Inspired by Elevators
Maybe Superman can leap tall buildings in a single bound, but most humans need a little help to reach the top floors.
Elevators help us make our way around shopping malls, parking garages, hotels, and office complexes.
Similarly, meditation can smooth our path in life. Take a few minutes to explore these reflections inspired by elevators.
Meditations on Heading Up or Down:
You’ve probably heard the saying that it’s impossible to stand still. You’re either making progress or you’re backsliding. There’s a reason why the elevator alarm goes off if you just sit there in the lobby.
1. Pick a priority. Take one area of your life where you want to make a change. Maybe it’s your parenting style or a health issue.
2. Envision your future. Imagine where you’d like to be in a month or 5 years from now. Think short and long term.
3. Write down a plan. Develop a concrete strategy to support your new resolution. Put it down on paper or carry it around in an app on your phone. Look at it when you need a reminder or want to evaluate your performance.
Meditations on Taking Control:
Those elevator buttons that claim to close the doors are usually fake. Scientists and interior decorators have discovered that humans feel happier when they have a sense of control.
1. Examine your concerns. What is currently causing anxiety in your life? Do you find yourself distracted thinking about car payments or your child’s report card?
2. Assess your needs. Outline what you require to feel calm and empowered. Reducing your monthly expenses or increasing your skills could give you more security.
3. Soothe yourself. Take time out to relax and restore. Regular breaks make you more centered and productive. Stop for a cup of tea or spend an hour working on your hobby. Dissolve stress with a warm bath or a few laps in the pool.
Meditations on Elevator Pitches:
Are you ready to make a positive impression on a potential employer or a new friend if you’re both headed to the same floor? Work on your brand.
1. Identify your values. Figure out what’s important to you. Shorten your to do list if you need to free up more hours for the activities that you find meaningful and nurturing.
2. Inventory your strengths. Understand what you have to contribute to the world. Ask yourself what you’re good at and what you like to do. Research careers that would allow you to draw on your signature strengths.
3. State your mission. Pull your thoughts together into a compelling brief summary of who you are and what you do. Revisit the statement every 6 months to see if it’s still accurate.
Meditations on Inactivity:
The downside to elevators is that they sometimes make us less active if we avoid using the stairs for short trips. Try staying on your feet and walking around for this practice.
1. Burn more calories. Look for ways to work more physical activity into your daily routine, and make your exercise sessions more consistent. Give your kitchen floor a good scrubbing instead of the usual quick mopping. Sign up for a dance class or buy a treadmill.
2. Shrink your waist. Abdominal fat can be especially harmful to your health. Lose excess weight and do exercises that target your core.
3. Build your muscles. Muscles burn more calories than fat even when you’re at rest. Train for strength with weight lifting and sprinting.
Remember that meditation and elevators are both uplifting experiences. Even a few minutes on your cushion or in an elevator can make a dramatic difference in helping you reach your destination.