The practice of meditation has been a mainstay of Chinese martial arts for centuries. As a child, I remember my father practiced meditation, tai chi and being present before work. This was during a time he lost his business to bankruptcy. The struggle with daily finances made the household a very stressful environment to grow up in. As I got older, I began to practice daily meditation and other internal martial arts such as qigong to calm my spirt, sharpening my ability to tune out the distractions swirling around me.
Through the practice of meditation, my life has become more calmer providing me with happiness and a daily sense of purpose. It has allowed me to fulfill my full potential in life. Here are 7 ways meditation has helped me:
1. Stress Reduction – meditation has increased my self-awareness. It allows you to stop and think when a problem arises at work or in life. Instead of quickly reacting to a situation with anger, I am able to take a step back from the issue to assess the situation. After carefully thinking through I come up with the best possible response for the problem. This was a huge breakthrough for me as in the past I would have lost my temper which is not the best way to handle any situation.
2. Focus – I used to brag to my friends how busy I was. This was my proud badge of honor as busy in my mind equals success. However, I was really a failure. I wasn’t getting anything accomplished despite completing many items on my to-do list. Things just kept piling up the next day and it never seemed like I was able to get ahead in life. Enter meditation, it allowed me to focus on one thing at a time instead of multi-tasking. It also helped me make better decisions on which tasks are the most important. The ones that would push me closer to achieving my life impact goals. As a result, I became more productive.
3. Increased Self-Awareness – By practicing being present you are in touch with your feelings, emotions and the world around you. I became more compassionate and less judgmental of others. For example, of an individual or customer was difficult to get along with, I would step back to see the world from their view. In the past, I would have thought this person was just a rude bad person but now I’m interested to find out why they are behaving in such a manner. Perhaps they are going through turmoil in their life, or acting out because a past negative experience has been recalled as they were dealing with you.
In the end, I try not to take things personally. Meditation has made me happy, productive, and welcoming of new challenges. It has allowed me to look at the world through a clear set of lenses rather than rose color glasses.