Once upon a time, before smartphones were the norm, my employer gave me a Blackberry phone so that I could check email on the go.
Did you know that Blackberries have a tiny little light that blinks red every time an email comes in?
And remember, this was my work phone, so in my case – the little light blinked red every time a work email came in.
My job was high-pressure, rapid-fire, and very demanding – which meant that the red blinky light blinked often, and with a distinct aura of urgency.
Over time, the red blinky light became my master and I its slave, in a bizarre Pavlovian tango in which I’d constantly check to see if it was blinking. But that wasn’t the weirdest part of things. The weirdest part is what would happen when I wasn’t checking the phone to see if the light was blinking.
Somehow, someway, by some crazy malfunction of my brain – the red blinky light began following me.
I saw it in the shower, I saw it in the subway train – I even saw it one time in a breadbasket when I was on a date with my boyfriend at an Italian Restaurant.
My mind had become completely consumed. And I felt stuck, because getting away from the red blinky light itself was not enough. The red blinky light was following me!
If I could go back and advice my 25 year old self, I’d encourage her to try something that I was unfamiliar with at the time: meditation.
Simply stated, meditation is strengthening our ability to observe our own thoughts. When we do so, we are able to identify unwanted thought patterns and disengage with them – even when we’re not meditating.
In this episode, Charlotte Myers talks about how to meditate, and shares similar stories from her own career of times when her mind became consumed with negative thoughts and stress, and when she turned to mindfulness and meditation to feel better despite her difficult work circumstances.
If you want to connect with Charlotte, her Instagram handle is @airyfairyfeminist and she hosts The Airy Fairy Feminist podcast.
Shawn Achor’s podcast on positive psychology:
Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod:https://amzn.to/2R5SvGF
10% Happier by Dan Harris:https://amzn.to/2D2JJX4
The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor: https://amzn.to/2q5hfU7
Want to get in touch? Follow @theartofspeakingup on Instagram or email firstname.lastname@example.org.