[4 minute read]
It’s nice to keep company with the likes of Bill Gates, Arianna Huffington, and LeBron James. Not that we actually know them or have ever been graced by their presence. But, they’re all avid mindfulness meditators. And that’s a practice we at Oats Overnight are trying to cultivate into our lives.
Let’s start with Bill Gates. In his early days at Microsoft, he gave up listening to music or watching TV because he thought it was a distraction from his work. He’d heard of mindfulness meditation as a popular practice among colleagues, but he wasn’t interested. “I thought of it as a woo-woo thing tied somehow to reincarnation, and I didn’t buy into it,” he said. But when he read Andy Puddicombe’s book, The Headspace Guide to Meditation and Mindfulness, he was intrigued. With some additional one-on-one coaching from Andy (because if you’re Bill Gates that type of personal attention from an expert is possible!) he and his family began to incorporate it into their regular lives. “I now see that meditation is simply exercise for the mind, similar to the way we exercise our muscles when we play sports. It’s about taking a few minutes out of my day, learning how to pay attention to the thoughts in my head, and gaining a little bit of distance from them.”
Thank goodness he’s getting that without forfeiting TV or music anymore. Nothing seems worth that!
Arianna Huffington is undoubtedly one of the most influential people in the world today. Her publication, The Huffington Post, became the first commercially run U.S. digital media company to win a Pulitzer Prize. Thrive Global, her next creation, focuses on science-based solutions to end stress and burnout. And of course just for kicks she took a spin in California gubernatorial politics. In short, she’s been a busy woman. And one of her keys to maintaining a work-life balance has been practicing mindfulness since she was a teenager. Asked what insight fuels her meditation practice, she answered, “I was under the impression I had to ‘do’ meditation. And I didn’t have time for another burdensome thing to ‘do.’ Fortunately, a friend pointed out one day that we don’t ‘do’ meditation; meditation ‘does’ us. That opened the door for me. The only thing to ‘do’ in meditation is nothing."
We don’t know about you, but we could use a bit more “nothing” in our day, too.
When LeBron James wants to share his tips on success in the gym and in regular life, people listen. Pointing to his mind he's said, “I believe that when you have this here, and this at its strongest, that sometimes when the physical fades away, you can still be at your best because you’re just head over heels over a lot of people on the mental side. [...] I think that’s why I’m able to do the things I’m doing right now after (so many years) in the league.” James’ wife introduced him to the Calm app in 2018 and he’s used it every time he goes to sleep or takes a nap since. “Its calmed my mind through the stressful times of playing the game of basketball, of being a parent, and just being a human in a stressful world that we all deal with on a day-to-day basis,” he notes.
Basketball is stressful for us, too. Perhaps not in the same way it is for him. But power-ups on the parenting and living in a stressful world bits.
Join Us as We Join Them
Oats Overnight is a company and a community of people that embrace what’s Real. Many things about life today push us to sacrifice a well-rounded, reflective life. We’re actively looking for ways to resist those forces and become the best, truest version of ourselves. Practicing mindfulness is a way to do that. And it helps us be more present to each other. We hope you’ll join us on our journey toward greater health, success, and joy.
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