I’m honored to feature this guest post from my friend, fellow entrepreneur, and painter Ann Rea. Ann has built a reputation as a very successful artist, been featured in Fortune magazine and the book Career Renegade. She also helps other artists thrive at her popular blog Artists Who Thrive. When she told me this story, I knew it had to be a part of our Practicing Mindfulness Experiment. Take it away, Ann.
About a year ago I was sitting in a yoga class and the instructor made a passing remark, “If you practice daily meditation it will change your life.”
Now I very well know this. I have studied eastern religion and philosophy, self help galore, and I have done neuro-feedback for the past five years. This is medically aided meditation.
However, for whatever reason I had not yet committed to a daily practice of meditation.
Why? Two things. I had not decided to do it nor had I exercised the discipline.
When I heard the yoga teacher’s remark something shifted. I recognized the pure truth. I thought, “What is in my way?”
A standard of twenty minutes of daily meditation seemed like a great idea but within daily pressures of life it seemed impossible to fit in.
One morning I was brushing my teeth with my electronic toothbrush. It automatically runs for two minutes. Then it struck me. If I cared enough to clean my teeth twice a day for two minutes I should care the same, if not more, for cleaning my mind.
So I started my daily mediation practice for two minutes a day. Who doesn’t have two minutes? Stay off Facebook, write fewer emails, talk on the phone less, or avoid TV. I could find two minutes.
I set a gentle timer on my iPhone and I meditated for two minutes each day for one week. Each week I upped the timer for one more minute. I made it easy on myself.
Now I maintain a daily sitting meditation practice of eighteen minutes each day and it has changed my life.
The noise in my head can’t rule my emotions or cloud my intellect the way it once did. I am more grounded, decisive, relaxed, insightful, and focused.
Two minutes. Just start with that. It will change your life.