THE BLOG

Calm, Clarity and Capacity in Our Lives

We all know that taking time out during the day to recharge is solid advice. It clears the cobwebs. Meditation goes a step further. For me it is a gift that keeps on giving. I'm learning that our mind doesn't enjoy chaos and noise but takes it for granted.
11/17/2014 01:34pm ET | Updated January 17, 2015
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

Ask anyone and they will likely tell you they are running at 120 percent, that there aren't enough hours in the day. I was that way for the longest time and set my sights on making space in my life to tackle opportunities that have always been elusive for me.

My response to that sounds counter-intuitive: Carve out 20 minutes in the morning and again in the afternoon.

A few years ago, several things came together to set me on this path. For health reasons I had to give up my position as CEO of a multinational company. I loved that job but couldn't keep doing it. I looked back and realized that for almost 15 years I had been traveling the globe constantly.

This radical change in my life had me set my sights on opening myself up to new things, challenging myself to make time, make space to do new things. And as I stepped back and made space, new things did start to happen; new opportunities came up personally and professionally.

I practice Transcendental Meditation (TM). I have been meditating for three years, but for the last year and a half, I learned TM and have been doing my 20 minutes morning and afternoon.

The great thing about TM is that over time the mind becomes accustomed to that meditative state and the benefit of that works it's way more and more into our daily life and actions.

I have found that more and more, I have a clarity and distance from daily chaotic impulses that constantly hit us. When people ask me what I get out of TM, my answer is "calmness, clarity and capacity." (Who doesn't want more of that?)

In TM we learn that this clarity is about naturally starting to recognize the " delicate" in situations instead of the "gross," the chaotic; in other words, we learn to gain space and perspective -- we begin to lose the impulse that has us reacting immediately to the superficial chaos.

A friend of mine said it well: "We go through life reacting or acting on every thought and impulse; after a while, as the mind begins to get used to meditating, you learn that a thought can just be a thought." It's liberating.

For me, meditating 40 minutes a day has brought an ability to navigate chaos with more calmness. In addition, I know I am more organized in my thinking, more objective in how I view situations; I find myself being more present and attentive, less stressed by the little stuff -- I am definitely more creative. I am more productive, I have more capacity. Not always, of course, because, like anything, this is a journey and the benefits grow over time.

So those 40 minutes which could seem like adding more tasks to the day, deliver deep rest, deliver capacity and the ability to recharge, and they are a tool that gets more effective over time.

We all know that taking time out during the day to recharge is solid advice. It clears the cobwebs. Meditation goes a step further. For me it is a gift that keeps on giving. I'm learning that our mind doesn't enjoy chaos and noise but takes it for granted.

In fact our mind welcomes focusing inward and rewards us with calmness and capacity in the fray.