Thursday, 31 March 2011

Wood for the trees

See if you can relate to this: It’s a weekday afternoon and you can’t see the wood of your desk. This is because it’s covered with the usual half cup of cold coffee, an empty water glass, desk phone, mobile phone, computer, keyboard, mouse, and a whole host of open files and folders, and piles of paper, and colleagues keep walking past adding more to the pile… Your inbox is rammed with questions and queries, and responses to your own questions and queries, all interlaced with junk mail all needing sorting through, and dealing with or deleting. There’s a problem you’ve been trying to think of a solution to that you just can’t seem to get your head around – if only the effing phone would stop ringing! There are two slightly stressed-looking colleagues hopping from one foot to the other, loitering around your desk waiting for you to come off the phone so they can speak to you and you haven’t even had the chance to get lunch yet. You’re meeting friends later at a new bar and restaurant, you’re not sure if you’ll make it on time, and you haven’t had time yet to see where it is or how to get there. Sound familiar?

Now imagine this: You stick out your right arm, lay it across the left-hand side of your desk and sweep it strongly to the right, clearing the whole lot on to the floor in one fell swoop - NOW you can see the wood! You stand up, walk past your astonished colleagues and go find a quiet meeting room with a lock and a comfy chair, and have an hour’s nap.

When you return to your desk feeling refreshed, you find your computer, keyboard and mouse placed neatly back on your desk, along with your phones, a hot cup of a tea and a fresh glass of water. All your filing has been done – paper and electronic – all junk has been binned and the rest of your emails, paperwork, files and folders are placed neatly in order, with tasks flagged for priority. Somehow you’ve thought of a brilliant yet simple solution to the problem that’s been going around in your head. You feel less stressed; you’re smiling and feel ready to take on the world.

“As if!”

Well, I’m here to tell you that all this loveliness, and more, can be yours! No, really, it actually can. And it’s free of charge and doesn’t require a management consultant nor a life coach. You’ve heard of it, I promise, but you’ve probably dismissed it as pointless or “not for the likes of me.” Well, it IS for the likes of you. Yes, YOU.

“Well, get on with it, woman, I haven’t got time for this, spit it out. What is this miraculous, free, magically life-changing product?!”

It’s meditation. Yes, really. Stay with me, nearly there...

“I don't know the first thing about it; how would I get started?”

There are so many different types of meditation and I am NO expert by any stretch of the imagination, you just have to find the method that works for you – a bit like exercise; some people love running, others love swimming, badminton, dance classes, golf... same with meditation – you may need to try a few techniques until you find one you click with. All I have is a meditation CD that a friend gave me a few years ago and that CD and I, we’re mates; we just “get on”. Do an internet search and see what pops up and what you’re drawn to – it could be a YouTube video, a course, a book, an article, a CD… And then get on with it. You know, it’s not during the meditation you find this amazing mental clarity and calm, it’s afterwards in your regular day to day stuff when you realise that everything around you is just SO much easier to deal with. Just like someone came to your desk and cleared it all up, polished everything and put everything in order, that’s how your head feels – like someone climbed inside, emptied it out, gave it a good clean and made three piles with the contents: one for the bin, one to pass on, and a neat pile of all the good stuff to keep for yourself. Wouldn’t that feel terrific?

Meditation will sort your head and your life out. Guaranteed. I dare you to try it...

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