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Calm, Cool, Collected: Q97 Snapshot

08/25/2014 10:05AM ● Published by Patrick John

September 2013
By Patrick John

Radio people are high strung. We’re passionate about things.  We’re impatient, often abrasive, and can sometimes be (my favorite) DIFFICULT. We’re A-types, control freaks, and typically demanding. We’ve been told this many times, by co-workers, friends, and family. 
   
Now, I know this isn’t unique to just folks in my line of work and that you, or someone you know, may behave the same way. What to do about it?  It’s hard to take recommendations from others, but I recently skimmed an article on the benefits of meditation and decided to self-check and learn more.
   
Ten years ago, I would have said meditation is something crazy, trendy, New Age nuts would do, but age makes you a little more open to new ideas, as does my wife repeatedly telling me I need to relax and chill out.
   
Merriam Webster defines meditation as “the act or process of spending quiet time in thought.”  That doesn’t sound so hard, but it’s more difficult than you think to clear your mind. A few basic recommendations from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine:
-An open mind.
-A meditation space, somewhere comfortable, quiet, and distraction-free – it can even be outdoors.
-A specific, comfortable posture – sitting, lying down, whatever works for you.
-A focus of attention (could be a physical object, your breathing, music, etc.).
   
About six months ago, ABC News anchor Dan Harris published a book called “10% Happier” that detailed his own struggles with anxiety. Harris had an on-air anxiety attack in which he melted down in front of millions of people during a LIVE Good Morning America newscast. That spurred him to seek the root of the issue and, years later, take up daily meditation.
   
Many successful people swear by meditation; Oprah Winfrey, Clint Eastwood, Paul McCartney, and Kobe Bryant all meditate daily.  So do media mogul Rupert Murdoch, athletes Joe Namath and Barry Zito, and actress Jennifer Aniston. That’s some pretty good company. Do they all know something we don’t?
   
For me, stress and impatience are what I’m trying to get a handle on, but millions of people meditate daily for other reasons, like alleviating pain, depression and insomnia. Others swear meditation has helped lower blood pressure, increase mental focus and brain function, and even spur more creativity.
   
If you can’t sit still for 10 to 20 minutes a day, walking meditation may be for you. Redding’s Center for Spiritual Living has an outdoor labyrinth to walk while you focus and reflect, and there’s a rock Peace Labyrinth on the South side of the Sacramento River Trail below the Ribbon Bridge.
   
If you need some help getting started with your own meditation, there are a couple of local resources you may want to visit:
   
Center for Spiritual Living, Redding: 
www.cslredding.org/index.html
Spiritual Teacher Layne Russell:
www.highmountainwind.com/meditation.htm

Let’s do this thing. The next time you see me I should be calm, collected and focused. Wish me luck!


Life+Leisure, In Print patrick john q97 snapshot september 2014 meditaion
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