An intimate interview with Deepak Chopra on staying centered.
With the seasons changing and time ticking away, I find myself trying to find center. Reflection, meditation, and keeping still are just some of the ways that many people recharge and rejuvenate their lives. The leader in mindfulness, Deepak Choopra, has lead several meditations and coming this summer is the Seduction of Spirit event featuring a week long program with the world renown therapists, yoga instructors and life coaches. This event will attempt to set the World Record for the largest meditation gathering.
I was able to reach out to Deepak personally and now share with you my interview with one of the world's greatest coaches to seeking self-awareness and enlightenment.
Andrea: How can people be more mindful in their lives?
Deepak: Mindfulness is about noticing where we are focusing our attention and energy. Whatever we put our attention on will expand in our experience, so it’s important to take moments throughout the day to notice where our thoughts are going. Are we focusing on the energy of love, equanimity, joy, and wellbeing, or are we ruminating on problems and feelings of resentment, worry, or regret? The point isn’t to judge any negative feelings and thoughts but simply to notice them and decide if we want to refocus our attention. Meditation is extremely useful in this regard because it helps cultivate a state of present moment awareness. Meditating for even just a few minutes a day helps us become more mindful and able to respond to life’s inevitable surprises or upsets with conscious awareness rather than reacting in a way that only increases stress.
Andrea: What are your tips for women on how to handle the balance between work, family and relationships?
Deepak: Both women and men have a tendency to try to pack too much into a day, reacting to demands and rushing to keep up while living in a state of chronic stress that contributes to physical and mental illness. If we want to cultivate balance and health, we need to make a conscious choice about where we will focus our energy and attention. One of the most overlooked, yet most vital ingredients for well-being is sleep, which is the master biorhythm that sets everything else for the day. As researchers have found, when we don’t get adequate restful sleep (most people need an average of eight hours a night), we are more likely to develop a variety of chronic health issues, including weight gain, hormonal imbalances, depression, and diabetes.It’s also important to experience the deep rest of spending time in inner quiet or meditation.
At the Chopra Center we have been collaborating with scientists at UCSD and UCSF to study the benefits of meditation, which include a decrease in the production of stress hormones and a remarkable increase in the production of a substance known as telomerase, an enzyme that slows down the aging process.
In planning your day, the “healthy mind platter” created by Dr. Daniel Siegal and Dr. David Rock is extremely useful. The ingredients on the platter include sleep time, meditation time, focused work time, relationship/connection time, physical exercise time, and play time. My last tip is to stop multitasking. As it turns out, our brains aren’t designed to multitask and we can really only focus on one thing at a time. When our attention is scattered, as when we’re trying to make dinner and help our child with homework while arranging the carpool, we end up adding to our stress and feelings of overwhelm while doing none of the tasks well. It’s much better for our mind and body and relationships to do one thing at a time, with focused attention.
For more information on the Seduction of Spirit event please visit Chopra.