The following article is a guest post from Cheryl Clarke, founder of City Calm, a company on a mission to help entrepreneurs get the energy and mindset they need to be successful in business.
When I started my business my main goal was to follow my heart and listen to it’s true desires. I wanted to create my business from myself, not from a checklist or formula. The goal was to make money doing the things that gave me energy and fuelled me. In this way I felt I could be of far better service to those that I work with and because of which, going to be in the business for a whole lot longer. I won’t give up. I’ve never taken to the concept of retirement. I’ve never understood it. Why would I want to retire from something I love doing?
My heart led me to teaching meditation.
Why do I love teaching meditation?
I can see the transformation in clients almost instantly. Clients come to my class with shoulders drooped, skin dull, feeling stressed out from the day. By the end of the hour their skin is glowing, they have a huge smile on their face, and they are walking lighter and freer. I love to see this transformation and to know that I have been an aid to them. It’s very empowering to know that when my clients are going go home, on their way they are going to be a light shining bright which will effect other people that they see, their friends, and their family. Together we have created a ripple effect of light.
The reason why there is such a huge transformation is because my sessions focus on allowing clients to process what they need to process. I spend 30 minutes getting them into a state where they can release what needs to be released and so usually they can deeply relax and let go. I really love this part of my job, but at the same time I want to make it clear that meditation can do a lot more than help us to let go and relax us.
In my life yoga, meditation and mindfulness practices have literally transformed me as a person. That’s not to say that I am new person, only that through meditation we get closer to who we really are. As an example I have always believed I am a deeply caring and loving person (by the way I think we all are!), but I could never connect with other people. Three years ago I remember asking my boyfriend in a restaurant, “why are the waiters always so nice to you but rude to me?” He replied, “because you never look them in the eyes when you speak to them.”
I hadn’t even noticed. He was right. I couldn’t even properly look at people. I was so disconnected that I found it impossible. It was if letting them look me in the eyes would reveal something of myself I was afraid to reveal. It has taken a journey of three years to get to where I am now. From feeling withdrawn, self conscious, disconnected from others and myself, I now know have the sensitivity and self knowledge to actually feel my heart. I know when something is up because I feel the subtlities speaking to me from within my body and I know whether I need to speak to it directly, feel through it, or soothe it to rebalance. I feel more full of love, joy & gratitude now than I have in my whole life. I have found my purpose, I have direction and what I do fuels me and I fuel it.
I have stepped into my flow and it feels fantastic.
That’s not to say that everything is perfect. I feel anger, fear, worry, doubt, lack of motivation, but I now know how to deal with it in a positive way in order to drive me further. I try to listen to the signals of my emotions and work out whether they are telling me something I need to hear or misdirecting me. Yes, sometimes I get it wrong. But it just teaches me some more.
On my journey I use meditation, yoga and mindfulness. It’s been the best education I have ever received. We don’t get taught about emotional intelligence in school. If we don’t get it from our parents then there’s nowhere to learn it from. Yoga, meditation & mindfulness provide a framework. The practices are available to everyone, and meditation and mindfulness in particular don’t take any great amount of study to start having a go straight away. I tell my students to keep going. Don’t just rely on me guiding you every week. Build up a habit. Actually, to even just to set the intention of building a habit is a big step. Then over time keep reminding yourself and having a go. Practice even two to three minutes whenever you get a chance. It will be the best thing you ever did for yourself. I encourage everyone to do the same. There are lots of different techniques out there for self development, but I believe these three techniques to be the most enjoyable, easiest to access, and profound. They create lasting, life-long change and transformation. The framework becomes a natural part of life.
If you need help developing a practise of mindfulness come check out our course on CityCalm.org. We have put together the essential information and practices you need to develop and practice over two weeks to start to the see the benefits in your daily life. If not with us, remember then that there are tons of resources online and many of them for free! The main thing is to start and have a go.
Check out Cheryl’s short video below on her Mindfulness for Time Management Course.
I praise the virtues of mindfulness and meditation every day. I am not exaggerating when I say that meditation helped change my life completely. On paper, one might think that I’m not in all that much of a different place than I was a few years ago prior to starting meditation, but in actuality, because my internal mechanisms (confidence, positivity, clarity of mind, soul, and body) have completely spun in a 180º rotation I’m in a vastly different emotional place. That’s not to say, like Cheryl mentions above, that I don’t have frustrating days or that I don’t get angry at situations, people, or myself, but because I’m self-aware of my thoughts and feelings it allows me to step back from my situation and understand it more fully. It also helps me process emotions quicker and with more confidence. Meditation helped me find out exactly who I am, which I feel is the most powerful tool to a happy, enriched life.
I’m telling you it works. The only thing that stops us from happiness in life is ourselves. There’s no excuse.