28 Nov Kshitij Opens Up About His Aware Mindfulness Journey
Kshitij shares his mindfulness journey, opening up about his meditation routine and why it has benefited him. His passion for meditation is evident as he brings positive changes to his life using Aware and continues to inspire a lot of future meditation enthusiasts.
1. What made you take up meditation?
Throughout the day, I would attempt to focus on my roles and tasks for the day, but my mind kept drifting. This was not in itself surprising, since I have always had difficulties with these aspects of my mind, but I was attending to those difficulties, and that had alleviated a lot of my other difficulties.
However, this inability to stay purposefully focused on the important tasks eluded me. It would start out innocently enough, a little surfing here, a little googling there, some articles here, some shopping deals there, pretty soon, before I realize it, more than half a day would have passed with very little work done.
I started mindfulness meditation, as that was the solution to my many problems, including this one.
2. What has been the change in your life due to meditation?
With regular meditation 3-4 times a day, a 15 min one in the morning and a 5 minutes ones throughout the day, I am much more centered, emotionally, which helps me deal with all manners of a situation with a cool head, making it easier for me to attend to the situation right in front of me, being present in the moment instead of thinking about one thing while dealing with another, making it easier to think on my feet, give cool collected answers and not get stressed out about things.
My productivity is significantly improved in quality and quantity, and I now plan it 2-3 hours at a time because the practice is training me to pause and reassess frequently. 2-3 hrs plans are quick and easy to plan out, easy to implement, and are much more flexible than planning the entire day in the beginning. They are also much less intimidating and daunting, so it is easier for the mind to attend to them and actually execute them.
3.What are some tips or advice you would want share with beginners?
My advice to beginners is-
- Don’t overthink it. It’s actually pretty easy, if your mind isn’t full of preconceived notions and criticisms about it.
- Do it whenever you remember to, whenever and where ever you think about doing it. While walking or in the subway or buying groceries. Soon as you remember that you should have, do it then and there and your mind will slowly recognize it as important and non-negotiable. If you recall that you were supposed to meditate but didn’t and then do not do it right then, you train your subconscious that it’s not important and can be discarded, making it much-much harder to build a practice.
- Just focus on and only on the sensory information you are receiving from your senses, and on your breath, and you can meditate anywhere, anytime.
- Guided meditations are an easy way. You can start with as short as 1min every time and build from there slowly.
- If you can do it for 5 minutes, 5 times a day, within 2-3 weeks, you will start feeling the improvements. Few gym plans, exercises, indeed anything worthy in real life can’t give such quick returns on investments.
I started building a meditation routine using the Aware app, which I did the first thing in the morning. From 5 minutes every morning to 15 minutes, I was making slow and steady progress with meditation, but somehow this wasn’t helping me in maintaining productivity.
After a lot of honest introspection, I broke down my difficulties into two separate but integral pain points-
- Lack of discipline which lead to me directing my attention towards frivolous activities on my computer, at the start of the day, when I should have started working on the days goals right away.
- Lack of conscious awareness about how much time I was directing to frivolous task, and when that 5 minutes of surfing became 4hours long.
- Inability to focus on the task even when I really wanted to work on it.
For difficulty 1, I realized if I am to be able to reap its benefits, I must meditate multiple times a day to expedite the benefits of meditation on my mind. I usually used the energizers from the Aware app for this. I set a recurring half hour timer on my phone, alerting me every half an hour. I would meditate every half an hour if I wasn’t being productive. If I was being productive, I would ignore the timer, to meditate once every 2-3 hours.
For difficulty 2, the frequent quick meditations (energizers in Aware app) also served as a ‘reset’ button for my mind. It would bring me out of whatever it was I was doing, and make me aware of what I had done so far and what should be next. If my productivity was suboptimal, I would hit a reset in half an hour, and the awareness bestowed upon me by the meditation would enable me to reassess my actions in that half hour, and awaken me to do better. During the unproductive sessions, this constant reset and re-evaluation would eventually convince my subconscious to attend to the matters at hand, and my productivity would become significantly better and purposeful. If I was already deep in work, I would not deliberately break that flow, but would still meditate every 2-3 hours for the benefits- to give my mind some rest, to maintain the mental discipline for practising meditation, to re-evaluate work done so far and whether I was being productive or not, and to make a short plan of what next.
For difficulty 3, the above two solutions came together to alleviate it.
After some more honest pondering, I decided to stop treating meditation as a chore or exercise, and instead think of it as a tool which would cement the alliance between my conscious and subconscious minds.
4. How has Aware Meditation App helped you in your journey?
Personal preference: I find the voice and manner of speaking of the Aware app’s narrator to be very soothing and reassuring, which helps me do better meditation. I didn’t find this as soothing and putting-at-ease in other guided meditations.
I am from India, so an Indian’s accent is something I find more familiar and reassuring.
The app design is simple and uncluttered. The layout definitely is less confusing than some other apps I have tried. You start the app, open the obvious, familiarly placed menu, pick a meditation and go! No fuss no muss.
The different energizers are incredibly helpful.