working happy | work-life balance HOW MEDITATING BENEFITS ME JOSH WARBORG District Director Seattle, Wash. About four years ago, I started reading a lot of scientific research on the positive health benefits of meditation, which prompted me to take a Buddhist meditation class at a local yoga studio. I adapted what I learned, and now my practice usually consists of taking 10 – 15 minutes after lunch to quietly focus. My mind is often scattered at first, but after a few minutes I can really focus. Training my mind to do that helps me stay focused on any task. As far as the everyday benefits, meditating makes me a better manager. I’m less reactive and more mindful of connecting with the people around me, because I’m taking that time for myself. About two years ago, I dislocated my shoulder while mountain biking. I was in abject pain and had to hike about two hours out of the woods. Focusing on my breath to redirect my mind had a profoundly measurable effect on my level of pain and really helped me get through that experience. ASHA VIS HR Program Manager San Ramon, Calif. Meditating doesn’t necessarily mean sitting cross-legged with your eyes closed. It’s Volunteer about developing stylist and focus student in the present moment fundraiser and conscious breathing. Our mind can only focus on one thing at a time. Meditation and mindfulness have helped me cope with stress at work and home to be a better parent, colleague and friend, and a helpful, caring person. Over the years, I’ve learned to center myself for mental clarity instead of getting flustered or irritated. I now teach meditative and healing yoga, hoping that other people learn these skills earlier in life. For me, the energy from meditating in a group makes a huge difference, so I like classes and retreats. When I teach, I end each class with a deep relaxation and guided meditation. Relaxing body and mind helps imbue positive emotions while releasing negative emotions and pains. I ask participants to create a mental picture of how refreshed they feel, so they can retrieve that feeling during challenging situations. CRISTINA RENO Operational Area Administration Manager San Ramon, Calif. I wish I had pursued this practice sooner in my life. I started about five years ago, after learning about the effectiveness of Transcendental Meditation against stress. As soon as I wake up, I sit quietly for 20 minutes and set my intentions for the day. It helps me go about my job more calmly. I’m better able to break things down and take each step needed to get results. I’m more patient with people when I look at the situation from their point of view. Meditating has made me more aware of keeping a cohesive home. When things are not organized or are messy, I feel like my mind is the same. When things are in order, it helps me keep my focus. Toward the end of the day, I meditate again to let go of anything that bothered me during the day, wash away all the stress and start the cycle over. 32 HALF TIMES For another way to get into meditating, look for a video on Half Times on the intranet.
INSIDE VIEW Elvis Presley got his start in Memphis, Tenn. Pg 34 A TRIP TO MEMPHIS The blues, barbecue and balmy nights are some aspects colleagues love about their big, small town. HALF TIMES 33