Inspired by tabloid magazines (you know the ones- "Celebrities, just like us!"), we are featuring a series of local Vancouverites who incorporate meditation into their everyday. They aren't on the quest for enlightenment and they aren't lazing around- these are busy bodies who understand the importance of pressing pause every once in a while. The idea is- Heck, if they can do it, you can too.
Today, we feature Jason- Newlywed (ish) and Marketing Director at Spence Diamonds. We caught Jason on a weekend but he also shared his weekday routine with us below.
What got you into meditation?
As a new university graduate in 2010 during the aftermath of the 2008 market crash, I did not enter my post degree life in the most welcoming of environments.
With a penchant for putting high expectations on myself, I ended up pushing myself towards a highly unsustainable situation fraught with unreachable targets and as such caused myself an extreme and unnecessary amount of stress.
This stress started manifesting itself not just mentally but physically in the form of eczema, insomnia and susceptibility to minor ailments such as the cold and the flu.
It was around this time that I was desperate to try anything to change my situation. I did some research and found that people were finding success with meditation. I figured I had nothing to lose and everything to gain from this practice. So I jumped right in and embraced meditation as wholeheartedly as I could. 6 years later (and innumerable morning meditations later) I can say that meditation has been one of the most positive activities in my life.
How do you feel meditation affects your day to day experience?
Meditation has completely changed how I experience my day to day, but not in a way that is overtly “visible” to the outside world, although my wife would argue that it does.
There are 3 areas that meditation has affected me in the most noticeable way.
The first is allowing me to be more “in the moment” (no pun intended). While I still have a long long ways to go to solving this, I often found that weeks would go by where I never felt as if I was truly living in the here and the now but rather living for tomorrow or whatever the next milestone was. Meditation lets me slow down and be mindful of my daily life.
Secondly is in stress management. Stress is a vicious cycle, stress brings on more stress which brings on more stress and often for no reason at all. Meditation lets me break that cycle at its source. It lets me disassociate from stressful thoughts and feelings, reset and then tackle whatever is happening next with a clear mind.
Lastly, I feel that my overall mental health has improved dramatically. I now think clearer, I don’t let the small things bother me too much and I’m able to navigate our hyper-connected world in a much more organized way.
Your favourite time/ way to meditate?
I always meditate in the morning, for a few reasons:
The first is that meditating at night may (and this is my own opinion, not based on real fact) cause your brain to associate the act of meditation with sleep. Meditation is an anytime-you-want activity and I don’t want to create a Pavolovian type reaction of drowsiness every time I meditate.
Secondly I find that meditation lets me fight the tidal wave of stress and anxiety that usually comes with waking up. I found that normally when I wake up, every task and to do for the day comes flooding into my brain. A morning meditation session stops this and lets me tackle my day with much more clarity.
Lastly, it’s just a very nice way to start the morning by spending 25 minutes by myself in the calm of my bedroom.
Walk us through a day in the life
Humans are creatures of habit and I definitely don’t break from that mold. I love to spend time with people, no matter where that is and I generally prioritize that.
My morning routine consists of around a half hour meditation session and breakfast.
At work my days are pretty normal, with meetings punctuated with periods of work.
Post work I generally make it out to the gym (I’m a big believer in daily fitness). In many ways this is my other “mediation” session where I spend an hour or so, phone free and concentrate on my wellbeing.
My evening normally is spent having dinner with friends, then some light reading before bed.