Have you ever done a guided meditation to clear your mind? Last week I decided to follow the counsel I often give to clients to find clarity in career and life; even career coaches need to work on their personal and professional development! I found a video on YouTube and decided to give it a try. I laid down face-up on my floor, stretched out my limbs, and closed my eyes as I listened to Jason Marianoff guide me through the meditation. He first had me isolate and progressively relax different parts of my body which helped me be more mindful of how I was feeling. As I continued to relax, I was able to focus on my breath; surprisingly, I noticed my breaths were shallow and my body was tight. What was I holding?
As I continued to listen, he created some imagery for me, “Imagine breathing in healing energy and love (what did that look like? I wasn’t sure!) and envision releasing any unnecessary waste products and anything that isn’t serving you.” Wow, I could definitely imagine a few things in my life/career that weren’t serving me well and I suddenly felt emotional about them and tears came to my eyes; it was a cathartic experience to let that surface. He continued, “There are some projects you’re working on, some things you want to achieve, just let them go and know that everything is OK and you’re just where you need to be…have some faith, from here you can move forward with new choices and take new actions towards new results that you want.” I really appreciated the reminder and felt a sense of relief sweep over me as I remembered that I was OK and that I could decide what was next.
At the end of the meditation I felt more relaxed and present within myself. I was glad I took some time to tune in to what I was really feeling and pay attention to places in my life and career that I wanted to redesign. It’s so easy to be on auto-pilot or busy in today’s world. A study on meditation conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD published findings in JAMA Internal Medicine that suggest meditation can help reduce anxiety, depression, and pain. I certainly felt more peace and hope after letting myself be still and present.
Strategizing your path ahead for career and life is exciting; guided meditation might be a tool you use to pause and check-in with yourself in the process. Remember that you’re not alone, and that you have tools like mindfulness practices, exercise, career coaches, and counseling resources that can help you move ahead.
I’m glad I got to practice what I often share with others, gain powerful career and life insights, and reconnect with the energy and vision I have for my future.
* This post originally appeared on Carey the Torch, the Official Blog of the Career Development Office at Johns Hopkins Carey Business School.