How you start your day will dictate the events that follow. Facing life’s daily challenges isn’t something you master, it’s something you practice. For me, I have found one exercise that’s helped me deal with whatever falls in my path that day.
I found my Zen moment
For years I told people I don’t have a ‘quiet place’ . I tried meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, everything I could. With no luck. What I eventually discovered is that your Zen moment is what works for you. For some its meditation, for others it’s going to a place in their house, looking at a photo, playing with your kids, or the look on your dog’s face when you come home. You have to find what works for you. And once you have that you can use it every time you need to help yourself out of a feeling, situation, or challenge.
My Zen moment has become a ritual in my day
I live in a 50+ story high rise, the view out of my place overlooks the bustling city, and usually reflects the pace of my life – full of energy and traveling non-stop at what seems like 1000mph some days. While beautiful and motivating, it reminds me that I have a million things to do, places to go, and usually how late I’m running as I look at traffic building on Lake Shore Drive below.
My moment occurs every time I leave my place. On the other side of the elevator bank there’s a floor to ceiling window. Out that window lies a view that is so opposite in nature, it calms every space in my mind. There’s no city, no building traffic, just an emerald golf course, quiet harbor, soft sandy beach and lake as far as the eye can see.
So begins my ritual
I leave my place, press the elevator button, and walk to the window. I stare blankly in gratitude and find stillness. I stand there and breathe until my racing heart and thoughts finally stop. Sure, I might miss an elevator… or two. But when I am done, I am at one with myself, calmed from whatever I was worried about, rushing to, and weighted with before I got to that window.
Now I can conquer my day, event, situation, or stress
I never appreciated the power that finding this moment can give you. My other moment I find on my yoga mat. If my day includes both, I swear I have super powers.
Finding my Zen moment has catapulted my professional career
No matter what happens in my day, I try to remind myself of that moment, that gap in time and space where you right yourself. Your thoughts cease and you fall into that silent pause amidst everything circling around you. If I can bring myself back to that place, with a few breaths and the memory of that moment I can look at solutions from the outside. Removing the emotional component that we tend to carry with us throughout the day and make a decision.
Ways you can find and leverage your own Zen moment:
- Take a walk and let your mind wander. What memories or thoughts evoke the most happiness?
- Affirm the things in your life you are thankful for. Health, children, a caring partner, having a job.
- Forgive yourself. Take a moment, and release any self judgement. Everybody makes mistakes, carrying them with you shouldn’t be one of them.
- Become a tea drinker. Coffee is synonymous with work, taking 5 minutes to prepare a cup of tea, especially a fragrant one helps calm the nerves.
- Keep a journal. When you lose your cool, fly off the handle or just need to get something off your chest write it down. Then it’s out of your system, and onto a piece of paper.
I hope that sharing my experience will help you find your own Zen moment. I promise you, you will feel unstoppable once you are able to find it, and return there whenever an obstacle lies in your path.
For more information on health, wellness, and leveraging each to benefit your legal career. Attend our new Healthy Lawyer series presented by Dr. Jordan Leasure.