Choosing your reactions just takes a little mindfulness.
One year ago, I left work knowing I had to make a big change. I had spent eight hours teaching students at Berklee College of Music and I felt utterly drained. As I boarded the train home, I was struck with the realization that I was just another worker bee leaving my job feeling exhausted and defeated. This was not who I am, I thought, and this was not how I wanted to feel after a day of teaching at my dream job. Something had to give.
I went home and asked myself what needed to be done to change this around. I analyzed everything, from my sleep patterns to my eating habits, and couldn’t pinpoint what it was. Simultaneously, I was struggling with the fact that my intense passion for spirituality was not backed up with any spiritual practice. As my mind raced, I felt the answer arise within as if it had been whispered in my ear: meditate. I felt guided to just sit down, close my eyes and breathe. I didn’t set any specific intention or vow to commit to an hour-a-day practice. I just agreed to try. For the next two weeks, I kept a nightly appointment with myself and used guided meditations to quiet my busy mind.
After those two weeks, I found myself sitting at my desk before work. Another intense teaching day was ahead of me, and I had five minutes before it all began. I closed my eyes, took a series of breaths, and felt the familiar tingle in my crown when I begin to tap into that stillness. I smile as I relive the moments of complete ease I felt throughout the day, and the electric buzz of energy I experienced as I left work.
That was the beginning of a whole new world for me as a professional. The meditation practice combined with that simple “checking in” at the beginning of the day had completely transformed my work. Ideas and inspiration flooded my brain, and I started to intuit answers to problems that seemed so elusive before. I remember the look on one of my student’s faces as he left his lesson and said, “You’re some sort of psychic musical X-men”. I felt like it. Every class was a new and exciting way to test these newfound super powers. I was hooked.
Looking back, it all seems somewhat unbelievable. Was the solution really that simple? I didn’t know I was lacking that honest connection with myself, and I had underestimated the power of going within. For me, meditation is about quality verses quantity and I still reap the benefits from just two minutes of intense focus and intention at the beginning of the day. Too many people shy away from the practice because they assume the commitment required to reap the benefits is far too intimidating. So take just a moment for yourself to breathe and trust that everything you need is already within you. Enjoy discovering the infinite possibilities that lie just beneath your busy mind and awaken to the realization that there’s more to you than you ever imagined.
Jamie Lynn Hart is a classically trained singer with a Master’s of Music from Boston University. She released her highly anticipated second album, The Let Go, on February 17, 2015. The Let Go follows her debut full-length album Anticipate in 2011 followed by her Live at Tupelo album in 2013, which won the Limelight Music Award for Best Album.
The author of this post is an editorial contributor to Headspace. These are their views, experiences and results and theirs alone. This contributor was not paid for their writing.