We’re dedicating the month of April to mental fitness. Every Sunday, we’ll be releasing a new feature designed to help you strengthen the power of your mind with Klay S. Williams (@planawithklay) a transformational change agent, author and podcast host who specializes in courageous wellness conversations in the media and corporate spaces. Our topics include: manifesting a breakout moment, overcoming the unexpected, discovering the hidden benefits of meditation, and conquering self-limiting beliefs. Next up:the hidden benefits of meditation.
Discover the Hidden Benefits of Meditation
Everyone knows meditation reduces stress, makes you more peaceful, and offers clarity. Those are the obvious pieces. However, Klay notes that there are even more benefits to be had. “Meditation is like a secret surfboard that allows us to ebb and flow over each wave that comes in our life,” he says. Read our conversation with him below on all the reasons you should start a meditation practice, plus the practical ways to do just that.
HFP: How did you discover meditation?
Klay S. Williams: I discovered it through one of my friends who’s a yoga teacher. She juxtaposes theological teachings with the power of meditation and created this whole new insight called Spirit Flow.
HFP: Why do you think it’s so difficult for people?
KSW: I think people are trying to be perfect and get it right rather than allowing themselves to just have the experience. I hear all the time from other people, and it was an issue for myself being a perfectionist, [that they’re] feeling like I’m not getting it. I can’t quiet my mind. I can’t still my mind. And sometimes it’s actually okay not to, to allow the different things that are flowing through your mind flow. Once I was able to take myself off of trying to be perfect, trying to get it right, and then just being okay with what was flowing through my mind is when I was able to quiet my spirit and quiet my thoughts, leaving that idea of perfection behind.
HFP: What are the hidden benefits of mediation?
KSW: The hidden part of it for me is creating a pathway to make greater life decisions and greater shifts. And what I mean by that is every time I’m in a spirit of meditating, I’m not seeking to be in control of any of the answers. I don’t know how to explain this but big picture problems are almost solved as soon as I’m done meditating. This hidden benefit has allowed me to fast track things in my life.
Meditation helps us to be balanced within ourselves and when we find balance, answers come. When we operate from a free flowing, confident and trusting space of balance, chances are the breakout moment will be lasting and not short-lived.
It also helps us absorb the aftershocks of resistance that will inevitably come our way. We are planted like a mighty Sequoia tree at the core of our foundation. For the average person something happens, a moment of resistance, and they are blown off of their path. A person that practices meditation is less likely to be swayed by the uncomfortable winds and storms of life. Even if they are, meditation helps make this experience temporary. She/he emerges again on the path of purpose and their dreams.
HFP: What are your tips for people that want to start a consistent meditation practice?
KSW: Download apps. Headspace is my number one favorite because it’s a non-judgemental way to meditate and meets people where they are versus trying to have people be forced into a mold. Calm is another really great app for meditation. Also Oprah & Deepak’s 21-Day Meditation Experience is a very good one because it starts with a potential theme of a problem. And then the meditation addresses it at the end. I also have a book, 365 Plan A Nightly Meditations, that can serve as a guide.
Whatever way you choose to meditate, have it on your calendar with an exact date and time every single day so it’s a routine. So, it’s popping up on your laptop, it’s popping up on your cell phone, it’s on your hard calendar as well. Get into that repetitious state and at least do it for 21 days to form the habit to support you in that level of consistency and that level of practice.
HFP: Would there be a benefit to maybe just committing to five minutes a day?
KSW: Totally. If you can do it at the same time within just five minutes a day, it would be life-changing.
HFP: Are there any signs that people can recognize that it’s actually working?
KSW: Disposition. You notice that you’re less irritable with other people. You have a greater empathy with yourself and other folks, mistakes that you make, mistakes that other people make are not as annoying. When things happen that are unexpected, you’re not upset as much. Your stress levels are down with the unexpected. You’re able to make much more clear decisions. You are much better tapped into your intuition. It’s very clear to you in terms of what your answers are to questions that may have been a little bit difficult to solve before you started meditation.
This information is for educational purposes only and is not clinical medical advice. Please consult your healthcare and mental health practitioners prior to implementing any lifestyle change.