December 2022 TDM
The No Complaining Issue
Welcome to the 44th issue of The Daily Meditator. This is your monthly resource for fun, quirky, interesting, and noteworthy happenings in and around the worldwide meditation community, curated by meditation teacher, Light Watkins and co. Our mission is simple: to help broaden the horizon of what a daily meditator looks like while providing you with relevant information and timely inspiration for staying committed to your daily practice.
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[ MEDITATION & NEWS ]
Baltimore School Swaps Detention for Meditation and Gets Shocking Results
There’s no more standing in the corner. Now misbehaving kids are sent to the cushion. Instead of disciplining disruptive kids, the principal of Robert W. Coleman Elementary in Baltimore sends them to “the Mindful Moment Room” which has lamps, decorations, and large purple pillows.
The kids are encouraged to do breathwork and/or talk through what happened. The meditation room was created in partnership with the Holistic Life Foundation, a local nonprofit that runs other programs as well.
For nearly a dozen years, the foundation has been offering the Holistic Me after-school program for kids to engage in mindfulness practices. And since Robert W. Coleman Elementary started the program, there have been no school suspensions. You can read the full article here.
Bottom Line: Whether it’s meditation or not, you can’t argue with zero suspensions. Go Robert Coleman Elementary!
Kate Winslet and Idris Elba Embroiled in New UK Scandal
Hint: it involves something that happens in the bedroom. The UK government has been closely watched for overspending, especially during the current energy crisis. So when it was discovered that half a million pounds were spent on none other than mindfulness apps, somebody had some explaining to do.
According to the Daily Mail, civil servants spent the taxpayers’ money on apps featuring the voices of Idris Elba and Kate Winslet reading bedtime stories and guiding meditations. The spending has been slammed by critics, but lauded by the apps, who enjoyed being viewed as essential during these times of higher-than-usual stress.
The government defended the allocation of funds, saying that it ensures that every pound of taxpayers’ money is spent in the best way possible. And in this case, it’s to improve their approach to the health and well-being of their employees so they perform at their best.
Bottom line: We’d love to see how much taxpayers' money goes to alcohol in comparison. Our guess is that the mindfulness spin is a tiny fraction of that.
[ MEDITATION & RESEARCH ]
Mindfulness Miraculously Lowers Blood Pressure, According to Study
Once again, meditation gives the conventional Western medicine approach a run for its money. A special mindfulness program has been created for people with high blood pressure (which is about half of the US population). It’s called The Mindfulness-Based Blood Pressure Reduction (MB-BP) program (not to be confused with The Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program).
Researchers tested the new program with 200 adults who had elevated blood pressure. They split the group into two, and gave half the participants the usual high blood pressure care, including a home BP monitor, training, and education materials, while the other half were put through the MB-BP program, consisting of eight 2.5-hour weekly group sessions and a 7.5-hour group retreat, along with a home mindfulness practice of at least 45 minutes per day 6 days per week.
At six months, researchers found that the MB-BP group had an average drop in systolic blood pressure of 5.9 mm Hg, compared to a 1.4 mm Hg reduction in the control group.
Because high blood pressure is so common, it’s worth reading the full details of this study here to see if you could benefit from the MB-BP training.
Bottom line: Even if you still prefer the conventional approach, it’s worth knowing about how meditation can accelerate progress with BP normalization.
Can you go 30 days without complaining? Light’s latest, and by far the most challenging challenge is now open: No Complaining for 30 Days. Can you do it? This challenge is designed to help you break the unattractive complaining habit once and for all. And in the process, you will become the most appreciative person in the room. Click here to join the 30 Days of No Complaining Challenge
[ MEDITATION & TECHNIQUE ]
A New Mental Health Trend Goes Viral on TikTok
What’s hot, wet, and associated with Lindsay Lohan?? Surprise, surprise, there’s a viral new Tiktok trend, and no it’s not a dance. It’s not a song. It’s a certain type of meditation: shower meditation to be exact.
Shower meditation was popularized by 30-year-old TikToker and yoga instructor Meka Taylor, who according to the New York Post, was in the throes of an identity crisis. And soon after, meditating while taking a shower was endorsed by actress, Lindsay Lohan, who called the wet ritual a non-negotiable part of her day.
Taylor, a Los Angeles transplant, says meditating in the shower saved her life and helped her heal in ways that she didn’t know were possible.
The way it works is you hop into the shower and visualize the water washing away your stress and anxiety. For more detailed instructions and inspiration, search the popular hashtag #showermeditation on TikTok.
Bottom Line: If you wrote off TikTok as a dancing app, you may want to reconsider, as it can evidently help you find inner peace.
[ MEDITATION & POP CULTURE ]
Jessica Alba Says Meditation Helped Her Overcome This Relatable Struggle
Looks like success doesn’t always equate to a sense of belonging. Up until not too long ago, actress and business mogul Jessica Alba admitted that she was wildly uncomfortable with taking in anything that was good. Why? Because women are so underrepresented in high-level business environments. And it caused her to feel undeserving to be the lone woman in those power rooms.
According to Parade Magazine, the 41-year-old mother of three turned to meditation to help her gain confidence and a stronger sense of self-worth. On one hand, it’s refreshing to see that someone as beautiful and talented as Jessica Alba struggles with imposter syndrome like the rest of us. And it’s even more inspiring to see that it led her to become an advocate for the power of meditation.
Bottom line: We’ve been a fan of Ms. Alba for a while, and we’re thrilled to read that she’s now on team “daily meditation.”
[ REALITY CHECK ]
Happy New Year
By Light Watkins
Today is technically a new year compared to 365 days ago. So happy new year!
This means you don't have to wait until January 1st to start implementing your new year's habits—just like we shouldn't wait for Valentine's Day to do something nice for our partner.
Start today. Build some momentum. In fact, let the unpredictability of the holiday season test your resolve. And by the time January 1st rolls around, your new habits will be battle-tested and you'll be in stride, which can only improve your chances of success.
[ READ. WATCH. LISTEN. ]
Read: Our Book of Awesome: A Celebration of the Small Joys That Bring Us Together
Our Book of Awesome: A Celebration of the Small Joys That Bring Us Together by Neil Pasricha is the final installment in the multi-million copy New York Times-bestselling series, offering awe and gratitude as vital prescriptions to an anxious and overwhelmed world. This book aims to remind the readers of life’s sweeter side and the pleasures to be had from the small things. Read more
Watch: This is Water
This is Water is a short story that comes from a public commencement speech that was given by David Foster Wallace at Kenyon College back in 2005. It is about the real value of a real education, which has almost nothing to do with knowledge, and everything to do with simple awareness— awareness of what is essential, yet hidden in plain sight all the time, that we have to keep reminding ourselves over and over: “This is water.” Watch now
Listen: 3 Books with Neil Pasricha
We’re obsessed with 3 Books with Neil Pasricha. It’s the only podcast by and for book lovers. Neil Pasricha describes it as his personal quest to uncover and discuss the 1000 most formative books in the world. We recommend starting by listening to the episode with Light Watkins.
Have you listened to Light’s podcast, The Light Watkins Show? If inspiration was a drop of water, The Light Watkins Show would be like an ocean. Each candid interview is sure to leave you uplifted, inspired, and motivated to follow your heart, take a leap of faith, and believe in yourself. Listen or watch now.
[ REPORT FROM THE FIELD ]
Meditation allowed me to find it a lot more natural to love myself.
What have you gotten from meditation? I've always been really critical of myself. I've been tough on myself, operated with a lot of self-doubt and questioning of my self-worth for a lot of my adult life. And one of the things that I've gotten out of meditation that's been so meaningful for me is that it's really allowed me to soften in regard to how critical I am of myself. It's really allowed me to become easier on myself when I see myself, and how I see myself in the world. It's really helped me understand and remember my self-worth.
Strangest meditation moment? It was actually when I was guiding a meditation at a press event. One of the press people who was standing pretty close to me, filming my guided meditation, collapsed right onto my feet and started having a seizure as we were about to start the practice. The entire room of about 80 people just stared at me while I jumped down to the ground and comforted this person who was having a seizure. Everybody just kind of watched as I helped this person get up. She was taken outside where there was an ambulance and some paramedics that were able to help her. And then I went right back into where I was. I had everybody close their eyes and we did a meditation together.
Most unexpected benefit of meditation? Meditation has led me to dedicate a big part of my work and career to teaching and advocating for meditation with the rest of the world. I never thought that this would be a critical part of what I do in the world today, either in my work as a teacher or through the Big Quiet. I believe I had a ripple in the world. It’s such an incredible benefit and something that has brought me so much fulfillment and expanded what I believed was possible in the world.
[ For more info about Jesse, go to www.jesseisrael.com ]
Two of Our Favorite Instagram Accounts with a Purpose
Greg Scheinman (left) is an entrepreneur, author, and founder of the Midlife Male platform. Greg coaches and helps men navigate and maximize middle age to achieve a better quality of life. Greg leans on his past experiences to guide compelling discussions and lead engaging conversations in what he calls “the 6 F’s“: Family, Fitness, Finance, Food, Fashion, and Fun. Follow him @gregscheinman
Africa Brook (right) is a globally recognized mindset coach, business consultant, podcaster, speaker, and loose-leaf tea lover. Her work takes a close look at the complexity and messiness that is the human experience, and she makes an argument for why we need to make room for discomfort. Africa also hosts a podcast called Beyond the Self with Africa Brooke. Follow her @africabrooke
It is always possible to be thankful for what is given rather than to complain about what is not given. One or the other becomes a habit of life.
— Elisabeth Elliot