Chapter 2: Finding a Path to Clarity
On a professional level, life progressed well. I found myself at good companies growing as a corporate executive, with opportunities to advance. Working hard, I kept my nose to the grindstone. I received awards and accolades. In those moments, I felt a sense of accomplishment. But always whispering in my ear was the nagging question that I asked my mother; “Is this life?” Over and over, it engaged me to explore a space I knew deep inside wasn’t completely satisfied.
At 32, I became the family matriarch when both of my parents passed in rapid succession. I carried the weight of being supportive to my family while going to graduate school and working in an intensely competitive corporate environment. On the outside, I wore a smile. While inside I was grieving the loss of my parents and still wondering about the point of it all. I sought inner peace and calm and was inspired to try meditation.
Being an avid reader, I found myself following that inner voice to the personal growth sections of my favorite bookstores and library. Human consciousness became an interest at sixteen years of age and I read my first book by Sigmund Freud. Sixteen years later, I realized I was in an existential crisis about the meaning of life, and more specifically my life.
I dived into the works of authors like Wayne Dyer and Deepak Chopra. Intrigued by their stories of miraculous occurrences in their lives as they embraced a set of behaviors labeled “mindfulness,” “sitting still” or “meditation.” Silencing the mind and going to a place of inner peace sounded so appealing that I finally signed up for meditation classes in the early 90’s.
That first class was amazing and intense. Offered in my local community at a holistic center that taught kundalini yoga and meditation, it was rigorous. You sat on the floor in the lotus position, learned breathing techniques and focused on breathing. You were discouraged from any motion, even scratching an itch, that distracted the mind.
It was challenging for me to still my mind and be present. Staying in the moment and experiencing whatever was present, wasn’t easy for someone who views herself as a lifelong daydreamer. However, with practice, it got a little easier.
Being goal oriented, I had to set measures for how long I stayed out of thought. With practice, it got longer. I would have moments where there was no thought. I’d practice at home, and sometimes at work. I’d close my office door, put on soft music and follow my breath. On a few occasions, I experienced such profound rest and renewal, that I realized that this stuff is good.
Meditation soon became my tool for managing stress. I found an internal space of calm where I gradually learned to quiet my internal negotiation with judgment, fear, and scarcity. My practice opened new portals that expanded my understanding of myself and others.
With this newfound vision, I could walk into a meeting and quickly assess the room’s vibe beyond the five senses most of us typically rely on. The sixth sense was helpful in understanding my team’s motivations, and drivers.
During the day I might struggle with an issue. After my evening meditation, I’d have the clarity to see the greater narrative that the numbers and words were trying to tell me enabling me to present solutions previously not imagined.
Over the years my meditation practice morphed with various techniques and approaches. I started with kundalini breathing, incorporated hemi-sync technology, and then landed on Primordial Sound Meditation (a mantra-based meditation practice). Each method was perfect then because it taught me to slow my mind and connect with my place of peace and calm.
Let me be clear; stress didn’t completely disappear. But my perception of stressful situations changed, and that opened my mind to contributing more effectively to my organization and leading my team with a deeper connection.
My level of intuition increased to a place where I could operate from this flow, making the right choices and moves that enhanced my workplace and my life. Synchronicities became a regular part of my days: