My motto in life is: “If it’s good enough for Gwyneth, then it must be good enough for me.” Sadly I couldn’t afford most of what Gwyneth Paltrow suggests will make our lives easier on her lifestyle website Goop. Until now.
Firstly let me ask you this: Do you ever get stressed? Do you ever feel like all you do is write endless lists and check them off but never actually get to the bottom of them? Do you feel like you are juggling so many plates that sometimes they all threaten to drop and break? Do you ever feel that one more thing may take you over the EDGE?
You sound like me.
But then I scrolled through Gwyneth’s website and landed on a page simply called “Change.”
Gwyneth wrote, “I recently picked up Andy Puddicombe’s book, Get Some Headspace, and was inspired by his ability to demystify mindfulness.” (Andy Puddicombe spent 10 years as a Buddhist monk and returned to England determined to make meditation and mindfulness more accessible.) She interviewed him on her website about how meditation can “potentially make you happier and healthier (and maybe even fitter, too).”
Now, always a skeptic at the best of times, I wasn’t convinced. Until I read another article about this Andy chap in the UK edition of The Times newspaper, where an equally skeptical journalist said it changed her life. So not wanting to miss the party, I downloaded the free app and began. I started by watching some short videos, where Andy describes the mind as a flat calm pool, and then stones get thrown into it, creating ripples, until there are so many stones (thoughts that pop in our head) that the water is cloudy. Andy wanted me to take a break — not from my job or my life — but from my MIND. As someone who can barely relax long enough to watch a commercial, this sounded impossible.
But if it’s good enough for Gwyneth … so I persevered. I lay down and did the 10-minute app, while Andy’s soothing voice told me to relax and listen to the sounds around me and then tune them out. At first my head was all over the place, still thinking about shopping lists and kids, and then … something AMAZING happened.
When the 10 minutes were up, I was almost asleep I was so darn calm! I loved it. So on I went. You get the first ten days for free, just to see if you like it. Turns out that meditation can help you sleep better, decrease your anxiety levels, have more self control, focus more, and make you less stressed. I honestly felt much more able to cope with all the things life throws at me on a daily basis. It helped me live more in the present, which sounds a bit hocus pocus-ish. It just made me appreciate the here and now and stop thinking life will be better further down the track.
Plus, it is only 10 minutes a day — and as hard as it sometimes is to find that — it can be done! If you don’t like apps, there is always the book. What I think I like most about Puddicombe (apart from his gentle soothing voice) is the fact that he is so passionate about what he does. He really believes that meditation and mindfulness can change your life for the better.