I continue to be captivated by the Thai boys soccer team ordeal. Partly, it’s because as a slightly claustrophobic person I can’t think of much that would be harder to endure than being trapped miles underground in narrow flooded tunnels. Partly, it’s because it’s another of those extraordinary events that show just how amazing human intention and endeavor really can be. It’s also an example that there is Good to be found, somewhere, in virtually every dark situation.
One aspect of the good from this one is that, even if only for a few moments, it turned the world’s attention to meditation. The young coach, who was the leader and only adult with the twelve boys, had studied as a monk and has deep meditation experience. Apparently he used meditation to help the boys maintain sanity and hope while trapped for days on end in a tiny pocket of air in a flooded underground cave system. Wow. Just flat wow.
Some of you have heard me say before that meditation was likely one of the things that saved my life when things blew to pieces a few years ago. I’d practiced regularly for years before the crisis hit and that experience gave me some capacity to wrestle my mind away from the continuous loop of fear, guilt and humiliating memories. You can hear more about that in my recent TEDx talk (If you haven’t viewed it yet I’d sure appreciate it if you would).
I now tell my clients that if they don’t have a meditation practice underway, start yesterday! It adds immeasurably to our ability to be resilient during hardship (e.g. staying calm trapped underground for 18 days. Pretty much enough said!). It also heightens our ability to make clear and tough decisions that can help us survive and succeed.
And that’s not all. Not only does meditation help us navigate the hard times it also adds meaning, depth and beauty to the good times. As part of my process of recovery and reinvention I studied the mental and emotional habits and practices of people who were successful, making a big positive impact on the world and also seemed to be living mostly peaceful, dialed-in lives. Virtually every one of them practiced meditation regularly.
I can tell you for sure that if you are in the process of reinvention, whether of career, relationships or your own personal identity, meditation is a powerful tool to help clear away the clutter, find clarity and truly figure out what it is you want from the next phase of your life.
Starting a regular meditation practice doesn’t’ have to be complicated or terribly time consuming. One useful resource is the book Meditation for Dummies, it offers samplings of many different types of meditations and some of the science and stories behind each. Although the book is named that for obvious marketing reasons, I call my meditation classes Meditation for Smarties because smart people do it and doing it makes us smarter! My e-booklet, Reinvention Doesn’t Have to Be Scary, offers a couple simple ways to come into the now and redirect a spinning, wound up mind – these are key aspects and benefits of meditation. You can get a copy on my online store here.
Not starting a regular meditation practice is like having a magical potion that will give you peace and success and then deciding not to drink it! What are you waiting for? In the time it takes you to put your clothes on in the morning you can begin to clothe your mind in peace, relief and clear direction.
Here’s to a more peaceful, empowered YOU.
P.S. I also offer gentle one on one meditation coaching sessions to help people figure out the best type of meditation for what they are looking to accomplish and get started doing it, gently. If interested in scheduling a session submit a request here. I would love to help you get started with this life changing practice.