How to Calm Down and Focus

When you hear the word "meditation", what's the first thing that comes to mind? Monks in a monastery? Ornate Buddha figurines? Your cat stretched out, aligning all seven of its chakras in a perfect state of zen? Or do you see Oprah, Bill Gates, Arianna Huffington, Lady Gaga, George Lucas, or Howard Stern blissfully perched on a Zabuton mat?

In our fast and furious, caffeine obsessed, every-day-is-a-hustle world, we often view time to sit down and relax as a luxury detached from any return or form of success, therefore, dismissible. Breaks are reserved for holidays or special occasions. And if you were presented with the opportunity to take a one-day vacay at the same time a major project you were working on was due, it would seem downright self-absorbed and irresponsible to take a breather while the rest of your team was fast away, finishing the project. But gifting yourself 10 to 15-minutes a day to mentally collect yourself (and clear your mind's gutter!) in order to bring your best-self forward isn't an entire day retreat; it's something that, over time, you'll discover, is just as beneficial as brushing your teeth.

K.J. Kruk, Business Success, Fortune 500

Just as our bodies require scrubbing, our minds, too, require a daily tidying-up. Once you make clearing your mind a habit, you'll look back and shake your head like an all-knowing parent at the naivety of their child. So, if you're ready to grow up a bit and improve your sense of self and the attention that you're able to give your work, meditation—A.K.A.: The art of allocating time to slow down, breathe, and quiet your mind of all of its mental clutter—is great way to start your day, improve your focus, tame your nerves, and simply reconnect with your deepest sense of self to better realize your desires and goals.

"Meditation isn't just for gurus; it's for anyone searching for a greater sense of self and a

deeper level of success!"

How to Meditate

First off, there's no wrong way to do it. You don't need a fancy mat or even a chair. Just sit or lay down somewhere that's safe and comfortable (ie: not in your car while driving or on the 'A' train). You don't need a coach or special incense sticks or high-frequency hertz or to chant or have a mantra to get started. In fact, I would avoid any of that stuff until you've mastered the basics of owning your own breath and letting your thoughts go. That's what's most important.

K.J.'s Daily Meditation

Before you begin, take a moment to pat yourself on the back for showing up and thank The Universe for giving you this moment of peace. Allow yourself to feel excited for the experience, but don't put any pressure on it. Release any nerves that you may have or apprehensions of what may be and just relax! That's all this is—RE-LAX-ATION—that, over time, will improve the quality of your life, like vitamins.

1. Set a timer for 10-15 minutes (ideally to a soft gong, chime, or nature sounds) and start by taking a deep, penetrative breath in through your nose and slowly blow it out through your mouth as you release a relieved "Aaaaah". Pay attention to how your attention and awareness suddenly shifts. Then continue to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth a few more times, slowly and peacefully, until you sink into your present moment.

2. Let your eyes heavily close and notice how your attention shifts once again. Let yourself adapt to this new state of awareness. Now focus on your breath by breathing in for the count four, hold for four, then release for four seconds. Keep your attention on your breath and how your body feels, kindly dismissing whatever thoughts that surface. (You don't need to battle them. Just acknowledge them and let them go. You can get back to them later on.)

3. Then observe how this silence feels (dismissing any background clamor) and how your lungs feel when they're filled versus how your entire body feels when they deflate. Try to track where your breath goes as it leaves your lungs and is transported into your blood and on into your cells. Notice how your mind might be anticipating some new sensation or how it slightly buzzes with relaxation as you finally start to chill out and calm your nerves, getting in sync with your body and your deepest sense of self—subconsciously letting go of all of your mind's clutter to make room for new ideas and new energy to emerge and charge you.

This is your moment to be completely free: to tap into your truest nature.

Then, once you've made this 10-15-minute mediation a daily routine of yours for about a month (15 minutes is preferred if you can schedule it, as it gives you more time to sink into it), you can move on to more targeted, purposeful meditations, such as "deepening your level of positive thinking", "conquering your fears", or "better realizing what you want in life". You can then add in hertz music or incense sticks or try out guided meditations. Just keep your intention to make the practice resonate with who you are as a unique, amazing individual.

Until then, keep on being a Super Stellar you!

Creative Wishes,

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