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How I Meditate: Tracy Lawrence

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“I took an extra breath and listened. I truly gave my colleague my full attention and listened to him. And I think it saved his sanity and mine.”

Tracy Lawrence is the founder of Chewse, an office catering startup based in fast-paced Los Angeles. She started mediating to add calm to the frantic entrepreneurial lifestyle. She told us about her meditation routine and how her practice has helped her be a better and happier CEO.

What is your meditation routine?

I started meditation about 1 year ago, and I practiced Nichiren Buddhist chanting for a bit. However, I didn’t find that style was for me. I’ve recently started using apps like Calm and Headspace to help me reinforce a daily practice. I try to meditate at least 10 minutes a day!

My routine changes a lot. I try to wake up with meditation. I go to my couch, cross-legged, plug in my app (Calm or Headspace), and do my best not to run through the work of the day. I try to give myself 2 minutes afterwards to sit back and examine how my head felt before and after the routine. 

Why did you start meditating? What was your goal?

I started meditation because, frankly, I was stressed. Running a startup is hard! My life literally felt governed by the nerves in my body. I wanted to cut through the stress and still love my life.

How has meditation improved your performance?

Good question. I think it creeps into my life on a daily basis. I find that when I feel pressured to come to a decision or I put pressure on myself because I feel like I failed, I return to that headspace I’ve created through meditation. I can come back to it at almost any time. It’s remarkable.

How has meditation helped you as a CEO?

My practice helps me stop and listen to people. For example, one of my colleagues came to me, exasperated, and my initial reaction was to be defensive and protect my ego. But I took an extra breath and listened. I truly gave him my full attention and listened to him. I empathized. And I think it saved his sanity and mine.