I saw the moon a few nights ago and realized it was a long time since I looked at it. It was little more than a sliver. I thought about how the whiteness of it comes from the sun and how far away it is and how small I am. It was a really great moment of being present for all the times when I meditate and I try to label “thoughts” and then drift back to my to do list for the next day. Just seeing the moon. Not giving it meaning and just letting it be with me.
I’ve taken on meditating 10 minutes a day at the end of the day. It’s a practice that I’ve tried to really integrate into my life for the last 10 years. I’ve taken classes, I’ve gone on retreat, I’ve gotten coaching about meditation, I’ve partnered with friends. Each year, it has ended up a little like a new year’s resolution gone stale. I let it go out with the recycling.
Originally I tried to wake up early in the morning, give myself enough time to meditate and get ready for work. Clear my mind before the day. I found myself falling asleep, choosing to stay in bed rather than sit on the cold floor in my living room, and on mornings I had early meetings, opting to skip it…
So many people I respect have a meditation practice. I see how they can be present at any moment when I am with them and I yearned for the same ease. I wondered if maybe I don’t have the meditation gene.
A teacher reminded me that the purpose of meditation is to be in the present moment. It’s to notice the small (and big) of our breath. It’s noticing washing the dishes with mindfulness as Thich Nhat Hanh writes about. I can be present when I walk to the train station or when I am swimming. It’s about being present.
So I’m taking it on again this year – every night I meditate for 10 minutes. I dance with my thoughts, get to chuckle at how frequently my thoughts go back to things I did during the day or things I need to do. I’m choosing to take it on to be able to notice the things around me like the moon.
What are you taking on as a practice this year? How do you practice being present in your busy, full life as a leader? I hope you’ll share with us!
When I first started working at Rockwood, Stacy was signed up for a practice community that committed to one month of sitting every day for at least 5 minutes, and then tracking on a shared google docs spreadsheet. She would at times invite others to sit with her for 5 minutes at work in the common area of our office space. That inspired me to continue to create this kind of space, at home for myself, and also at work in community with other Rockwood staff. Now at work, anyone can call a 5-minute sit in the center of our office. Staff can join, or not. No pressure. I tend to choose a time when the energy in the office is the most hectic or full. Five minutes of sitting together at work is a simple and powerful transformative tool to release the pressure valve, bring us back to the present moment, and help us be happy at work.