How to enjoy the ‘same old stuff’?

Tired of multi-tasking? Or utterly confused between having tea or coffee? Some simple everyday situations in each of our lives which turn out to be ‘not so simple’ sometimes.
Meditate and feel better!

Have you experienced this? Shopping in a supermarket, spending endless minutes figuring out whether to pick up bread or bun, apples or oranges!

Or, how often do we juggle cooking and washing, rushing to finish our household chores in the day? And what about switching from sending an important email at work to making a client call simultaneously? Multi-tasking is just inevitable all the time!

You don’t know your mind; your own mind drives you crazy. One minute it wants something and the next minute it wants something else. The mind keeps changing its mind all the time and it gets caught up – Sri Sri

These are just some everyday situations where we tend to get caught up in. But there must be a way out, right? Of course! Meditation can help ease out things for you to a large extent. Let’s find out how.

Here are five most common situations where we all seem to get stuck almost every other day of our life.

#1: Situation – Traffic jam

The mind goes – Oh! These daily traffic jams are such a menace!

Emotional score card – Frustration, anxiety

Perhaps the only sort of jam which never has and can never appeal to us! Every single day, the same situation, the same emotion, the same thought process – “I’ll be late for work again today; I’ve got a client meeting at 10 a.m. How on earth would I be able to make it on time?” And the grumbling continues.

We can’t change the situation, can we? So why not do something for a change to live through the same situation better?

Have you ever considered using the time that you are stuck in the jam to call a friend whom you have not been able to speak to for long, read a book (if you are not on the driver’s seat) which you once started but could not finish, do some breathing exercises such as Nadi Shodhan pranayama, try some car yoga (rotate your wrists, ankles and neck) and observe nature! Yes, wake and smell the roses, life is more than just running from one point to another.

There's lots you can do in that time. Even meditate, provided you are not driving! Close your eyes, meditate for 20 minutes or however longer you wish to and then open your eyes to experience a fresh you – ready to face the situation differently.

And yes, though you love these ideas and are really waiting to try them out, it definitely helps to cut down on the stress factor caused by tight schedules. Plan a little in advance, anticipate the incessant traffic lines and road blocks.

#2: Situation - Shopping in a supermarket

The mind goes – Should I pick up two cans of baked beans or one? Maybe I only need one for now. Oh wait! There's a discount on two!

Alternate Situation - Cooking for family

The mind goes - Should I cook baked beans today...they are healthy or I can make pizza...kids have been asking for it since so long; it will make them happy.

Emotional Score card – Confusion

Two familiar situations which we might find ourselves get stuck in, not just once but so many times! Countless varieties of food in the supermarket and unbelievable discounts on shopping or choosing between healthy food and tasty junk can be so difficult sometimes. Where does this confusion stem from? When we are unclear about what we want, right? Or sometimes we just know what we want but are not able to freeze on one particular thing as there is immense choice.

Meditation can help. When you meditate regularly, you see clarity in your mind setting in. Daily meditation practice helps remove stress, relaxes the mind and making choices becomes quicker and easier with a calm mind. Meditation can help remove constant doubt and also instil confidence in yourself to trust your own decisions.

Hannah George from the US shares, “My meditation practice of 20 minutes a day makes me work effectively, wherever I am. Be it grocery shopping or working in the office, I get less confused now about what I need to do. My mind is clear with what I want and how to go about it.”

It may take time to reach there. Sure, even after you meditate, there could be situations when you are feeling confused, yet in such moments observe - is the confusion less than say one year ago? Or two years ago? Chances are (and we bet on this one) that the cloud of confusion clears quicker now.
So be patient and know that the shopping time is more fun and more productive.

#3: Situation – Multi-tasking at work/home

The mind goes – Oh I have a call at 3 p.m. but I also have to send this email and yes, I need to finish this task before 6 p.m. today or the boss would fire me!

Another thought – I should finish cooking dinner before the guests arrive but wait, I forgot inviting Mrs. Gupta for the party. I should call her at once. And yes, some finishing touches to the cake are also left, I better do that soon.

Emotional Score card – Panic

We all wish we could have the privilege of doing one task at a time, at peace, with no distractions. Alas! The reality of today is slightly different. We live in an age where multi-tasking is considered a natural quality that you ought to possess and even if you had 10 hands, they would seem less!

Work is only increasing, deadlines at work getting tighter, the time we have at home to manage our daily chores getting lesser and our stress levels getting higher. That's when we start getting anxious and panicky and all stressed out. First of all, you need to relax and that can also happen naturally by meditating for a few minutes every day, at least twice a day. Meditation = relaxation and relaxation = the ability to work effectively.

When your mind is not racing against 10 thoughts at a time, in other words, it is at rest (which happens with regular meditation), you will find it much easier to concentrate on the task at hand and also complete it through the end efficiently. Even if you need to multi-task, it may not seem as a burden anymore because you will see yourself approaching multiple tasks with better focus and a sharper mind.

Neetu Singhania, a working woman from India, shares that meditation really keeps her going both at work and home. “Doing a job does not excuse us from taking care of the house. When I did not meditate, I used to be so stressed out managing two things together. But with daily meditation, things slowly started changing. Now I am less stressed about my tasks, I can plan better, manage my time better, give better results at work and spend quality time at home too.”

It is not difficult at all. These situations would always remain but our way of handling them surely can change. It's just a matter of pausing your mind, closing your eyes and relaxing yourself. It can make a world of difference to the world around you.

You’ve been waiting to try this!

  • When caught up in a traffic jam, feel happy that you have got some time for yourself, a break from life's race. Do what you have been wanting to since long.
  • Unable to make decisions? Just take a few minutes out to close your eyes and quiet your mind with meditation. It brings clarity of mind and you may see ideas flow to you naturally and get a clear picture of things.
  • In a hurry to finish 10 things at a time, remind yourself that you have the ability to do it. Have confidence in yourself, meditate for a while – it will fill you with that confidence.
  • Help your friends not get stuck in these small situations as well. If you have benefited from meditation, share it with your loved ones. Practice together in a group and enjoy a calm, positive mind!

Inspired by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's wisdom talks

Written by Pritika Nair

Based on inputs by Chinky Sen, Sahaj Samadhi Meditation Teacher