Is meditation the new social skill
Is meditation the new social skill that everyone else seems to have, but you can't quite figure out where to get it? Is this really the answer to all of your prayers, will it make you slimmer, more attractive, sexier, or just simply more you? Recent studies have shown the benefits of meditation in respect to both our minds (resolving anxiety) and our general wellbeing (Forbes Article from July 2017). The really cool thing about this 'new craze' is that you can join this gym for FREE, you don't need to worry about parking, the right clothes, the hairdryers, or whether they notice when you haven't been in two weeks! Here is the good news: the place for your meditation is with you when you wake, when you eat, when you watch TV, when you sit on the bus, when you wait at an airport, or anywhere where you are on your own with time to step inside yourself.
I would have been the last person any of my friends would have expected to become at peace with myself, at one with silence and willing to follow the ways of the East. However, I needed to find some solace from the 'monkey mind' and constant chatter I was facing within my busy life. My entrepreneurial brain was always switched on, always developing ideas, but then I lost my son who died at the age of 11 months. However, I first decided that the solution to my grief was to plough ahead and build a new business, that was going to be my therapy. Such actions will work for some people some of the time, but they won't work for everyone all of the time. Eventually the stress, anxiety and thoughts of loss caught up with me. The mind can't hold onto too much information and this was really starting to drag me down.
I needed solutions and fast. Something shifted within my being and I looked East. I did not yet know why I wanted alternative solutions, but my instinct was to avoid my doctor's medicated path littered with red and blue pills. How can a chemical solve a problem that has been born out of the fact that I failed to properly grieve? How can a lab technician create the drug that will help me feel better about watching my son die in his mothers arms? These questions burned into my soul as I read more about the westernised post traumatic stress therapy. To put it simply - they can't solve it, they may provide temporary solace from the pain, but surely I needed to meet the pain and become at peace with it. I knew that I needed to do the work, this was not one to outsource. My wife, in stark contrast to my 'alpha male' approach to loss, had gently come to terms with Joshua's passing, she was grieving, she was reflecting and working through the process.
Eastern based solutions to Western problems
What happened next was a four year journey of discovery into all things ancient from the East. What do they know? Well, it turns out quite a bit, they have only been working with the mind and body for three thousand years. Psychology has been studied in Chinese and Indian medicine for thousands of years. The connection between the mind and the wellness of the body is also woven into most eastern religions and cultures. Western psychology on the other hand is just over a hundred years old. In western society we want it all and we want it now, so it is easier to prescribe a pill to give us just that - or so we think.
So, to go back to my opening point... I now meditate every day and have done so for the past five years. I hope to show you how to develop a daily practice (not just in meditation) and to shine a light on some of the worlds brightest minds who do it too, including #RayDalio. Dalio has been meditating since the late 60's and his net worth is estimated to be in excess of $18 billion. Have a read of the CNBC Article Here from March 2018 to learn more about Dalio and his practices. Hard to ignore anything Dalio does if you are in the money world!
I want to share my vulnerabilities, my tears, my challenges and how I overcame the loss of my son and then found a better version of me, a 2.0 if you will. Hopefully along the way you will gain a few tips to leading a healthier and happier life. In addition you will see that if I can find joy, happiness and fulfilment after personal trauma, there is very little else we can't recover from in our lives. No excuses, everything you need in life is already right inside, you just need to connect to it.
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