Oprah Winfrey claims that it makes her 1000% better. CNN Anchor Soledad O’Brien says that it’s life-changing. Jane Fonda said it’s one of her secrets to aging gracefully. Arianna Huffington says it played a huge part in her success. Jennifer Aniston said that it’s changed everything. All of these incredibly successful women are talking about one thing. Meditation.
Regular meditation and mindfulness practices have changed the lives of many of the biggest names in business and entertainment. Not only does it help many to reduce stress and anxiety, but it supports focus and concentration as well. Lena Dunham says, “[Meditation] has made it possible for me to weather certain challenges and storms and public moments that I didn’t ever imagine would be in my life. It gathers me up for the day and makes me feel organized and happy and capable of facing the challenges of the world, both internal and external.”
Julianna Raye is a CEO coach and professional musician, who early in her career, had success as an artist, but it didn’t initially translate to financial success, which led her to struggle with anxiety and depression. She was drawn to meditation to help survive the entertainment industry and attended meditation retreats with esteemed Meditation Master Shinzen Young, who has been credited with helping notable Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and well-known artists but who’s practice is meant for anyone who needs a positive change in his or her life. “I went to my first retreat with Shinzen and felt like I was able to change my inner ecosystem,” said Raye. “I was excited that I could develop a set of internal skills that could affect me so profoundly. I meditated before, but it wasn’t until I heard of his approach and experienced training with him that I fully understood and received immense benefit from the practice.” Raye now coaches CEO’s and also has helped Shinzen and partners to translate his teachings into Brightmind, a low cost monthly subscription-based mobile application that incorporates sessions from his Unified Mindfulness teachings for people who have complex schedules and can’t often get to retreats or one on one coaching.
Meditation can also help individuals to get past difficult times in their lives. Lilli Cloud, is an Executive Branding expert that has worked with many of the top companies in the U.S. and has also received a great deal of help from Shinzen’s approach. “The first time I encountered Shinzen’s meditation techniques I was in a great deal of emotional suffering. I had just ended a relationship and was barely functioning. Before I even opened my eyes in the morning I was crying. But by the middle of a day-long retreat, I felt like a veil had lifted. I could see beyond my suffering. I knew I still had a long way to go, but now I had tools to help me get there.” Women now make up 40% of new entrepreneurs in the United States – the highest percentage since 1996, and meditation is a tool that can help to navigate through the most challenging times, or simply increase energy and focus when one must be at her best. Brightmind is one of many great applications for meditation and mindfulness at home, work or on the go. There are also meditation studios, retreats and sessions integrated with Yoga available in most major cities. The important thing is to try different methods and find what’s right for you, then do it regularly. Padmasree Warrior, Chief Technology and Strategy Officer of Cisco Systems said that 20 minute meditations each evening helps to ease stress. Warrior was named by Forbes as one of the top 100 most powerful women in the world. Ellen DeGeneres says that regular meditation helps to reboot her mind like restarting a computer. Oprah instituted meditation to help employees at her company. “People who used to have migraines, don’t. People are sleeping better. People have better relationships. People interact with other people better,” said Winfrey. It’s been fantastic.”
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