Be More and Do Better – My Unexpected Path to Meditation

path to meditation

My path to meditation was unexpected. It began with skepticism. I’ve now been meditating long enough that I can’t imagine my life without it.

I’ve read a lot about mindfulness along the way. I started reading about mindfulness after deciding to experiment with a meditation practice.

A post on Zen Habits became my guide to starting a meditation practice. The post helped me establish a consistent 15-minute sitting meditation practice. It took me about 6 months to get there.

Initially Skeptical, Do Less to Do More, Really?

I was still a bit skeptical about how sitting and doing nothing could be helpful. I wondered if I was wasting time by just sitting there. I wondered if I would be better off doing something more productive.

I also began to feel like there was enough to it for me to keep at it. I started looking for a guide to help continue evolving my practice.

The same post recommended this book as a starting point -

That’s the first time I encountered the term “mindfulness”. You can imagine this was a while ago, since you can’t go long today without bumping into the term 🙂

I checked the reviews on Goodreads, bought the Kindle version, and dove into the book.

From this first book, I moved on to -

And then to -

I also watched this guided meditation session Jon Kabat-Zinn led on the Google campus -

Overcoming Skepticism on My Path to Meditation

I became a believer. Reading about mindfulness educated me on the practical benefits of meditation. Learning that neuroscience backed the benefits convinced me even more. The fact that Google was encouraging mindfulness among their employees helped too 🙂

Here’s what my current practice looks like -

  • Morning session - 10 or 20 minutes
  • Evening session - 10 or 20 minutes
  • An additional 30-45 minute session once or twice a week

I’m careful about how I write about mindfulness and meditation on Just Rolling with It. I recognize I’m still a beginner’s beginner, taking the first few steps on what's a lifelong path.

I limit my writing about mindfulness and meditation to my own experience. I write about what's worked for me. I write about why I’m excited about the benefits I'm enjoying.

One benefit is letting the “being” inform the “doing”.

Letting the Being Inform the Doing

As I understand it, this means if we take time out to meditate, a state of “being”, this time guides the time we spend “doing” things. Spending time in the state of “being”, helps us make more informed and conscious decisions when we’re “doing”. This makes our "doing" more effective.

Letting the “being” inform the “doing” clicked for me when I read it. This concept convinced me mindfulness and meditation were worth it.

Before this clicked, I didn't understand how "being" and not "doing" could be helpful at all. I had always felt if the gas pedal wasn’t jammed all the way to the floor, I could and should be going faster.

I hadn’t realized how much energy and effort it takes to keep control of a vehicle, me, moving at such velocity. Not much energy remains to think about whether the intended destination is the right one. It's also easy to miss key signposts and blow past exits that might have led to the right destination.

Letting the “being” inform “doing” -

  • Gives us permission to ease off the gas pedal
  • Helps us become more comfortable slowing down
  • Maybe even stop along the way
  • Gives us space to look left and right
  • Recognize when our feelings might be telling us to adjust course

Life Feels More Manageable without Sacrificing Drive

You might feel like all this is impossible. I know I did when my foot was jammed on the accelerator. I’m feeling grateful to discover these things are possible.

I still have as many things going on now as I did before starting my meditation practice. I even added my first child into the mix.

Still, my life feels much more manageable now.

I’d encourage you to give meditation a shot if you feel like you’re --

  • Running full speed and are on the verge of collapsing with exhaustion

(and you will, no matter how young you are and how fast and hard you can “hustle”, sorry to be the one to break this to you...)

  • Never catching a break or the breaks you are catching only exhaust you more, i.e. blowing it out on the weekend
  • You’re putting in massive amounts of effort and only seeing minimal return

It takes time for the benefits of a meditation practice to manifest. Start gradually and commit to at least 2 months of trying to establish a consistent practice. This Zen Habits post is a fantastic start. It's replaced the post I used.

I'm happy to share the step-by-step plan I used with you. Use the form in the sidebar to request it.​

Drop me a line if you have any questions or need some help along the way. I’d be glad to help where I can or point you to someone who can.

May you be safe. May you be happy. May you be healthy. May you live with ease.

It's possible, even without sacrificing your drive as an entrepreneur.

  • Robyn Black

    What a great post on the benefits of meditation – and for providing the mantra between the lines that Anyone Can Do It…and you should! I for one am happy to be able to attribute much of my journey into Being and the continual evolution of my meditation practice to your guidance and coaching-style. As a long-time over user of the gas pedal who has now evolved into the more Being realm of living and working, it is amazing upon reflection to see (and feel) the difference of my Then vs Now. Thank you for these insightful posts and your continual work with myself and others to show us our true potential!

    • Robyn, Thank you for the kind words! I feel grateful you’ve invited me to join the development of your meditation practice. Your commitment truly shines through in the progress you’ve achieved. It’s fantastic to hear how this progress is having a noticeable positive impact on your daily life. Keep on Just Rolling with It 🙂

  • parra

    Chris, thank for sharing the whole picture about how you started and overcame skepticism. I’m glad you’ve because if not I have met you.

    Have had you has coach kickstarted my habit of meditation and has really created improvements in my life already.

    Thanks!