High Stress, no time, no room for failure is what some could say accurately describes the environment of a lawyer. High risk for high reward, but at what cost?
A former corporate lawyer for one of Sydney’s Top 20 major law firms, Kimberley Chan knew this life all too well. Which eventually burnt her out and led her life in the opposite direction, a Vedic meditation teacher. Trust me, she’s just as surprised.
“It felt like I was surviving, rather than living a life. I would wake up very early, get to work, work through lunch, no breaks and leave the office very late. I’d go home, maybe eat something and to go sleep then repeat the same routine all over again the next day.
I felt completely drained of energy and enthusiasm” said Chan.
Feeling flat and without the energy to get through the long hours and little room for failure, Kimberley checked herself in with her GP to see what was wrong. With all tests coming clear it was suggested she try meditation.
“I spent a year just exploring different types of meditation. I tried Buddhist meditation, yoga, mindfulness and eventually came across Vedic meditation. For me, it just seemed most natural, easy and it just stuck,” said Chan.
“After 6 months people started noticing changes asking me ‘what did you do? You seem so much happier’. I could feel myself not reacting to things that would normally set me off.”
Unlike other meditation styles, Vedic starts one on one with a teacher. The difference is that it works off a mantra. This can be words, a sound or vibration that your teacher gives you. Something personalised to your own situation.
It then requires you to sit still for 20 minutes twice a day, eyes closed and focus on this mantra, eventually, this settles the mind and blocks out thoughts.
“You build this ability to clear all the stresses you’ve accumulated over time. So eventually you have a greater capacity to deal with stressful situations,” Kimberley explained.
“At a deeper level, it improves your creativity and original thought. You now have all this spare room in your mind freed up from what was previously used to try and cope with stress”.
Although, if you’ve never meditated before, it is challenging.
“Even if you can only do 10-15 minutes twice a day it’s still better than nothing at all,” she said.
“I have never met anyone that says, ‘oh yeah I’ve got heaps of time to spare’. I often found myself meditating in friend’s pantry cupboards, anywhere that I could be undisturbed for 20 minutes.”
According to Chan, if you are able to keep up the process for 6-8 weeks, that is when you and those closest to you will start to see the biggest changes.
After all her friends, colleagues and family seeing a change in her, Chan was getting asked where they could learn and if they could learn with her.
“When I relayed this to my teacher one day he just said well, why don’t you become a meditation teacher?’ and I just said, ‘because I’m a lawyer’,” said Chan.
“There’s no rulebook that says you can’t be both’ he told me.”
After going for Vedic meditation teacher training, Kimberly Chan graduated her course in 2015 and started teaching straight away. By the middle of 2016, she officially quit her job as a lawyer and dedicated her time to Vedic.
Over the years apps have been developed to help make the meditation process easier. Although, as Vedic requires you to start one on one with a teacher who guides you, apps have especially not been made for Verdic meditation as Kimberley explains.
“As great as apps are, it’s not the same as having a teacher in front of you guiding you through the technique. It’s also a personalised style of meditation instruction that focuses on you as an individual and your own situations.”
For more information: http://www.kimberleychanmeditation.com.au/
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