Written by Tess Sloane
In recent years there has been a lot of quality research conducted on meditation and its biological impacts on the brain and body. With science lending credibility to meditation, we have seen the practice move to the forefront, particularly when it comes to optimizing human performance at work and in sport.
To understand the parallels between meditation and performance at a high level it comes down to the this core concept - physically, when we are in a state of Sympathetic Nervous System Dominance (fight or flight) the only thing science has shown can return us back to balance, is to extend the length of our exhalation.
Meditation is the regular practice of returning our bodies to homeostasis. ie: balance. In our modern lives we spend much of our time in fight or flight mode (high levels of cortisol/stress). Meditation allows us a simple yet powerful edge, a return to homeostasis. In this state we can access optimal performance.
Personally I am most interested in how meditation supports us, off the cushion, out of the house and in our real, everyday lives. Recently, I've been thinking about meditation as a way to build bridges.
Life is continually challenging us. Each day we are presented with micro opportunities to either build a bridge... or to burn one.
How does meditation support us when...
- You get a noise complaint from your strata?
- You find your exes’ new lover on Instagram?
- Your boss takes credit for your work?
- You're exhausted/fed up with parenting/co-parenting?
- You receive bad news from your doctor, again?
- You're stuck behind a slow driver?
Safe to say, any of these scenarios have happened to us or someone we know in the last 24 hours. How you handle yourself in each of these moments, matters. It matters in terms of the energy you put out into the world and ultimately, what is returned to you.
So how can meditation support you in these moments?
Meditation is a breath. A pause, a choice.
To build a bridge, or to burn one.
A regular mediation practice allows the presence of a pause.
A pause in the critical moments we are constantly faced with.
To respond with a habitual unconsciousness response.
To make a choice. To build a bridge.
I'm in the practice of building bridges, but that doesn't make it easy. Especially when I can feel my energy shift and my nervous system or ego (or both) wanting me to burn some mother f'ker.
I can feel my old response so acutely still.
The ego screams that strength lies in my anger, my contempt, my ability to hold grudges.
So I breathe to remember my strength lies in my ability to self regulate, to choose peace, to hold my own and to (in some cases) offer a bridge.
My strength lies in my willingness to live in harmony.
To put forth new energy, that is always, always met with grace.
I am learning to be in the space of building bridges.
Even in those tiny, seemingly unimportant moments,
and life keeps getting better.
Co Founder, Eleven Eleven Talent
Tess is a firm believer in the philosophy of transformation, with concrete examples throughout her 14+ years in the HR industry. She has catalyzed purpose-led paths for people and worked for global brands renown for their transformative People Practices and HR strategies.
Using her technical background and instinct as a true north star, her approach blends eastern and western philosophies, finding harmony between tried and true tactics and progressive, forward thinking innovation.
With a passion for neuroanatomy and meditation she is able to harness the intersection of the brain + mind body connection to produce life changing results. For Tess, the ultimate success story is a testament to humanity—it is true, deep fulfillment for both candidate and company.
Tess is a certified Meditation teacher, a mother, and a regular speaker at Universities, Women Events and HR Conferences. She is committed to the conversation of remaining deeply connected to your purpose and the continued development of your whole self.