There's a Zen concept called beginner’s mind. It’s one way of describing the way we feel, and the rapid progress we make when we take up a new activity that we’re excited about.
It's really simple, yet challenging. Basically, you want to keep the wonder and newness alive in tasks you may end up doing over and over again.
Imagine waking up every day, the same alarm clock, the same coffee, and hot shower, but you experience it as if it's a completely new experience.
Take time to smell the Sanka
Searching for a life purpose is not really about the activity. There are probably a lot of things that you enjoy doing. It's more about finding something that gives you meaning and makes you feel like we have value.
If you feel fulfilled, valued, and the work you do supports your needs, then boom! You can drop the proverbial mic.
To really uncover your purpose, you must know yourself, which can be thrilling and a letdown.
But when you keep your beginner's mindset and see things as they are, not what you expect them to be, you can really learn to listen to what you already know,
The first time you bake sourdough bread or bike to work, you may be enthralled by the whole experience. After it becomes a regular habit, the novelty can wear off.
Instead of taking in the experience, you are making notes about how this loaf of bread feels tougher than the last one, or dreading the wait for the dough to rise.
Don't Adult. Think Like a Kid.
1. Think about what you want. Maybe you want to live in a new city, make more money, or get way from a place that you can't stand. If money and energy were unlimited, what would your life look like?
2. Try lots of stuff. Kids get into stuff. Just because. They play with objects. They see what happens if x does this and y does that You can try little things and move up to bigger leaps.
Take a different route to the office, try a new food truck, take an online class.
3. Talk it out..Bounce ideas off of the mirror. Have a daily conversation with yourself about what you've learned. Pay attention to how you feel.
If you clench up, then you may not be getting closer to your purpose. If you think, yes, this is me! Then you're one step closer to your purpose
Using meditation to cultivate a beginner's mind
Maybe the basics of meditation sounds a bit woo woo. In reality, building a strong meditation practice helps you to quiet your mind and listen to who you are.
1. Sit up straight. Find a comfortable sitting position. You may choose the floor, a cushion, or a chair. Draw back your shoulders and lift your chest.
2. Breathe deeply. Focus on the air entering and exiting your nostrils. You may want to count along with each inhalation and exhalation.
3. Scan your body and mind. Bring your attention to the soles of your feet and travel upwards, checking for any signs of tension or soreness. Imagine your breath is warming and healing any trouble spots. Let your usual thoughts and concerns drift away.
4. Check in occasionally. After a while, these first steps will probably become automatic. Reviewing them once in a while will give you an opportunity to correct any lapses or find ways to go deeper. Maybe you’re ready to sit comfortably in half or full lotus.
For those of you still wondering how meditation works, watch this no-frills explanation.
Meditation can provide calm, clarity and a sense of centeredness. Each meditation session is different. Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been sitting for years, you may be surprised by what happens.
1. Be flexible. You’ll probably notice ups and downs in your practice. If you’ve been up all night with a sick child or a tight deadline at work, try a shorter session. If you’re anxious about a job interview do a walking meditation that will help you settle down.
2. Adjust your focus. Different approaches are needed depending on whether you feel sluggish or your thoughts are racing. Quick breathing can wake you up, while gazing at a fixed point can calm you down.
3. Accept what comes. Be prepared for days when insights come easily, and other days when your mind wanders in circles. As long as you meditate consistently, you will move forward.
Stay open to the possibilities that surround you.