“Meditation is a tool to help de-excite your nervous system so you can perform at the top of your game in every area of your life.”
The Neuroscience of Stress – Ziva Meditation
Emily Fletcher – founder of Ziva Meditation – notes “Stress is actually keeping you from performing at the top of your game.
“I tend to work with a lot of high performers.
“My CEO clients will say ‘Emily, my stress is the thing that gives me my cutting edge, that’s the thing that keeps me, you know, competitive and in the game’ – and my actors will say to me, ‘Emily, I need my stress…this is where my art comes from.’
“But here’s the news – stress is not helping you in the performance department.
“As a matter of fact, stress makes you stupid.”
“We meditate to get good at life, not to get good at meditation.” – Emily Fletcher
Fletcher is on a mission to “eradicate unnecessary suffering.”
Her free Stress Less Guided Meditation includes “a full body scan, muscle melting visualization, and energizing pep talk, and will get you out of overwhelm, more focused and feeling like you can accomplish anything…”
Download the free audio and “use it on the go: before a high pressure meeting, after a difficult day with the kids, anytime you want to melt stress so you can perform at the top of your game.”
*Note – The above is an affiliate link (and perhaps others on this page), which means the company pays me a commission – at no extra cost to you – if you purchase. See details in note below the end of this article.
Learn more about zivaONLINE meditation programs by Emily Fletcher.
Emily Fletcher talks more about how she learned to use meditation to help her reduce stress and increase her performance, and developed her programs to help others:
“The idea was in there the whole time.”
Lena Dunham is the creator, executive producer, and one of the stars of the HBO series “Girls.”
She has commented on using meditation:
“I often find that if I’m sort of up against the wall creatively and don’t understand how to fix a problem and feel totally at a loss, if I meditate and take that time, when I emerge the idea has sort of almost happened without me, because it was sort of in there the whole time, the solution, and meditating allowed me to calm all the noise around it and let it emerge, and that is one of it’s greatest uses.”
From my article Lena Dunham on Creating and Meditating.
Mihaela Ivan Holtz, Psy.D., LMFT helps creative people in TV/Film, performing and fine arts.
She also writes about the pleasures and emotional challenges of being creative on her site Creative Minds Psychotherapy.
Here is an excerpt from one of her related articles:
The benefits of meditation and mindfulness for creatives and performers are numerous.
As a creative and performer you need to be in touch with your inner space and sense of self.
At the same time, you have multiple demands that require your attention.
Your creative and performing space can easily get crowded with normal life stress, worries, fears, relationship issues… even the good life events.
Sometimes, becoming challenging to remain present when you need it most.
Meditation is the practice of being present and aware of the in-the-now moment with equanimity.
As equanimity, comes from the Latin “equal spirit,” it means being “OK” with what is going on in-the-now, regardless of what that moment presents.
This does not mean that you have to like the present moment!
It means that you do not have to become reactive, be in denial, or act out about the present moment.
You can learn to choose your reaction.
Meditation on the Go
While meditation requires you to devote time to be with yourself, mindfulness is more like meditation on the go.
Mindfulness allows you to practice being in present moment while doing work, connecting with people, even watching a show… engaged with different people, activities, and situations.
Meditation and mindfulness practices are effective in developing more clarity about the present moment, responding from an emotional cleaner place, and having more access to your abilities.
Read more in her article
Meditation & Mindfulness
“My morning meditation is like taking a shower for my brain.”
Meditation and the mind – Is it the new caffeine?
Emily Fletcher, founder of Ziva Meditation comments:
I want to share with you why I think you should meditate, not caffeinate – Just kidding, I’m not going to tell you what to do.
But I did get invited to the Google headquarters here in New York City to give a talk on why meditation is the new caffeine.
I love that meditation and caffeine are even being used in the same sentence, because it means that meditation has officially been rebranded as a productivity tool.
Think about the reason why most of us drink caffeine – because we’re exhausted, we’re looking for energy, we really have to focus in and execute on a task quickly.
So here’s why I think meditation actually is the new caffeine: when you meditate, you’re giving your body rest that is five times deeper than sleep.
This is not an insignificant point; when you’re meditating you’re de-exciting your nervous system, slowing down your metabolic rate in a way that not only releases stress from your nervous system but also makes you more awake on the other side.
You’re going to have more computing power, more energy to accomplish your tasks.
Entrepreneurs and mental health, stress and using meditation
In an article for INC magazine, Marissa Levin notes:
Entrepreneurs are especially vulnerable to many mental health challenges, including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and Obsessive-Compulsive disorder (OCD).
Research concludes that 49 percent of entrepreneurs surveyed are living with at least one condition classified as a mental illness (ADD, ADHD, bipolar disorder, addiction, depression, or anxiety) and about 33 percent are living with two or more conditions.
I personally have struggled with anxiety and depression, and was also diagnosed with ADHD as a child.
There are many reasons entrepreneurs are at great risk for mental health challenges, including:
* A high degree of uncertainty. Entrepreneurship is instability on steroids. Nothing is for sure in our world. Our cash flow wildly fluctuates, our client base constantly contracts and expands, and in today’s job market, loyal employees are few and far between.
* A constant emotional roller coaster ride. Even with our greatest attempts to create structure, the overall life of an entrepreneur mimics a roller coaster of activity and emotion.
* Imposter syndrome. We always need to convey that we have our act together, even in those times when we feel as if everything is falling apart. …
I’ve learned to reach back to several principles I’ve learned through years of mindfulness, meditation, and Buddhist education as I move through my own entrepreneurial journey.
Read more in article: 7 Concrete Meditation Principles All Leaders Can Practice to Live More Peaceful Lives.
Meditation and breathing for stress relief
Emily Fletcher wrote in an edition of her newsletter:
As we get closer to the holidays, life seems to intensify.
Here are my favorite tips for staying on top of your game no matter what kind of demands the holiday season brings:
Traveling this season? If you’re flying and you already have a daily meditation practice, I recommend adding a few extra sittings into your travel.
Flying is tough on the body.
Anytime the human body moves faster than a run, it’s draining to your system, so be sure to top up on your adaptation energy with a delicious dive.
Pro tip: try takeoff and landing. I mean, what else are you going to do?
Find some inner calm while stuck on a plane, waiting in a busy train station or even shopping in a crowded store!
Use this simple breathing exercise I call Balancing Breath – watch this video to learn how.
You’d be surprised at how this simple 3 min technique can give you a new perspective on even the most challenging situation. Looks a little silly, but feels amazing. I do it every time I’m about to walk on stage.
Emily Fletcher was a participant in the Consciousness Engineering program by Mindvalley Academy.
Her conversation with CEO Vishen Lakhiani was titled Meditation For Better Performance. The website summarizes:
“Emily Fletcher is one of the world’s leading experts in Meditation.
“She has been invited to teach at Google, Harvard Business School, Summit Series, Viacom, Awesomeness Fest & Relativity Media.
“Emily…was inspired to share this practice with others after experiencing the profound physical and mental benefits it provided her during her career on Broadway, which included roles in Chicago, The Producers, A Chorus Line and many others.”
In her conversation, Fletcher says,
“I do my morning meditation and then it’s like taking a shower for my brain.
“And I immediately feel ahead of the game and I feel charged and ready for the day. I know it’s cliché because I am a meditation teacher but it is what gets me out of bed in the morning.
“That, and I would say selfishly, I love waking up to emails from my students and clients telling me that, ‘I wrote this book. ‘I stopped drinking.’ ‘I lost ten pounds.’
”All because they’ve learned this simple stress relieving technique” at zivaMind.
Emily Fletcher notes meditation is quite simply a stress-relieving tool.
“It’s a tool to help de-excite your nervous system so you can get rid of stress in your body which is going to help you perform at the top of your game in every area of your life.
“I actually found meditation during my 10-year career on Broadway.
“I was doing ‘A Chorus Line’ and I was understudying three of the lead roles which means that you show up to the theater and have no idea who you’re going to go on for.
“Sometimes I would start the show as one character and then halfway through they would switch me to a different character – or I’d be chilling in my dressing room doing my taxes and they would say ‘Emily Fletcher to the stage’ – and I would start panicking because I wouldn’t know which part I was going on for.
“Long story short, I started having insomnia – I couldn’t sleep through the night for 18 months; I started going gray at the tender age of 26, and I was miserable.
“So I went to this meditation class I liked what I heard, it made sense to me.
“On the first day of the first course I was ‘meditating’ – I didn’t know what that meant but I was doing something different than I had ever done before and I liked it.
“And then that night I slept through the night for the first time in 18 months and I have every night since and that was eight years ago.”
“JAMA Internal Medicine found that meditation helps heal depression and anxiety about as effectively as antidepressants. It floods the brain with dopamine & serotonin.”
(Time Magazine, 1.17.14, “We Need to Take Meditation More Seriously as Medicine.”)
(This is only one of countless articles on how meditation works and how it helps physical and emotional health.)
Happiness and meditation
Emily Fletcher comments:
“Before starting a meditation practice, we’re often stuck in the trap of thinking that our happiness lies on the other side of a relationship, or a beautiful house, or another zero in our bank account.
“But once we start meditating, we realize that our happiness lies inside us, and we stop looking towards outside things to fulfill us.
“Instead, we start looking for ways to give back and to share our joy and creativity with the world.
“Before meditation, we are need looking for fulfillment. After meditation, we are fulfillment looking for need.
“So, the question then becomes: how do we take action to deliver our fulfillment? How do we learn to listen to our intuition, and to trust that nature is guiding us?
“When it comes to giving directives, nature is going to give them to the people who are awake and paying attention and listening.
“So we have to uplevel our consciousness if we want to be able to receive those instructions.”
From page for her audio program Conscious Design of Pure Happiness.
Testimonials for ZivaMIND programs:
“I used to go through life gripping everything so tightly, I also had terrible stage fright.
“Since learning Ziva meditation, everything shifted. I rarely have performance anxiety anymore.
“Even during The Sound of Music performing live for millions of people, I wasn’t nervous.”
Laura Benanti, TONY award winner and actor inTV series including “Nashville” and “The Good Wife.”
“I used to think, I can’t ever quiet my mind, how can I learn to meditate?
“After the Ziva course I know that even if I am having thoughts it is still working.
“Now it is a part of my daily ritual and people have noticed a change, they say, ‘you look so radiant!’
“Emily taught it to Channing as well, so we had a family learning experience.”
Jenna Dewan-Tatum – Actress in Supergirl & Witches of East End, etc.
Dallas Travers, Award winning author & business coach
Hee Sun-woo, CEO Hire Records
Dr. Mark Hyman, New York Times bestselling Author
Eric Taylor, Mechanical Engineer
Cathy Guterman, Transition & Recovery Coach
Glenn Kallison, President, Relativity School
Marian Sorenson, Actor/Independent Film Producer
From the zivaONLINE site:
“Take Your Brain to the Gym
“This online meditation training will teach you how to up level your performance and your life through meditation.
“You will have these powerful stress relieving tools to take with you for life.”