Zen and the art of what?! Here's the deal. Being awesome is something that can be achieved by simply being in the moment, and by being yourself. Y'know, "Zen". Sometimes my clients tell me, "I should really meditate more, but I'm not good at meditation. I guess I'm just not Zen." Huh? How does one become 'good' at meditation and ‘being Zen’? I do not fancy myself a meditation expert by any stretch, but I'll share my personal belief about meditation, awesomeness and becoming more Zen. Step into the moment. Stepping into the present moment takes practice, just like learning another skill, sport or musical instrument.
Zen and the "art of awesomeness" is simply being in the moment. We can be in the moment by checking in with ourselves, breathing deeply and often, and by slowing down to notice what is going on around us and inside of us.
Let’s back up for just a moment, though. What’s up with this self-judgment? I hear “I should” and “I’m not good at” and “I guess I’m just not” a lot. Bim, bam, boom. Stop there. Pause, interrupt the pattern, breathe and then move forward.
"Zen spirituality does not confuse spirituality with thinking about God while one is peeling potatoes. Zen spirituality is just to peel the potatoes." ~ Alan Watts
You see, when we slow down and step into the moment, we achieve a Zen-like state. When we pause to check-in with ourselves, we create the foundation for meditation, Zen-like states and mindful presence.
Here are some quick tips to get started with a practice of being present so you can readily and easily step into your awesomeness every day (some call this “flow state” or “in the zone”).
- Breathe deeply and often. You do not need to be stressed or seeking relaxation to breathe deeply. Just be aware of your breath, and pay attention to some of your breaths throughout the day. You will find at times you need to breathe deeply, and other times you will not. By taking deep breaths, you are being proactive about your health: manage your stress, blood pressure and heart rate, and oxygenate your cells. You will help the flow of energy and improve your posture. How’s that for feeling virtuous? Now you’re stepping into awesomeness.
- Slow down to speed up. I’ve been saying this to clients, class and seminar participants. I tell it to my kids. And......sometimes (okay, quite often) I need to remind myself. Sometimes we need to slow down in order to speed up. Every step of the journey is important, no matter the final destination. If you want to succeed in any area of your life, you will develop this habit. Take the time to write your goals by hand every day, write 3 actionable items on your list (and finish them) every day, and reflect on your accomplishments at the end of the day. Slow down in order to speed up; these 3 small habits take all of 2 minutes and yet launch you forward at warp speed, if you will allow it.
- Peel the potato. Do nothing more than what you are currently doing. Dedicate your focus, attention, energy and intention to one thing at a time. Multi-tasking as a means of efficiently completing tasks is a farce, and diverts and dilutes your attention, changing the outcome - much like water to paint. Shift gears between tasks. Close the book (even if temporarily) on one actionable item before moving to the next. Give your brain time to adjust and switch gears. Studies show that it can take up to 15 minutes for the brain to fully close-out and switch to the new action when one attempts to manage multiple tasks at once. Focus, grasshopper. You will accomplish more and you will feel more grounded.
As you travel along your path, know that you are fully supported, and I honor your experience as your own. If you would like to learn more about building the foundation for superb awesomeness, I am here. I offer unwavering support, and would be honored to be by your side.
Blessings. Gratitude. Love.