Here’s how my plan for Week 2 of the 28-Day Meditation Challenge has been shaping-up. Because my focus for the challenge is on Real Happiness at Work, my plan is going to be a little different than the basic structure.
Week 2 – Open Awareness
While the basic structure for Week 2 is Mindfulness, I’m going a bit more specific by choosing to focus my Week 2 on Open Awareness. Looking through the chapters of Real Happiness at Work, Open Awareness jumped out at me as something that could be very helpful in both the day-to-day management of my workday, as well as my overall career path.
I’m currently at a crossroad in my career, which I wrote about here. From this perspective, the Open Awareness chapter really resonated with me. The following quotes, to which I’ve added my own comments, jumped out at me right away –
“In that space of openness, we can ask ourselves: What do I love to do? Could I use my skills in a way that is different from the way I’m using them now? Is there a new start stirring in my heart or an idea pressing to take form?”
I feel like the crossroad I’m standing at is a new start stirring in me and that one of roads ahead is actually doing what I love. For the first time in my 30+ year work career, starting as a paperboy, I’m starting to believe that doing what I love is actually a viable career option.
To help remind ourselves that doing what we love is possible, I’ve started a series of interviews with people who do what they love. You can read those interviews here.
“We all can clear away the obstructions to our true potential, and to whole new ways of thinking.”
“Mindfulness reveals our options to us. It reminds us where the deepest happiness can be found.”
These two quotes make a lot of sense to me, as the space that mindfulness creates for me to think clearly, does help me clear away obstructions. This, in turn, helps reveal options to me that I hadn’t before recognized, as I was too busy charging full-speed ahead, with my head down, in the pursuit of what I thought was forward progress.
“Fostering greater balance of heart and mind is a key to uncovering our immense capacity for creativity, and a valuable avenue to cultivating this balance is meditation practice.”
Learning to value the heart and balance emotion with thinking, after suppressing emotion for such a very long time, has been an exciting experience for me. For the first time in my life, I’m excited to use all of the emotional and cognitive tools available to us as human beings, rather than limiting myself to thinking and reason. In this discovery process, letting emotion in has also helped me rediscover my creativity. This has been helpful in clearing away the obstructions to my true potential, by revealing options to me that I had been blind to for a very long time.
So that’s the perspective that I’m taking into Week 2 and here’s what my practice looks like –
-Meditate for 30-45 minutes each morning
-Meditate once or twice more during the day, for 10-20 minutes
You can read more about my daily meditation practice in my Week 1 post.
This week, for my shorter meditations, I’m following guided meditations on Open Awareness, as well as continuing with Sharon’s Meditation on Balance.
-Work on the Opening and Closing exercise in Real Happiness at Work
I’m excited to try this exercise, as I find myself contracting a lot during the work day. Because I work from home, by myself for the most part, it becomes very easy for me to develop tunnel vision and difficult to pull out of it, forgetting to return to a “big mind”.
Questions for you –
Do you see doing what you love as a viable career path?
When do you find yourself contracting during the day? What do you do to pull yourself out of it?
Let’s discuss in the comments!