For most us, life and leadership can be stressful, and success comes at a big price.
In the Chinese language, the word for busy is made up of the two characters for heart and killer.
And being busy really can be a heart killer.
To find a balance between the work we do and the life we want, we need to incorporate some time to slow down, turn off the buzzing in our heads, and spend a few moments in contemplation.
Here are seven mindful meditations to help our hearts find a peaceful moment.
1. When you're struggling against obstacles.
Ask yourself whether it's possible that those obstacles and those struggles have nothing to do with anything external. Maybe they stem from your internal demons. How can you clear the thoughts that keep you struggling, the stories you repeat to yourself that are harmful to you?
2. When you're feeling low on courage.
Remember that many others have been fearful--even more fearful than you're feeling now--and have managed to overcome their fears. It can be done. Think quietly to yourself about their example and learn from them on how to venture courageously forward.
3. When you're feeling stuck.
Close your eyes and imagine you're in the center of a large room, a big open space surrounded by large objects. On the other side of the room is the project you must complete. It's enormous. Now imagine yourself walking toward the project. As you get closer, your perspective shifts and you see it becoming smaller. Now imagine breaking it down into small pieces, like a jigsaw puzzle. Evaluate each piece for its value and carry the most important piece back to place it the center of the room. Do this with each remaining piece until the pieces are all interconnected, and the project is complete.
4. When an answer is evading you.
It's only in asking the powerful questions that we can find the answers, decisions, and choices. If answers are coming slowly, ask yourself whether you've been asking the right questions. Mediate on the choices you are making today and consider how they fit with your plans for the future.
5. When you feel like you're failing.
There is an old saying: A person who never made a mistake has never made anything. Failure never feels good, but it often holds more value in personal growth than success. Think about your past errors, missteps, and failures. What lessons did they teach you? How have they helped shape your life?
6. When you feel drawn into negativity.
When you feel tarnished after encountering negative people and circumstances, work on emptying your mind, silencing the clutter and the noise, and observing your thoughts from a neutral place. You can begin to notice any negativity there and replace it with positive thoughts.
7. When juggling becomes overwhelming.
Major day-to-day demands keep many of us multitasking and maybe not managing as well as we want. Meditate on putting down the balls of demands without guilt and anxiety, and separating the balls that give you energy from those that drain your energy. Keep the ones that are helpful and energizing and leave the rest behind.
If you take a few moments each day to recharge and rejuvenate--whether it's with one of these visualizations or another technique--you'll have an important tool for clearing your mind and having a calm day.