Close your eyes, clear your mind of senseless chatter and to-do lists and take a few deep, cleansing breaths – focus on how you feel. Peaceful. Centered. Energized. Maybe you are able to discover the place of a dream-like state where your mind, body and soul unite in perfect harmony and you visualize a phenomenal you, achieving things you may never before thought possible…
In my last post “True Intentions”, we explored goals vs. intentions and the belief that one must first understand their true intentions to become more effective in achieving their goals. To further explore this topic, my friend Ashley and I attended Lululemon’s workshop last week, “Visualize You: A Meditative Journey to Achieve Your Goals,” presented by former NFL player Prince Daniels Jr.
Prince confessed that he was searching for purpose in life after his NFL career ended and he encountered a series of unfortunate events in the months after leaving the football field. He decided to take control of his future and visited a monastery to learn how to meditate with hopes of discovering his new purpose in life. But what he learned was so much more than an ancient technique, it was a way of living.
Prince spoke about intentions – an aim or vision that guides our thoughts and actions which therefore influence our actual experiences. Intentions can be thought of as our core values and can be complimented by a mantra during meditation. For Prince, “No thing is impossible” is his mantra and it’s a direct reflection of his intention, his core belief, that we all have the power to accomplish what we set forth to do.
Sitting on our yoga mats, listening to Prince intently, we experienced first-hand the affects of his daily devotion to meditation. His bright smile, laugh, passionate and humble nature sparked a positive energy that filled the entire downtown showroom. We were eager to try meditation for ourselves.
Here are the steps Prince guided us through so you can try meditating at home.
- Find a comfortable seated position. Use a pillow or roll up a blanket under your sit bones, sit with your back straight, legs in lotus or criss-cross applesauce.
- Rest your hands comfortably in your lap.
- Close your eyes.
- Start breathing deeply, expanding your belly and filling your lungs entirely. Then eventually glide into a natural breathing rhythm.
- Focus on your breath and nothing else – count exhalations to stay in a present state.
- If a thought crosses your mind, acknowledge it and let it pass. Return to your breath.
- You may enjoy calming music during your meditations, and allow your mind to focus on the sounds.
Prince guided us through three mini sessions at five minutes each with a five-minute break in between. During the break we would take mental note of how our mind and body felt, and stretch our legs and neck if needed. Prince encouraged us to start with 5 minutes a day, then 15, then 30 – maybe work our way up to an hour—and eventually we will discover the deep meditative state of conscious dreaming.
Goal Setting Exercise
Our final exercise of the evening was to practice goal setting Lululemon style; the task was to envision our life in 10 years. We began with a few minutes of visualization taking notes of what we see, smell, hear and feel. Who is there? How and where do we spend our time? We put these thoughts and feelings into action by creating personal, professional and health-oriented 5-year and 10-year goals.
This is an excellent exercise that focuses on intention first, not an end result. Visualizing how you see your future self and how you want to feel syncs those thoughts with your intention, your true north, to point you in the right direction to achieve your goals. Then you can create a S.M.A.R.T. action plan (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time sensitive) to start working towards those goals. When you get off track or lose motivation, return to your intention.
Be a Greater Person
More than 20 centuries ago, Patanjali, who compiled Yoga Sutras, suggested that meditation is when “dormant forces, faculties, and talents come alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.” This describes the current chapter of Prince’s life. He co-founded CP Evolutionary Fitness, an organization that aims to enhance athletic performance of individuals through a holistic approach by utilizing meditation, motivational workouts and mentoring. Through the power of meditation, Prince discovered his new purpose in life – inspiring and teaching others.
What can you discover and achieve through the power of meditation?
Peace. Love. Namaste.