Headspace Diary – Entry 1: The Beginning
Due to the nature of our work and the potentially challenging issues we encounter, the team at Destination Justice have started meditating to help create a more equanimous, constructive and level way to work with these situations. Originating from Buddhist and Eastern spiritual practice, meditation has recently come under the spotlight of neuroscientists who have discovered a host of benefits from the practice, ranging from decreased stress, improved mood, increased energy levels, and improved self control. All of this has a knock-on effect in your daily life, which allows a more helpful state of mind in dealing with work and relationships.
From a personal point of view, I first started meditating when a friend introduced me to www.getsomeheadspace.com back in August 2012. I’d heard about the neuorological studies and the benefits, so I began with an open-minded yet sceptical attitude. Immediate changes were hard to tell, I’m not sure when I first noticed the difference, maybe after a month. The changes seemed most noticeable in the body, with shoulders less haunched, stomach less knotted, generally more relaxed (I still haunch but less so!). The more relaxed the body became the more relaxed my thoughts became also. Tasks seemed less pressing and life choices seemed less significant, which counter-intuitively led me to be able to get more done and make decisions easier.
Some of the work we deal with in a post-conflict country can be upsetting, and due to the nature of human empathy we can’t help but become emotionally involved in the traumatic events and news that we deal with. It becomes even more important to take a step back when this happens, and meditation is a tool that helps us do so, which is why DJ is instituting the Headspace journey as part of orientation for all incoming staff. We want to equip all DJers with a sense of equanimity regarding these issues and a sense of happiness generally, because being around happy people can make other people happy in a huge ripple effect. All DJers in the Phnom Penh office have begun their own Headspace journey as of this week, thanks to generous support from Maria and the Headspace Team and we will be logging the changes for each member in the Headspace diary, so see how we get on.