How Meditation Can Lead You to the Life of Your Dreams

Mediation, like juicing, yoga, kale diets and all other wellness trends that rise and fall like nobody's business is a practice worth exploring. Not only can taking the time to quiet the mind for as little as 10 minutes a day lead to an increase in productivity, creativity, insight, and self-awareness; but it can also contribute to an overall improvement of your health, and lifestyle in general.

The image of a monk draped in an orange toga or a Buddha with a big belly often (wrongfully) comes to mind as soon as meditation is even mentioned. The misconception that you need to follow Julia Roberts' footsteps in Eat, Pray, Love and move to Bali for 6 months to be taught how to meditate by an old, bald master is even more wrong, and takes away from the independent journey inwards that meditation ultimately prepares you for. Contrarily to popular belief, meditation isn't associated to any religion in particular; and holds no religious dogma or practice to it whatsoever. Although the importance of sitting still with oneself is something that Eastern cultures have been encouraging since the beginning of time; with the influx of information, technology, and sensory input in general that Generation Y is faced with on the daily, learning how to give the mind the break it requires in order to function at its maximal potential is a skill that is worth acquiring more today more than ever.

Meditation & Love
From an emotional standpoint, the level of self-awareness that meditation brings to you not only helps you improve your relationship with yourself (which, we know by now, is by far the most important one you will ever have), but it also contributes to an overall improvement of your relationships with others, and
Stillness of the mind provides insight. And insight is needed for both acceptance and appreciation of your partner, which are two of the most important qualities of a thriving, successful relationship. Meditation helps to change your perception of relational issues from a defensive one that places the blame on the other, to an objective one, that shows you where and how you're contributing to a problem. The practice also helps to be more present in your relationship - whether at the kitchen table or in the bedroom, if you know what I mean. *wink wink

Mediation & Work
When the mind gets a break from over-stimulation, it's been proven that it recharges its battery and creates new neural pathways, which lead to an increase in creativity and productivity. In other words, shutting your technology off and focusing on your breathing a few times a day can be the solution to you performing better at work, regardless of the industry you're in. We often assume that a new job, a different boss, or more creative tasks will lead to us finally feeling fulfilled at work, when really (and as cliche as this may sound) our state of being is completely independent from things outside of ourselves. Cultivating mindfulness and learning to be in the now helps to develop appreciation for the present moment and everything that it's made of...including a seemingly shitty job. If your job is no longer providing you with the sense of happiness and contribution that it ideally should, then silencing the noise that tends to cloud our judgment will provide you with the insight and courage to go where you should next.

Mediation & Self
If I had to sum up what meditation brought to me, personally, it would be: Patience, Wisdom, and an increase Sense of Intuition. I used to be an extremely impulsive person (although I still am when it comes to shopping); but much less when it comes to rash decision-making and instant gratification. I used to get agitated when things wouldn't go my way, or antsy when waiting in line. I'm now much more composed, even-tempered, and open to letting life unfold as it should, with a firm belief that my grip on controlling things/events which were completely out of my control is what led to my spending so much energy on the futile. While many may think that you can come to this realization with maturity, there's a certain peace and optimism that comes with a silent mind that age does not always necessarily bring. On top of the overall sense of wellness that my practice has brought me, it's also helped me greatly with coming up with a vision for my company, creative ways to communicate that vision, and the ability to pause and appreciate how far I’ve come.

Like any major decision regarding living a better life, the choice to learn how to meditate should be an intrinsic one, guided by a sincere desire to become your best self. Unlike juicing, yoga, or a kale diet, meditation shouldn't be a fad taken on for peer recognition (although no trend should be, really). Silencing the mind is a life-changing decision. A decision to face your flaws and accept who you and others wholly are, all the while committing to becoming better. A better lover and friend; a more productive, creative and fulfilled employee or entrepreneur; and a better human to your community, environment, and to this world.

By Daniele-Jocelyne Otou