To create “masterpiece days.”
This week we’ve looked at the importance of our morning and evening routines, what philosopher Brian Johnson calls our AM and PM bookends. I’m currently enrolled in Brian’s year-long Optimize Mastery program which has been an incredible learning opportunity.
One of the key elements of Brian’s AM bookend is meditation. We aim to practice “paying attention to our attention.” We begin by focusing on our breath. When we become aware of our mind wandering, we patiently and persistently return our attention back to our breath. Again. And again.
Our ability to focus our attention allows us to be more present moment-to-moment in our lives. When we meditate, we cultivate our ability to insert ourselves into the space between stimulus and response. Between what happens to us and how we respond. Rather than react, we get better at being able to choose our response.
This is a game-changer.
Brian tells us the goal with meditation is not perfection. His message: Do it, don’t judge it. He tells us: “It’s okay to suck. It’s not okay to skip.”
Today we will look at a slight variation on the standard mindfulness meditation practice Brian calls the “virtue meditation or prayer.” This meditation is all about priming ourselves for the day ahead, which is my goal for my morning routine.
The virtue meditation or prayer combines Plato’s four Cardinal Virtues with four additional virtues from positive psychology.
The idea is to say the virtue on our in-breath and the definition on our out-breath.
1: God, please grant me the wisdom… to know the game I’m playing and play it well
2: God, please grant me the self-mastery… to play that game well today
3: God, please grant me the courage… to be willing to act in the presence of fear.
4: God, please grant me the love… to be present and engaged and connected and encouraging today
5: God, please grant me the hope… to know my future will be better than my present because I am willing to do whatever it takes to make it so
6: God please grant me the gratitude… to celebrate the Blessings I have in my life today
7: God please grant me the curiosity… to be open-minded and see what’s working and what needs work
8: God please grant me the zest… to have the energy to show up most powerfully in my work and love today.
Reflection: Consider the benefits of meditation, and specifically Brian Johnson’s virtue meditation.
Action: Try it tomorrow morning.