Find your own way to get through the day

By Sarah Halbrook / Guest Column

If you’re anything like most busy, working Americans, you have days when your schedule is full before, during and after work. You likely combat this by taking a deep breath, knowing you’re prepared to proceed between numerous meetings and activities.

Of course, sometimes the only thing that keeps you moving is the realization that this long day, in possibly a series of long days, will eventually end.

What has prepared you to move through your day with the confidence to go from task to task with a smile and a grasp of the topic at hand?

Some of us have a good assistant who keeps the tea coming, a co-worker who is a team player or a supportive partner at home who gets out of your way or is ready with a hug and just the right words of encouragement.

The “little something” that enables us to succeed in harried times is different for each of us.

For me, this sense of self and security was reached through meditation practice. I have been a practitioner of mantra-based meditation for six years. I learned one-on-one with an instructor, and my practice consists of two short meditation sessions daily.

Before working with an instructor, I tried many forms of meditation, but I struggled. However, once I found my current meditation practice, I was on my path with a mantra and structure. I call it the “mediation of yes” because if I fall asleep, that’s okay. If my mantra morphs into another word, that’s fine. If I have thoughts that persist and won’t allow me to focus, that’s alright because it’s just something that I need to work out.

What have I gained from my meditation? The simplest and most beautiful word I could ask for: clarity. In the world of distraction and should-dos, all I was really searching for was a path to get to know my own mind and make decisions at the soul level. Not everyone wants clarity. If you hear me talk about mediation, you may hear me say “clarity is a beast” and that you can’t “unknow” what you’ve uncovered. Once you’ve uncovered your path, you must move forward if you are pursuing an authentic life.

However, it can help you on a daily basis with decisions both large and small. When I struggled with one of the biggest decisions I had to make on my own – which house to put an offer on – I meditated. During my meditation session, I ended up in a sort of daydream where my son and daughter were laughing in the house I eventually bought. To me it wasn’t about the house itself, it was about a space where we could feel safe and happy on the most basic level.

So much of our day is planned for us. Many who choose to attempt to control it find this path leads to stress, frustration and burnout.

What we can control the most is how we react to a situation. Every day is made up of hundreds of “situations” we are powerless to control. Possibly you have harnessed your inner self and have found something to guide you through your day, whether it is diet, exercise, faith, family or some other type of mindfulness practice.

You can walk through your “big day” and know that you have this because you have a something more that sees you through.