I’ve gotten into the groove once or twice, but it just never stuck. I’ve done countless stories at work as a senior health producer about all the benefits and it sounds great.

One of those benefits is better focus and increased productivity. And you KNOW I want that. But I just couldn’t figure it out.

I always struggle to switch my brain off and so I’ve never had the “enlightening moment” everyone always talks about.

Well it turns out I was doing it wrong.

My intentions were all screwed up.

But thanks to Oprah (of course) and an all day meditation retreat with world renowned meditation teacher Sharon Salzberg I figured it out.

If you know me personally or have read my book Listful Thinking, you know I have a generally positive and sunny outlook on the world. It’s the thing that many people tell me is one of my best qualities.

However, even I fall into a slump and I’ll be perfectly honest that’s what’s been happening lately.

I envisioned 2017 being the “Great Restart” after the difficult time I had with my health in 2016 (See appendix bursting drama.)

I figured THIS was the year that everything would be rosy and fabulous. Sadly it was not to be my friends. Right after the new year there were all kinds of changes to my team at work. A team I’ve been on for nearly 10 years. To say the least it was a jolt.

Then my husband’s job completely changed his hours to the overnight shift! So now we only see each other for about a half hour everyday. It’s a real bummer.

And there’s been other stuff but I won’t bore you with the details.

So I’ve had this kind of irritating grey cloud over my head since the start of the year. And I just couldn’t shake the feeling of hopelessness and sadness. These are not emotions I usually keep around long, so it was frustrating.

I told my mother “I just need to do something to pull myself out of it.” And she suggested I do the 21 Day Meditation Challenge that was coming up in a few days with Oprah and Deepak Chopra.

I’ve interviewed Deepak about meditation and I like him a lot but I often find myself lost in his words and not totally grasping what I should be doing.

But I said sure, I’ll try it.

Paula with meditation mastermind Sharon Salzberg.

At the same time – a meditation company for busy professionals in NYC was running an all day meditation retreat with author and teacher Sharon Salzberg. So I signed up.

I was able to ask Sharon a question during the retreat: “I’ve noticed that people who meditate a lot often say when they’re having a problem or challenge that they “meditate” on it and the answer comes to them. That never happens to me. What am I doing wrong?”

She said, “Nothing. It doesn’t work like that”

And just like that I was freed by the idea that I had to get an immediate result from meditation. It was my ‘Ohhh now I get it’ moment. It’s not as simple as just doing this thing and having all the answer to my dilemma. Got it.

Once I made that very big realization a huge weight was lifted.

I encourage you to check out Sharon’s upcoming book, Real Love: The Art of Mindful Connection. I loved her approach which was very tactical and practical.

By the time you read this I would have done 14 straight days of mediation for 10 minutes per day!

I have to say that I’m feeling so much more hopeful and happy that I did before. I don’t understand why – but now I know I don’t have to and I feel much more like things will fall into place however they need to.

If I’ve inspired you to get more into meditation you can download the 21 day meditation app here.

Originally published at listproducer.com

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