Zen is many things. Its essence is being in a state of feeling alive and complete in the moment.
For years I tried to meditate. I failed miserably. I simply could not stop the amusement park ride my brain was on.
My One Year Social Media Detox
I started to experiment with "ways of living". The first thing I did was to commit to time away from social media. I committed to 365 days away. I am very serious here, it was HARD. By month two, I discovered something. My creative flow was ON FIRE. I started a business, I watched it grow and prosper. I started manifesting. I watched in awe as dreams came to fruition. My relationships became more meaningful. My time became precious and special, like a gift I didn't know was waiting for me.
Then (on day 366), I went back on social media. I now am very disciplined and only check the sites about every other month.
An End to Multi-Tasking
The next thing I experimented with was I stopped multi-tasking. Again, this was HARD. If I did the dishes, I did the dishes. I did not watch television. I did ONLY the task at hand. I found myself finding a level of joy (let's not get crazy here… it was a level of pure CALM in a task I did not enjoy doing). I began to appreciate the experience; I was in a state of gratitude. The running water, admiring my pretty dishes, the satisfaction somehow of the act of cleaning.
This NON-MULTI-TASKING experiment is now a permanent habit. My conversations are more focused and calmer. Driving, bathing, putting on my make-up, food shopping, you name it, it is now a focused and centered moment. In other words, an ordinary task has become a still moment in gratitude.
The next experiment I focused on was the non-egoic. OUCH. This one is REALLY HARD. This involves the highest level of your authentic self. For me, it was not worrying what people think of me, or my actions. It was detaching myself from the comments I MAKE IN MY OWN HEAD. I was really surprised to find I was my own worst critic. This alone is a huge block to being happy and fulfilled.
This is still a work in progress, but I have made such huge leaps of being aware of that egoic presence in my life. In fact, it is quite easy to recognize. The moment you feel yourself thinking about how something (anything) affects you, you jump right out.
Embrace the Success of Others
I will be more specific. If you read an article of someone who is very successful, you will now be in a state of mind that says "That is fantastic! What can I learn from them? I am happy for their success." This is a complete turnaround from saying "Why is that not happening TO ME?"
The most rewarding and almost magical element here is this: once you are in that state of Zen, when you are staying in your own lane, focused embracing the small moments peacefully and in a state of gratitude. when you genuinely are happy for other's success and have compassion for those who are creating havoc around them...... EVERYTHING CHANGES. The paradigm flips. You are in a state of loving yourself, focused and passionate on your dreams and your good will towards other's suddenly shines back on you.
So basically, I know what you are thinking. "If I focus on washing the dishes and not do ANYTHING else, my life will change?" YES. Trust me, besides having the cleanest dishes in your life, you will find THE STILL in yourself. It will be like taking a deep breath and being in a state of joy.
The big picture is this. If you can get yourself in that Zen-like zone (as much as you can) you will handle the problems of life easier. You will find joy in the mundane. You will look at life differently. You will not just "stop and smell the roses," you will be walking around smelling like roses!
I hope you try it. And if you are already there, I cheer you on!