I don't talk about it a lot because, well, I don't know ... I just don't.
But I have a little secret to tell you. I meditate. In the morning just after waking up and walking the dog, before drinking coffee, starting to write, or scanning the morning headlines, I sit quietly on a chair in the living room, in very low light, and do my thing. My neighborhood is silent at that hour (I'm an early riser), and I'm able to really sink into it for a good 25-30 minutes.
Sometimes, I'll do it again in the late afternoon around 4:30 or 5 when I feel my energy waning but know I have metaphorical miles to go before I sleep.
The Washington Post: Harvard neuroscientist: Meditation not only reduces stress, here’s how it changes your brain
People approach meditation in different ways and through different teachers or channels. Some have come to appreciate meditation by learning TM or through the works of Pema Chodron, or a local teacher, therapist, or meditation center. Others use apps like Headspace or Simply Being.
Meditation is different for everyone. People approach it for different reasons and desire varied outcomes. I meditate because it prepares and organizes my brain for the day. It doesn't "zone me out" or make me all hippie-dippy-peace-y. For me, meditation makes my brain almost like that scene in "Terminator 2" where the T-1000 goes from frozen shards to molten pools coming together as a whole complete being ready for action. [NOTE: This is in no way implying I am a shapeshifting polymorphic robot assassin, mind you. I use my powerful forces for good. Mostly.]
Forbes: 7 Ways Meditation Can Actually Change the Brain
Since beginning meditation, I'm a more strategic thinker, an even more efficient and driven business owner, a calmer driver, a kinder human, and have more energy to live the kind of life I love. I am not a religious or spiritual person and I do not believe in a higher power. I have worked with The Dalai Lama, but our work together on an event in New York did not in any way inspire me to meditate. Back then, even watching and trying to learn from the master, meditating (or trying to) stressed me out. I couldn't do it.
Years later, because I approached it with authentic intent and a need to start my days with greater energy, meditating came very easily to me. I didn't do it because I thought I had to. Or that it would change my life (or that I even wanted to change my life). In my work and my life, I need to switch gears many times a day and be ready to manage whatever crises are thrown at me while still running a conference call, writing an op-ed, spending time with family and friends, and building an advocacy coalition. To be even better at this than I already am, I wanted to make sure I had at least one half-hour chunk to start off my day that was solely for me and no one else. That's why I chose meditation.
I initially learned how to meditate through a TM teacher, and a few follow-up sessions with a meditation teacher in Los Angeles where I spend time for work. Some friends have said their workplaces encourage meditation to kick off meetings (which I think is just so weird because meditation is so personal and not for everyone).
Do you meditate? Have you ever tried to? Did you know Jerry Seinfeld and Howard Stern are big TM devotees?
YouTube: Transcendental Meditation with Howard Stern and Jerry Seinfeld
I'll be honest: the whole TM thing feels a little too cult-y for me. I learned from a TM teacher, but I don't go to their centers or espouse their philosophy or approach. I think every person needs to figure out what works for them should they choose to find some silent time to let go of cares and worries, and let those Tetris blocks in our brains fall into perfect order.