This past December the Health Workforce program at work sent out weekly emails with hints and tips for reducing holiday stress. Along with some of the standard suggestions, like getting enough sleep, exercising, and focusing on others, one week included an article about Martin Boroson’s One Moment Meditation exercise.
The benefits of meditation are well documented – lower blood pressure, reduced stress, mental clarity – but lack of time can make establishing a routine challenging. Boroson’s brief meditation exercise was first used in our company as a way for doctors and nurses to refresh and re-focus after handling traumas. Though I was sceptical that a single minute’s worth of meditation could have a positive benefit, I was interested enough to give it a try.
“The point of this exercise is to learn that you can truly tap a deep experience of peacefulness in a very short amount of time, so if you do it longer, you’re cheating.” ~ Martin Boroson
In the simplest of terms the 60-second exercise, which is not intended to replace other types of meditation, gives you a chance to briefly take a mental step away from whatever is going on around you and re-center. With consistent practice, you are supposed to be able to get the same sense of equanimity in less and less time, until you can really do it in just a moment.
“By practicing this one simple exercise, you’ll be able to “recharge your batteries” and find a bright, calm, and clear state of mind—anytime, anywhere. ~iTunes Store One-Moment Meditation App page
So, what does all this have to do with writing?
One of my biggest challenges is getting back into the story each time I sit down to write. It can be difficult to turn off thoughts about projects at work or other things I need to get done and just focus on the words on the page right in front of me. I’ve been using the exercise for the past month or so and I’ve found that it is definitely helping me transition between tasks. During our recent Eight Ladies writing retreat, it was a helpful tool to re-set between brainstorming and writing sessions and to power-down at the end of the day.
Although I haven’t been able to shorten my minute to a moment, I have found that I’m getting better at focusing during that one minute than I was when I first started. It’s definitely a tool I’m going to keep in my writer’s toolbox.
To find out more, check out this short 5-minute video on YouTube. There is also a free 30-day Transforming Stress course (set of posts) on Oprah.com, using the One-Moment Meditation concept. And if you really like the idea, there’s a free One-Moment Meditation app out on iTunes and GooglePlay.
So, have you found any good tools or exercises that help you get back into your story?