I’m in charge of HR and team building at my new-ish (I’ve been there for a month and a half already) job and one of the first things I talked to the CEO and co-founder about was a mini mid-day meditation break. The CEO is huge into meditation, mindfulness, yoga, etc. It was something that I made sure to bring up in my second interview with him when I was asked to come back in.
So, I sent out an invite on Wednesdays and Fridays at 2pm for a mini 5 minute meditation break. Yes, I know, it’s tough to drag yourself away from whatever you’re doing in the middle of the day, but trust me it’s worth it.
Last Wednesday the CEO told me I’d lead the meditation. Although I’ve been meditating regularly for almost two years, I’d never led a meditation. But whatever: It’s only five minutes. And five minutes is really a blip.
So we all sat down in one of our conference rooms and I regurgitated a lot of what I’d heard from teachers in my yoga classes and meditation workshops. I felt like kind of a fraud. But after five minutes had passed, everyone felt better. Less stressed. They thanked me, told me it was awesome, and the CEO gave me a high five.
And today I walked into the office to find a colleague burning sage to get rid of a smell, and also to, you know, clear the energy. I asked if I could borrow the sage for my apartment and she said to ask the CEO, because it was really the office’s sage. My office has it’s own sage. I died. The CEO gave me the OK and it’s in my apartment now.
Another colleague told me about an hour-long Monday morning meditation group and that I should totally come next week.
Needless to say: I am so, so happy with my decision to work at this company. I’d been waiting to hear about jobs with huge companies like Disney Theatrical Group when I got this job offer and I’m so glad I didn’t wait. I actually like working at a smaller company.
Especially a smaller company that encourages meditation and sage-burning.
Last Wednesday, August 20th, I went to the Rubin Museum in Chelsea for the screening of the film short On Meditation, featuring the woman who I refer to as my guru, Gabrielle Bernstein. After the filming, she had a conversation with contemplative psychotherapist Joe Loizzo, who founded the Nalanda Institute.
I snagged a front row seat somehow and settled in. We ran through her meditation that she calls the “ego eradicator” and thus began my 40 day regiment of it again. They spoke about the science behind meditation and how they now have proof of how meditation affects the brain, so it’s not just hippie bullshit (my words) anymore.
Afterward she signed books and when I asked her for advice on how to deal with super negative friends, she said, “Be the light.” I said OK, and I’m trying. She also said not to talk about it with them, which I think is a fantastic idea.
I get a daily email from Well+Good about new health trends in the city, yoga classes, meditation stuff, etc. Today this popped up in the email and my reaction was, “OH MY GOODNESS.” So I shelved my yoga class and headed down to what’s called the Fishbowl at the High Line, located at 17th and 10th Avenue. I met a handful of people who work at Yoga216 (a tiny little yoga studio on 20th and 10th) and just before 7:30, we all made our way down to the front of the Fishbowl, took our favorite positions, and meditated for what ended up being 20 minutes.
It was awesome, and so different! After we went back to Yoga216 and had some complimentary juice and toured the space. It’s a really adorable and zen space, though I think unfortunately it’s a bit out of my price range. Classes are $39 each and they have good reason – there’s only six people per class, so it’s almost like a private session, but nevertheless, I don’t think I could ever make it even a semi-regular habit. But check out their Facebook page if you have a minute.
And if you ever get a chance to meditate on the High Line – I highly suggest it. The noise of the city magically disappears when you tune in.