I got to breathe the same air as Deepak for the first this week, and it was delicious.
Being a student of mindfulness, Buddhism and meditation, I first heard the name when he partnered with Oprah years ago, but I’d never witnessed it all in person.
Along with theoretical physicist Leonard Mlodinow, I walked away from The Rubin Museum of Art here in NYC with these everyday pearls of wisdom than can instantly change the way we approach any situation.
The difference between an automatic reaction and a voluntary reaction is a pause.
…And, taking that moment to decide how to react can make a huge difference. Pause, watch your impulses and thoughts as they happen, learn how your thinking process works, and see if you want to change up your approach. Voluntary thinking and acting requires a moment of pause and choice.
Sometimes, the answers come to us when we decide to go do something else.
If we don’t have the answers or don’t know how to respond, if we’re triggered emotionally or feeling uncertain, or if we’re stuck, we should go to sleep. Seriously. Go take a nap, go knit, go lay down on the couch—according to Deepak, if you come across someone just laying on a couch at work, it’s a form of working, so feel free to show this to your boss—and just wait. Often, insight and answers come to use when they’ve had time to percolate.
We’re often engaging in whole-body thinking.
Essentially, the body acts as the subconscious mind, and we need to pay attention to its signals, in our muscles, our gut, our head, our hands. It will speak to us about how we feel about a situation and about our thoughts even if, on the surface, we feel like we have no emotional reaction to what’s going on whatsoever.
Photos by Filip Wolak