourself in a pretzel and sit on a mountain top. It can be as simple as stopping and focusing on your breath for a minute or two.
I recently realized that my morning meditation practice is so important to my well-being that, if I had to make the horrible choice between meditation and my morning coffee, coffee would lose (thankfully I don’t live in a world where I have to make that choice!).
But it hasn’t always been a part of my life. When I first dipped my toe in the meditation waters, I used an idea from a wonderful book titled Meditation Made Easy called the Do Nothing Technique.
It’s as easy as it sounds. I just sat on my couch for five minutes doing nothing (at the time even that felt unnatural, as I was a bit of a do-er), letting my thoughts go where they wanted. I described it as “practicing doing nothing,” rather than meditating. Over time, that expanded to ten minutes, then fifteen. Eventually, I realized that it had evolved into what felt like meditation.
I’ll be sharing more ideas in this blog on ways to incorporate a grounding practice into your life.
To sum it up, if you want to get Wild About Work, if you want to both experience as much of that juice from your job as possible and give yourself more room to maneuver, a regular grounding practice is a vital piece of the puzzle.
[Want to get Wild About Work? Take the first step with my FREE audio course.]
Brought to you by Curt Rosengren, Passion Catalyst TM
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