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A few weeks ago we decided to initiate a 6 Week Meditation Challenge for all of us here at the Headington Institute. We chose six weeks, because that seems to be the golden number after which good things happen. It takes six weeks to grow new neurons in the brain, six weeks for new habits to be formed, six weeks to experience many of the benefits of health actions (exercise, nutrition or medication) and six weeks to help the brain unlearn the chronic restlessness that so many of us have from the constant bombardment of thoughts, text messages, and internet induced attention deficit disorder.
Perhaps more importantly, we often recommend meditation to others, citing its many benefits. And while (embarrassing to admit) we all do exercise around here, the other side of the equation – the ramping down of the heart and breathing that is so crucial for stress resilience – is something we all find harder to do. So we’re challenging ourselves, and I have to say it’s all a bit merrier for the good company on the journey.
The goal for Week One was to do something meditation-like 5 days out of the week, with the goal of working up to fifteen minutes per day, five days a week. Some did centering prayer exercises, others did popular apps like Headspace, which are beginner-friendly. And we’ve been writing about it, posting something once a week about our attempts. And also laughing at ourselves a bit in the process.
Among other benefits, it’s been a reminder to me of the value of teams. To be honest I’m not sure if it’s competition, or admiration, or team solidarity that motivates me to push myself more when part of a team. But I continue to be grateful for colleagues who create an atmosphere of resilience. We are all moving forward because of it.
If you’re reading this, and want to join us or send us your favorite resource for meditation, we’d love to know.
Peace to you
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