DISCOVER YOUR ZEN
Becoming More Present—Meditation in Everything You Do
There is no ‘end goal’ in meditation; but one vague aim is to get good enough at meditating that you can eventually clear your mind or detach from your thoughts at will.
This way, you can then prevent yourself from being distracted by unwanted thoughts whenever you want to be. I like to call this “bubble time.” Bubble Time is the name for the small segments of time I give myself throughout the day when I can be completely relaxed.
Imagine that you have a very stressful day and you’ve been working hard through a massive to-do list. You need to make lots of calls, manage your work team, and just generally “put out a lot of fires.” Plus, you have a date tonight that you think may be awkward and you have pressing, on-going money concerns. Sound familiar?
Anyway, you’re on the bus going from one meeting to the next and in that time, there is no benefit to being stressed. In other words, you can carry on worrying about all those things you have to do if you want to… but it’s not going to do you any good. What would be far preferable is to use this short amount of time as a break in order to recuperate.
Now if you’ve never practiced meditation, you’re going to struggle to do that.
But if you have? Then you can put yourself in a meditative state and become indifferent to that stress. You can sit back and just clear your mind. Now when you arrive at your meeting, you’re going to be much more recharged and energized because your brain has had the opportunity to get some rest. The result is that you’ll feel much better and you’ll work much more efficiently as well.
If you get good at this, then you can eventually start to employ “moving meditation” as in Tai Chi. Except now, you’re going to be in a meditative, relaxed, and focused state at the same time as walking, talking, and doing other things. You’ll be impervious to stress because you’ve learned to control your mind and control your emotions.
Because you aren’t giving your concerns the emotional weight that you may have done in the past, your brain isn’t activating the “salience network” that it uses to respond to threats and you’re able to just carry on going about your business in a completely calm and efficient manner!
Being More Present
Meditation is one way to stop worrying about all those little nagging concerns and doubts. Another way though is just to become more present and more in the moment.
How can you do this? One method is to start focusing on your body and on your senses a little more.
The fact of the matter is that most of us are so in our own heads that we barely notice half of what’s going on around us. We walk in a dream state worrying about work, or about our relationships and we hardly take the time to stop and smell the roses – literally or metaphorically. Try this right now. Turn off any music that you’re listening too and instead just start to notice the sounds around you. Really listen! What can you hear? Perhaps the hum of traffic outside? Maybe the murmur of conversation in the room? Maybe you can hear next door?
Or perhaps you’re outside? Maybe you can hear the sound of birds?
Likewise, you can probably smell a whole load of things you hadn’t noticed. And if you take the moment to feel your own body, then you can probably notice the sensation of the seat pushing into your legs and into your buttocks. Maybe you can feel the blood filling your face and making you feel hot. Or perhaps there’s a cool wind blowing against you. What direction is it heading?
Likewise, listen to the sounds of your own breathing and feel your abdomen expand and shrink as you do.
Once you do this, you’ll find that you stop worrying what’s going on around you and that you start to appreciate your environment a little more. There’s so much that you normally miss!
You can try doing this on walks too. Go for a walk with no music, no phone and nothing else and try just being present and noticing the world around you. It’s a calming and invigorating experience at the same time!
Practicing this is important because as with practicing meditation, it will eventually become something that you can just engage at will. Now you can choose when you want to start listening better to what people are saying to you and when you want to really focus on the day out you’re having with your children.
Again, you can leave your work concerns at home.
And try focusing on the sensations of your body more the next time you’re being intimate with a sexual partner. Don’t worry about your technique, what you’re going to do next, whether he or she likes you… instead, really focus on how the touch of his or her hand feels on your body. You’ll find that you instinctively know what to do next and that you start to be much more passionate and responsive. You’ll become a better lover, simply by getting out of your own head. And you’ll feel it far more forcefully.
This is true for everything else as well. Next time you have a bath, take a moment to really appreciate the warmth and the softness of the water against your skin. Indulge yourself in the smell!
The next time you eat cereal in the morning, remind yourself how much you enjoy that cereal and how happy you are to not be going to work.
This is what so many of us don’t do. So many of us are constantly in a dream state and worrying about other things that we may have missed instead of noticing what’s going on around us.
Being stressed and having no control over your mind is doubly problematic; not only does it make you unhappy directly, but it also distracts you from the things going on around you all the time that could be making you happier, including your relationships. Right now, being distracted by work could well be destroying your relationships with your family and friends.
TODAY’S ACTION STEPS:
1) You should be exercising according to your planned routine. (You can use the workout plan I provided, if it works for you.) If you’re not ready to go FULL OUT with the workout plan yet…that’s OK. If you’ve been trying out my suggestion of creating a habit, then you may want to add on another step if you haven’t done so yet. Read through the Week 4 – Day 2 module if you’re not sure how to create this “habit chain.”
So…every time you wake up, or finish washing your dishes after dinner, or whatever that regular activity is that you choose as the one to trigger your workouts…put on your workout shoes. (That’s the first link in the chain.)
Then do the next step you’ve been practicing. If your chosen workout is taking a walk after dinner each night, maybe you are heading to the front door and grabbing a jacket. If you want to do a home workout from the exercise plan I’m giving you, then maybe you’re putting on some workout clothes – a top and a bottom. (That’s the second link in the chain.)
NOW, do the next step. (That’s the third link in the chain.) If you plan to go for a walk, just step outside your front door and stand on your porch…and celebrate! If you’ll be doing a home workout, then grab your mobile phone (to access the Fitness App) and stand in your home exercise area…then celebrate! Whatever that next step is just do that. Every day. Every time you put on your workout shoes…AFTER every time you do that trigger activity (washing dishes, waking up in the morning, etc). Remember to celebrate every time you get to the end of this “habit chain.”
If you need a little more time to reinforce those first 2 links in the “habit chain” (e.g. putting on your workout shoes, then putting on some workout clothes), that’s fine. Just keep doing that and don’t worry about adding on right now.
2) If you already completed the Week 1 Workout Plan, then you are doing the Week 2 plan this week. Log in to the Fitness App on your COMPUTER – https://doctorvenus.com/app-login/ – to access the Week 2 Workout Plan.
3) If you already received the Week 1 (and 2) meal plan, then the Week 3 (and 4) meal plan has been uploaded to your Fitness App. You should be making preparations (taking stock of your pantry/refrigerator, grocery shopping, and meal prepping) for Week 4 meal plan [same as Week 3] which starts on Monday.
4) Do a sitting meditation for 5 minutes. Spend the 5 minutes sitting in a quiet space. Just relax with your eyes closed. No goal. No stress. The plan is to do this every day.
5) Be PRESENT for your next meal. Think about how you feel while you’re eating. What are the smells, flavors, and textures? Notice the temperature. Does the meal evoke any pictures/memories in your mind? How many times do you chew before you swallow?
6) Mark your calendar for our next coaching call on Wednesday, November 29, at 8:15pm ET (5:15pm PT). The call-in number and Zoom link will be posted here and in your daily email the day before the call. A replay will be made available for those who can’t make the call.
7) If you have any questions about anything…let me know in the Facebook group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/discoveryourzen/
Previous ACTION STEPS:
(Not a complete list, but some important highlights.)
1) Log in to the Fitness App on your COMPUTER – https://doctorvenus.com/app-login/ – and go to the FORMS tab. If you haven’t completed the Client Agreement form and the PAR-Q form from Day 1’s ACTION STEPS, do that today and sign them. Be sure to click SAVE when you’re done. (You can not receive the meal plan and workout plan when they are released until we have those completed forms on file.)
2) If you haven’t done so yet, send an email to team@DoctorVenus.com and state whether you want a vegetarian or non-vegetarian meal plan. It will be sent to your Fitness App by the next day.
3) If you haven’t done so yet, send an email to team@DoctorVenus.com and let me know whether you want an exercise plan for weight loss (focused on burning calories) or for building/maintaining your mass. So you just need to indicate whether you want a BURN or BUILD program. It will be sent to your Fitness App by the next day.
4) Download the Set Your Goals Checklist and complete it. CLICK HERE to download.
5) Download the Program Planner that you can start using, if you wish. CLICK HERE to download.
6) Download the Kitchen Clean Out handout and use it to guide the clean out of your kitchen BEFORE you start your meal plan. CLICK HERE to download.