Running a small business has its rewards – independence, flexibility, and often a decent nest egg at the end of the day. It can also, however, be lonely and stressful. We have all laid awake at night worrying and wondering whether there will be cash to pay employees this month. Or whether enough clients will renew their business this year.
And all that was before the global COVID-19 pandemic. The acute uncertainties brought to the fore by the pandemic have stretched small business owners like seemingly nothing before. We have seen or experienced for ourselves the toil it is taking on mental health across the community.
But if you think about it for just a moment, everything was actually always uncertain, pandemic or not. Can you really be sure as you drift off to sleep, what will come next – the next day or the next life? We spend our lifetimes building monuments to certainty – a family, a house, health, wealth. Yet each of these is ephemeral at best. All that has begun, will one day, end – whether it’s relationships, a business, or life itself. And if all that sounds fatalistic, therein lies the fantastic paradox – it is by embracing uncertainty (impermanence), that one can be liberated from the fear of it.
Sounds wise. What would you have me do? Well, practice mindfulness and meditation! (they are two different things by the way).
The great fruit of a habit of mindfulness is to simply be able to connect with whatever is being experienced by our senses.
If we can do this with a spirit of curious observation, then (a) even the mundane becomes a new adventure, and (b) “unconscious judgement” automatically takes a back seat.
“Unconscious judgement” by the way, is where the problems start – we unconsciously interpret what are essentially neutral experiences as being either good or bad; when what we think is good could well be bad, and what we think of as bad so often turns out to be ‘the best thing that ever happened to me’.
Likewise, the great fruit of regular meditation practice (even 20 minutes a day), is that it relaxes and recharges the body, and calms and clears the mind. And with steady practise, we find that whilst the world continues to whirr around us, sometimes churning up things we don’t want, sometimes denying us things we do, there is a steady, easy calm within. Nothing is too much trouble – hiccups are merely problems needing to be joyfully solved or indeed hidden opportunities to be gratefully accepted.
So, maybe it’s time to try meditation? Download the free Allevi8 app and try some today.
PS: If you’re looking for more than just my word, there is a strong body of evidence that deep relaxation, mindfulness and meditation can have therapeutic benefits for those dealing with a wide range of health issues. We have compiled some of this evidence on our website.