It struck me during Tough Mudder that monkey bars are a good metaphor for life. In order to move forward, we have to let go.
I observed several people who were too scared of letting go and falling that they weren’t willing to let go when the time was right. Their fears were realized as they fell to the pit of muddy water below. Had they held on only just enough and let go at the right time, they might have made it across. In order to move forward, we have to let go.
Meditation is a tool which I strongly believe should be taught in schools. I wish someone had taught me years ago. Recent scientific research has shown a plethora of positive effects. It is not only a way of improving symptoms of depression and anxiety, but also a way of cultivating friendliness towards ourselves and awareness. Actually there are too many positives to mention. If you have never meditated, below are some instructions in the method that I prefer.
- Turn off all distractions. Set a timer for 5 minutes.
- Sit upright, with good posture, on a cushion on the floor with crossed legs (or in a chair if that’s more comfortable). Place your hands Palm down on your thighs.
- Rest your gaze on the floor about 4 to 6 feet in front of you.
- Close your eyes halfway.
- Bring your attention to your breath. Don’t try to change it in any way. Just focus on observing it.
- After some time has passed, you will notice that your mind has drifted away from your breath. That’s normal. Don’t stress. Gently place your focus back on your breath.
- You will notice again that your mind has wandered. Keep bringing your focus back to the breath. Don’t scold yourself for losing focus. This is how our minds work. Meditation is nothing but the repeated refocusing on the breath.
It’s that simple!
I recommend meditating daily. Five minutes is all you need to start. Gradually try to increase the time, but the most important thing is to do it regularly.
Here is a powerful decision-making tool from Derek Sivers:
“No more yes. It’s either Hell Yeah! Or no.”
I urge you to try this. If you’re not jumping up and down inside with excitement about an opportunity, the answer is no.
This was scary when I first tried it, but I have had remarkable results so far. I ended up saying no to a lot of things, and I was worried that I had overdone it. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Of course, many things are not exciting in the short term. For these things, I’ve found it helpful to focus more on the end result when asking yourself the above question.
What it’s called doesn’t matter. Minimalism, essentialism, simplicity or enoughism. It’s the idea that more is not better. It’s the concept of limiting the extraneous, focusing on what’s truly important. Doing less, but doing it really well and having more fun. Having less, but having high-quality things that are actually used.
This blog is home to my writings about minimalism. Do I consider myself a minimalist? There is really no set definition, so it’s hard to say. What I do know is that life seems better when I do just enough things and have just enough stuff. It leaves time and space for awesomeness.