There is a great mindfulness meditation instruction I heard once that I can’t quite source……but I’ve carried it with me everyday since.
“Short moments, many times.”
Ironically, for the first year or so that I tried to incorporate this into my life, I actually thought the “koan” or instruction was “SHARP moments, many times :-)”
So I tried to bring lots of fierce focus into my awareness, and use my attention to cut through distractions like a knife – sharply, for as long as possible, and as frequently as possible, too.
Learning that I misheard the word SHORT and substituted SHARP, was actually a relief 🙂
Going big is great. And I need to have something big to build, to really buy in. (although this is probably a bug in my thinking, not a feature)
But it’s the small moments – the little victories of purpose and passion – patience and persistence – which make the benefits feel worthy of the practice.
I love this little gem of an article from Medium.
Read it, if you want to get excited about building something big, by starting small.
Mini commitments are really such a great way of anchoring a habit, getting a goal and building something exciting, by laying one simple, single brick at a time.
There is a great little course on this, too……called tiny habits – also well worth signing up for (it’s free).
I will tell you a quick funny story about syncronicity and how things show up in your life when you need to read them most. (often, the things we teach, are the things we most need to learn)
Actually, there are a few business and creativity things I was going to say here about what I’m working on now, (and some of the things I’ve tabled over the last few days to keep the “force” strong in focus and output this month) – but instead, I’ll give you this:
There is a great meditation practice called METTA. (it’s often called loving kindness in the West)
It sounds goofy – but’s it’s life changing, brain changing, body changing, behavior changing stuff.
But it takes a while to do the practice, and it can take a bit to work yourself up to the really feel good flow states that it promises.
Often, I don’t have the time.
But the general idea is super simple. Just connect to the feeling of loving people. Starting with yourself. Than someone you already love like a sibling or a close friend. (not a romantic partner). Then someone you hardly know. Then someone you can’t stand. And eventually, feel that same sense of intense care and connection and compassion for ALL living beings.
So in the interest of time, I’ve started doing this really simple hack
Instead of sitting down and doing this formal practice – I simply look at people and wish them happiness, intentionally, before I even say a word.
I’ll see someone as i’m walking out of my place in the morning….and make eye contact (without looking scary, I hope) and just say to myself – while smiling (without looking scary, I hope) “may you be happy. may you be healthy. may you be loved” .
I’ll try to picture them smiling and laughing and having a great time in some other time and place, too.
That helps the whole mental gig for me.
And it works!
You can’t be an asshole to the person at the store, 2 seconds after you intentionally wished them intense happiness without wanting anything in return.
It’s like a guilty pleasure – because even if they don’t reciprocate (pro tip: which is always) – you feel good about you – and good about them – and good about everything……no meditation cushion – or 30 minute practice required.
Short moments, many times.
And think long.
Want to grow your online fans/followers/readers/subscribers and community using this approach?
Check out the excellent article on Medium, from the founder of “100 naked words” following the short excerpt below.
Three little tips to change your life
There is so much great advice out there that I hope my tips here don’t take anything away from them. These three lessons are what I learned from coming out the other side of writing every day for an entire year.
1. Make it laughably small — you won’t be laughing soon
This tip is the most important. I wanted to change but I was sick of giving up all the time. So I asked myself:
What was the one thing I could do where it was virtually impossible for me to fail?
It was writing, specifically writing a tiny amount. I’m a prolific writer, but life gets busy. So I thought, “what if I wrote a sentence a day? Nope, too easy.” That was laughable, but I wanted to make it a tiny bit more challenging. That’s how I settled on 100 words a day.