Did you sleep well last night? I hope you did – I certainly did. But was it enough? Do you feel relaxed, alert and at ease with yourself and your world? Maybe, or maybe not.
Sure, your body got to regenerate, heal and restore itself (if you don’t sleep you die) but what about your mind: your intellectual and emotional faculties? Are they rested? Do you feel imperturbable, composed and tranquil – ready for anything – creative and responsive?
My hunch is that whether you do or whether you don’t may be a function of circumstance and recent experience – an appraisal, a new colleague, a success or a failure… a promotion, a redundancy etc. etc.
And therein lies the challenge: that our inner world – how we think and particularly how we feel – is subject to our outer world of events.
Now, I hear you say, of course it is – how could it be otherwise? And yet you may know those that are affected far more by circumstance than you are, and those that are affected far less. Which would you prefer?
Just as physical health is underpinned by rest, so is mental and emotional health. To rest your body, it needs to be still. To rest your mind, it also needs to be still. We all know how to rest our bodies… but how do we rest our minds?
Hobbies, music, reading, TV, sport, friends are all good, but all require your mind to be active and all generate emotional responses. This is play, not rest.
So how do you rest your mind? What do you have to do, or not do?
Well, the easiest way that I know to provide my mind with good quality mental rest is to use a technique that has stood the test of time and is practised across the world and across all cultures and societies.
It’s called Meditation and, regrettably, the word comes with a lot of baggage.
Let me try to debunk a few myths that make meditation less accessible than perhaps it could be:
- Meditation is not a religious practice.
- Its purpose is not to generate ‘spiritual’ experiences
- Meditation is highly practical and down-to-earth
- Meditation differs from Mindfulness but facilitates it
My experience and that of my clients is that over time it builds a foundation of calm and balanced clarity of mind which makes for better relationships, better decision-making and, of course, better business.
It works by giving your mind a simple point of focus on which it can remain still and rest. Whenever it strays, you bring it back. You practice daily. For more about how to meditate, refer to the thousands of books on the subject or drop me a line.
Meditation is the only way I know to rest the mind and allow it to recuperate and restore its natural equanimity and health. If more of us practised it the world might be a different place – it really is a no-brainer at every level.