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Christian Meier

Meditating in the red

It is an ordinary Wednesday morning, I'm just arriving at my agency. Park the car, go upstairs, say hello to still somewhat sleepy colleagues on the way to my room. Wake up the screen and sign in to online banking. Like most of the mornings.
SHOCK! Red numbers. BIG red numbers, right in front of me on the screen, and it´s MY business account. Nothing to interpret, nothing to reconfirm, this is a matter of fact - the account is not only in the red, it's close to its limit. And it's only a few days until salaries have to be paid. In plain language: big problems ahead.


What´s next? A medium sized panic attack. Pulse rising immediately, rush of blood in the ears, shoulders turning into a brick wall. Random fragments of thought and worst case scenarios running through the mind. “Will the bank give us an additional short-term loan? Or will enough clients pay within the next 3 days ... What if I can't pay the salaries? Who will I first talk to? Is there money left on my personal account? Why did it hit me again? I´m just a really bad businessman! Does all this make sense ...?”

This is roughly what used to happen in my mind (and my body) until a short time ago. Because, to be honest, this scenario happened to me before, quite a few times actually. And the reaction was about the same every time, with only slight variations.

This time, something was really different. Yes, there was still this feeling of panic coming up. But somehow, it didn't have that strong grip on me. It was like one part of the mind watching the other part. "Ah, panic coming up. Hmmmm, feels very tight und really uncomfortable. Mind starts to get narrow… , I might get stuck in this…” Suddenly there is a little, but evident opening for a choice, whether to invest further into that feeling and really have a GRANDIOSE panic-attack -- or whether to leave it. To watch my mind and my body struggling for a while with it and then just let it run out by itself. I turned my chair towards the window, took a deep breath and consciously decided towards the latter. After a few minutes my mind became quieter and my body started to relax. (Thank goodness, nobody entered the room meanwhile.)

This change means really a BIG relieve for me. And I'm pretty sure it has to do with my continuous practice of meditation. The situation is exactly the same, but my reaction, my state of mind is different. There is a certain freedom of how I want to be, no matter what the circumstances are. Not to mention that a mind in panic is of no use at all, apart from the fact that it drives all people around me crazy. (Just to be clear on this: My co-workers can still VERY clearly tell when I received a good and when a bad news.)

If you read so far, you probably are interested what happened afterwards on the bank account. Most miraculously a lot of clients transferred money, and I could pay everything in time. Now, the question I did not yet find an answer to is: How will I change the mind pattern that gets me into those situations again and again? How will I enjoy economic success without having to adopt "predator behaviour". But at least I'll be able to use my brain cells now a bit more effective to answer these questions.

P.S.: This is the first of a little series of articles, where I will be sharing how I use the practice of meditation in my daily business life as the owner of a small advertising agengy. If you have additions, reflections, any thoughts or own experiences, I'd be glad to hear them.