I’ve been meditating for years and years, and over that time have cycled through some phases where I’ve only done it sporadically and others where my commitment has been stronger and my practice more regular.
Over the past few years though, I’ve settled into a routine where meditation happens on more days than it doesn’t, and as I’ve become more consistent, the benefits that flow from it have amplified.
Here are my top 10 examples of the ripple effect it’s had on my business (not to mention every other aspect of my life). Perhaps they’ll inspire you to give it a go too!
1. Empowers me to set my intention for the day
There’s no ‘right’ time to meditate, but for me, doing it early in the morning has knock-on effects that benefit me all day long. My morning ritual involves thinking about how I want my day to unfold while I drink my tea and eat my breakfast. I then slide into meditation-mode, clear about what I’m hoping to achieve and how I’d like my day to unfold. My meditation session always seems to help me lock in those intentions and empowers me to remain in charge of my day, rather than letting the day run me. It also helps me maintain my equanimity and flexibility when things don’t turn out the way I planned.
2. Helps me detach from other people’s energy
Truth be told, I’m a bit of a flibbertigibbet if I’m left to my own devices and am easily distracted by other people’s exciting ideas and fascinating conversations. Meditating helps me to detach from other people’s energy (hugely important if you’re highly empathic, like I am), and helps me discern which of the many things clamouring for my attention are mine to deal with and which are best left for others to take responsibility for.
3. Reinforces my sense of purpose
As someone who considers my work to be part of my spiritual contribution to the planet, meditating regularly helps me to stay connected to its higher purpose – the ‘why’ that calls me to do what I do. It also fills me with a sense of reverence for those who are touched by my work, and the results they gain from it. And while these concepts might be too woo-woo for some people, it’s my firm belief that all of this makes my work more meaningful to me, and more impactful on others.
4. Helps bring my vision to life
While we’re talking woo-woo, it’s worth mentioning that as part of my meditation process, I usually take a few moments imagining that my vision for my business and other aspects of my life has come to fruition. I step into a time in the future when my dreams have come to life, and experience the sights, smells, sounds and emotions that are part and parcel of that vision. For me, this little ritual is a way to build a sense of inevitability and certainty about what I’m striving for, and aside from that, it’s FUN! (If you don’t have a vision for your own business, head here for my top tips on creating one that’s alive with possibility for you).
5. Gets me into a state of flow
Meditation is a flow state in which things seem to happen effortlessly and time seems to stand still, and yet hugely important breakthroughs can be achieved. It’s a state in which you’re performing at your peak and everything seems to come together in a magical way. You might have experienced similar flow states yourself while working, exercising or engaging an activity that you love to immerse yourself in. For me, there tend to be two delicious outcomes to this state of flow.
Firstly, during a meditation session itself, I’m often given visibility about where things in my life or my business are out of alignment or issues are about to crop up that I hadn’t consciously been aware of.
As an added bonus, in the time immediately following my meditation, my work is also at its most flowing, and I’m usually able to be more productive and effective than I am later in the day.
6. Deepens my focus
Many people’s first response when they learn that I work from home is to say, ‘I could never do that – I’d get too distracted’. I’ve certainly had my moments where that was the case, but when I’m regularly meditating, sustaining focus and staying on task is rarely a problem for me.
Mind you, if I go through one of those phases when I misguidedly tell myself that I’m ‘too busy’ to meditate, that deep focus quickly goes out the window… and with it goes my capacity to do the deep work that has the greatest value to my business and my clients.
7. Unleashes my creativity and accesses my highest guidance
It is not uncommon for my meditation sessions to feature flashes of insight and creativity. At the risk of getting woo-woo on you again (what can I say, I’m a hippie kinda gal), there’s no doubt in my mind that some of these ideas are waaaay too clever and creative to have been generated by my own psyche. Instead, I attribute them to making space in my life to connect with my highest guidance, and I honestly don’t know how I’d be without it.
8. Makes my priorities clear
Even after decades of meditating, it still takes me time to clear my mind before I get into the zone. The goal is to quiet the ‘monkey mind’ that chatters on aimlessly, usually without us even being aware of it. I always feel like it’s a decluttering process in which all the unnecessary noise that’s been harnessing my attention gradually drifts away, leaving behind only what’s truly important. Noticing what goes and what lingers helps me know where to prioritise my time and attention.
9. Puts a lid on stress and anxiety
The stress-busting benefits of meditation are renowned, and these alone should be enough to encourage any small business owner to give it a go. In my experience, you’re particularly likely to benefit if you’re finding it difficult to manage the ‘always on duty’ mentality that plagues so many small business owners.
10. Dials up my compassion
Finally, I’ve noticed that when I meditate regularly, I’m a kinder, more patient and less easily frustrated person. That’s a win-win benefit for me, the colleagues I work with and my clients! (On the other hand, if I let my meditation practice slide for a few weeks, I’m prone to becoming snappy or grumpy when I’m tired, especially on those days where I never seem to get the chance to drink a full cup of tea).
Ready to get started?
I was lucky enough to learn to meditate at school, so after more than 30 years of on-again, off-again and now (mostly) on-again practice, meditation comes relatively easy to me.
But it does take time to get into the groove, and I attribute many of the benefits I’ve described above to the cumulative result of making this part of my regular routine.
It might take you a while to build up to your own version of my experience, but even if you’re a complete beginner, it usually doesn’t take long before you start seeing why long-term meditators like me are such passionate advocates for it.
One of the simplest ways to give it a try is to download an app and set some time aside to experiment with it. Three of the most popular to consider are Headspace, Calm and Insight Timer – but I also recommend looking for a local teacher and joining a class, if that’s appealing to you.
Do you meditate too? What benefits have you seen in your business and elsewhere in your life?