No matter how hectic the pace of life may be, you have the opportunity to access the beauty and power of meditation in every moment to keep your mind calm and your decisions clear. This happens as you develop what I like to call a meditative mindset. No matter how busy your body may be, your mind can rest in the essence of meditation.
When you step into a meditative mindset, you gain fresh understanding of yourself, your life and the world around you. You move beyond feeling identified and attached to the idea that life is happening to you. In so doing, you loosen the grip of your ego, which clings to unhappiness and illusions of power. You see more space around each situation, emotion and thought, because you know that everything is part of a vast, interconnected whole. Instead of taking things personally, you respond to situations with receptivity, clarity and calm.
The meditative mindset gives you a bigger picture of reality. It helps you naturally relax because you are in a trusting relationship with a power far greater than your ego or personal will. You tap into universal energy that is in constant flow in each moment. Your mind broadens. You have more insight into any challenges you may face. You see opportunities in problems. You feel confident in outcomes, however they may unfold.
A meditative mindset is not about wishful thinking, or being disassociated from problems at hand. Wishful thinking is ungrounded and disconnected. Without seeing any way forward, you throw fortune to the wind and hope for the best. A meditative mindset feels rooted, vital and expansive, connected to the whole. In it, you remember that you are loved and supported and you are fully engaged in each moment.
You cultivate a meditative mindset when you sit on your meditation cushion. But you can also develop it as you cook your meals, wash your dishes, do the laundry, tend to children, get to business meetings, interact with friends and colleagues, and in every other moment you may encounter. The meditative mindset brings your meditation practice to life and into the world.
When faced with many tasks and short timelines, rather than zeroing in, I focus on the big picture. This helps me access and co-create with the universal flow of energies that I know are always conspiring to support my greatest joy. After all, the universe vibrates at the frequency of joy. Because of this, joy has become my barometer for how connected I am.
Should tension creep in, I watch my body and mind, and acknowledge the tension and any emotional reactions I may have. From a compassionate vantage point, I can understand that I don’t need to feel painful emotions. They actually serve no one. And ultimately, they don’t help me reach my goals. I know that I operate better when I am in the meditative mindset and allow myself to be supported by the whole. So I do what I can to return to a bigger, more holistic picture of the moment, beyond any limited version seen through the lens of my ego.
The next time you find yourself stressed or overwhelmed, try this:
● Take a moment to completely stop what you are doing.
● Take a few long deep breaths and see if you can feel part of a vast, intelligent universe.
● Allow the cells in your body to tingle with your in and out breaths. Let vitality nourish you.
● As you breathe in and out, know that the universe is conspiring in this moment to help you realize your deepest joy.
● Know that everything in your life is moving out of deep compassion and love to help you live your deepest joy. It may not seem this way right now. But take a few more breaths and suspend disbelief and see if you can find that access point.
● Then resume your activity with a refreshed perspective, knowing that the universe has your back.
A story by my teacher Amma, the Hugging Saint of South India, comes to mind. She says we tend to curse the thorn that we step on as we run through a field, without understanding that the thorn saved us from running over a cliff we did not see. Everything in life has a purpose and supports us in some way. Be receptive to the grace that always is. Open more and more to this loving energy that is right here, right now. Allow yourself to feel supported in the way you need. You are love. You are loved. You are whole. You are the light that always is. Parvati is an award-winning musician (“I Am Light”, “Electro Yog”, “Yoga In The Nightclub”), yogini (YEM: Yoga as Energy Medicine), author (“The Grace Mindset”, “Aonani of Avalon”, “The Three Supreme Secrets for Lasting Happiness”) and founder and CEO of the nonprofit Parvati.org. All her work is dedicated to protecting all life on Earth by establishing the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary (MAPS). More info: parvati.tv; parvati.org.