Action-Steps to Achieve Maximum Zen

I’m a very driven, structured person. So when I need to lower my stress, you’d better believe there’s a full-on strategic plan.

The irony of that isn’t lost on me, I assure you.

Here are the “Action-Steps to Achieve Maximum Zen,” I’ve been following for the past week:

  • Signed up for an online class on mindfulness. (CHECK)
  • Scheduled regular meditation time on my Google Calendar. It’s between 6:30 a.m. and 6:50 a.m., right after breakfast and before I get dressed for work. (CHECK)
  • Downloaded a guided meditation app, Headspace. It’s structured, and the narrator sounds a little bit like Ricky Gervais. (CHECK)
  • Read an audiobook on mindfulness: “Wherever You Go, There You Are,” by Jon Kabat-Zinn, which I highly recommend. (CHECK)

And here’s the thing: I’m pretty sure it’s working.

This weekend, I meditated at my scheduled time. I hiked three miles through the woods while listening to that audiobook. Then, I meditated again with my app, facing the city and listening to the moving water from the fossil-bed on the bank of the Ohio River.

Now, there’s no hard data. And there wouldn’t be enough of it yet, anyway, to compile a full report on whether these action steps have been successful.

But what I do know is that I feel calm.

I actually watched the sunrise today, instead of browsing Twitter on my phone. My coffee was for the taste, not the caffeine. And as I walked outside, I paused to breathe in the especially crisp morning air.

I’ll have to run it by my strategic team folks, but I think I’ll stay the course.

By the way, some guy apparently thought my chill time made for a good Instagram picture. That’s here.

And before I left the Ohio, I took some videoIf you need some zen, have some of mine.