Cheryl's Blog

Week 27 – How to radically change your life in ten minutes.

Last week I had lunch with a friend and we talked about how over-stimulating life is these days. I mentioned that I’d been meditating more often and it’s really made a huge difference. “It’s just not easy for me to sit still,” my friend admitted. “I hate fighting with my busy mind.”

I totally get it. It’s taken me a year to finally be able to stop in the middle of craziness and quiet the talk box in my head. When I do, I feel centered, more resourceful, calmer, and better able to act with wisdom instead of reactivity.

I started with a simple practice that I’ve shared on this blog before, but it’s worth repeating. Here’s all you need to do:

  • Turn off the ringer on your phones and eliminate any possible interruptions.
  • Feather your nest, as my friend, Davidji likes to say, by finding someplace really comfortable to sit.
  • Set a gentle-sounding alarm to go off in ten minutes.
  • Choose a word you’d like to focus on and keep using this word each time you meditate. I use the word “peace” because that’s the state I’m interested in cultivating but you want to pick a word that feels right to you.
  • Close your eyes and imagine turning your energy and attention inward. I sometimes visualize a bright light in my chest slowly growing dim.
  • Breathe, relax, and keep bringing your attention back to the present moment by focusing on your word. You might repeat it to yourself, see it before you, or even imagine writing it in the air.
  • Keep doing this until the alarm goes off.

It’s really that easy until you start sitting still because the practice of presence is sure to bring up everything unlike itself.

That said, with a little discipline and commitment, I have no doubt you’ll be able to harness your busy mind in no time.

It takes time to get comfortable with meditating – and that’s the point. You have to be willing to sit through the discomfort in order to train your mind to follow your lead.

To demonstrate the normal busyness that happens when we get quiet, I’m going to meditate for ten minutes right now and then write about what goes on so you know you’re not alone.

Cue spa music .

Ten minutes later…

My experience/inner dialogue goes something like this…

Peace. Peace. Peace.

My legs feel cramped. I should have sat somewhere else.

Peace. Peace.

Did I remember to turn the ringer off on the phone?

Maybe I should stop and check.


Damn, I forgot to order the supplements I need from Amazon.

Peace. Peace. Peace.

Yeah, I’m sure I turned the ringer off on the phone.

I wonder if I have a busy week coming up.


I need to check my schedule.

Peace. Peace. Peace. Peace.

I really don’t have time to meditate right now.

I have a lot to get done today.

Peace. Peace. Peace.

Okay, I can do this.

Peace. Peace.

Hmm. I’m feeling more relaxed.

Peace. Peace. Peace. Peace.

I’m looking forward to having dinner with Carolyn tonight.

Breathe. Peace. Breathe. Peace.

Peace. Peace. Peace. Peace. Peace.

Feeling deeply relaxed, inward and at rest.

That’s it.

The minute or so of deep peace at the end was worth hanging on through all the mental chatter. Over time, the minute will grow. I promise .

The object of the game is to return to your word each time you get distracted and to stay put until the alarm goes off.

I swear if you do this once a day for a week, you’ll experience the power of presence and you’ll start using it to your advantage on a regular basis.

Today I meditate to establish dominion over my busy mind so I have access to peace whenever and wherever I choose.

I like having the power to change my state and mood instantly.

Now it’s your turn.

Keep it simple.

Ten minutes a day.

One day at a time.

Go ahead and sneak away from the world.

Video of the Week

Here’s a visualize meditation.  A year in the life of a very busy tree.  You can find it here.