Resolved, Master the Mind, End the Monday Madness!
Over 40% of Americans make New Year's resolutions, but statistics show only 8% achieve them.
I am among the 40% this year with an ambitious goal, one of mastering my mind and emotions. It will be a daily exercise regimen whereby I hope to slim down my ego. My mind, I have secretly observed, is the common denominator of all my problems.
I only wish it were as easy as eating more vegetables.
Instead it will require a daily practice of meditation, where I observe the shenanigans of the "monkey mind" and gradually quiet it down, allowing myself to choose a happier alternative. The "monkey mind" is a victim of circumstances, blaming chocolate cake for post-dinner joy and pesky customers for Monday-morning-madness. Mine is particularly naughty. It likes to throw feces that come out my mouth in the form of words.
Meditating is not hippie nonsense. Just listen to these veterans who are recovering from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). Scientific research backs them up, showing that meditating 20 minutes a day for a month improves the neuroplasticity of the brain (read the studies here).
MRIs show that meditation improves brain structure.
I have known this intellectually for some time. This New Year's resolution is to gain experience.
What better way to start than with a silent retreat at an ecumenical ashram in rural Virginia? I was burned out on all the holiday partying anyway. Lucky for me, Rub 'n Restore, Inc. reimburses all our wellness expenses (the best part of owning/operating your own business is the ability to make your own policies)!
Lovely place to reflect for a week. If only my mind were as clear as the water!
The timing was perfect, as I had completed a rigorous two-month training of the buyer and new operator of Vinyl Ladies, our leather/vinyl repair business. It was time the new Vinyl Lady gain the confidence that can only be acquired by working solo, and disappearing to an ashram was a convenient means. I deliberately left the iPhone and action list with her, taking only a journal and camera. The technological isolation soothed my monkey.
Three generations of Vinyl Ladies. Out with the old, and in with the new!
In selling Vinyl Ladies I have abandoned a part of my identity to which my ego was very attached. I have also freed myself from the schizophrenia of running two businesses that kept me working 80+ hour weeks for the last two years. It is a move to a simpler life. On the flight home it was still sinking in that I didn't have to wake up the next morning and race off the mountain to repair RVs and hot rods.
While Rub 'n Restore® is still a full-time job, the luxury of answering phones and mixing custom colors in my jammies feels like retirement! With this new freedom, there is no reason why I can't succeed in this year's resolution, as long as I put in the time.
Cheers to a peaceful 2015!