5 things I learned from a “Month of Meditation”

For those of you who know me, also know that I love experimentation. Last month I have set myself a goal to do a meditation practice every day, and by the end of the month, to write up a report on my findings.

Before I get into the nitty gritty of 5 things I learned while doing a meditation for a month, I wanted to address an elephant in the room.

You are probably thinking: “Anatoly, its all good dude, but why ? Why did you choose to experiment with meditation and not with “ax-throwing-while-dancing-tango-for-a-month-kinda-thing ?”.

If you would ask me this question while we were sipping some hipster coffee in a place where there is no WiFi after 12 pm, I would probably rationalize it like this:

Why did I choose meditation ?

When I select my experiments, my main criteria is - “Do they solve the real problem?”. The problem I was trying to solve for a while was a lack of focus. For a last couple of months, I am juggling between preparing for an Ironman, full time work and a side business. Having multiple things to take care of every day creates lots of stress and a need to constantly switch attention. My plan with meditation was to have a time in the day when I can step back and recharge.

How did I meditate ?

I am new to meditation, so I needed a tool that was easy to use and could guide me in the right direction. After researching different websites, youtube channels and phone apps I chose Headspace . Essentially it is an iPhone app with guided meditations. It has 10 days of free meditations, so if you haven’t tried it yet — time to download it (I am no an affiliate).

When did I meditate ?

At first I did my meditations in the morning after breakfast, however with triathlon trainings my mornings are too unpredictable. So I had to adopt to my changing schedule, now I meditate whenever I have a spear time. I find that it is harder to find time to meditate in the evenings, so I either did it in the morning or during lunchtime.

On that note, main questions are out of the way, now lets talk about things that I learned.

#1 I felt calm for the whole day

With lots of things on my plate, there are many possibilities for things to go side-ways which may result in me getting angry. I found that after doing meditation I was able to deal with stressful situations much easier. Some people told me that my reaction changed for the better, which was one of the main goals of this experiment.

#2 Being mindful gets easier with every session

At first it was hard to get rid of distracting thoughts during meditation sessions, but after a while it became much easier. Now I can get into the right state of mind much quicker.

#3 After a week It became an addiction

First couple of days it was hard to schedule time to meditate, and it felt awkward, however, after a week, I was looking forward to the next session. Meditation time felt as something very special.

#4 Better Focus

As I mentioned before, one of the reason to start meditating for me was to improve focus. I found that keeping focus was much easier after I have cleared my head with meditation practice.

#5 Creativity

Part of my every day responsibilities is to find creative ways of solving problems. I found that after clearing my head with meditation, I was able to much easier find creative approaches, brainstorm new ideas, come up with creative solutions.

Epilogue

Month of meditation for me was a blast and as with any tool that solves the problem it is for me to keep. I am still meditating almost every day, and am astonished how much quality it brings to my day.

Thats the story for today folks, if you have questions or comments, you know the drill :)

Anatoly