When most people think about meditation, they tend to think of people like Buddhist monks chanting Om high up in the mountains. If not that, they may think about their aunt, who is spiritual and frequently has her head in the clouds.
However, that is not the case with Jon Macaskill. As a retired Navy Seal Commander, he may be the last person you would think of when you visualize a meditation teacher.
In our latest edition of The Art of Making Things Happen, Jon discussed how he used Meditation to conquer stress, anxiety, and depression. Now, he’s paying it forward by teaching meditation techniques to servicemen and servicewomen, as well as organizational teams.
Read on to discover how this former Navy Seal Commander uses Meditation to save lives in an entirely new way.
While some may find it strange that a retired Navy Seal Commander would begin a career as a Mindfulness & Meditation Teacher, Jon was quick to note that many ancient warriors used a form of meditation before battles.
The great Samurai of Japan and the Spartans of Sparta were known to perform rituals before battle to clear their minds to focus on the battle at hand. They used mindfulness and meditation as a performance-enhancing agent on the battlefield.
Jon states that the idea of performance-enhancement is what initially drew him to mindfulness and meditation. Although, now he sees the many benefits of the practice.
When Jon first was introduced to the ideologies of mindfulness and meditation, he’ll be the first to say that he was a bit hesitant. However, after his therapist showed him the scientific studies behind the benefits of mindfulness and meditation practice, he was convinced it was worth a shot.
He found out that mindfulness and meditation can help to clear away the noise of your mind. He relates it to a snow globe.
When your mind is scattered, you have a million different thoughts going on inside your head, like a snow globe. When you sit the snow globe down, the snowflakes begin to rest, and you can see the scene inside.
Mindfulness and meditation have the power to change your fight or flight receptors in the brain that resides in the amygdala. Additionally, the frontal lobe, used for rational thinking, helps you respond to stressors rather than react.
While everyone is different, Jon states that from the first time he started practicing with the app, Insight Timer, he noted real changes after about two months of daily practice.
He states that similar to working out a muscle, you feel effects after each session, but those lasting effects take a bit longer. Macaskill says that after two months of daily practice, he recognized that he felt different.
Specifically, he noticed changes in his mood, how he communicated with others, and how he experienced life. One huge difference he noticed was in the way he approached his nighttime feedings with his infant daughter.
Whereas before he started meditating, he noticed that when he fed his daughter her bottle in the middle of the night, his mind quickly started thinking of the list of things he had to do the next day, the next week, and so on. However, after a couple of months of mindfulness and meditation, he experienced the same moment and was completely present with his daughter.
It was this experience that showed him mindfulness and meditation practice is a valuable practice.
Now Jon spends his days helping others understand the value of mindfulness and meditation practice. He works with veterans to manage the stresses of the job and returning from combat. He also helps organizations provide a mindful work environment for their employees.
For more information about Jon and what he does, please visit Jon’s LinkedIn, and as always, for more great content on business, entrepreneurship, and more, please follow The Art of Making Things Happen Podcast.