This is the fourth in our new series of emails called “How I Monk.” In this series we will be highlighting + celebrating members of the Monk Manual community as they’ve meaningfully applied our tools and resources to find peaceful being and purposeful doing in their everyday lives. If you’d like to be featured in a future “How I Monk,” share your information with us here… #HowIMonk
Name: Christopher Lugo
Occupation: IT for Bank of America & Chief Tech Officer of a Not-for-Profit Organisation
Where are you based: New Jersey
Favorite Journal Section: I love the added prompts in the Weekly Reflect Section (such as Biggest Accomplishments) as it guides me to reflect on something specific rather than general reflection through meditation. It’s hard to stop and smell the roses if you’re in a car going 100 mph. Those prompts help me get out of the car and take a walk through the present moment of my life and present landscape of my mind.
A bit about who you are and and how you spend your days:
I do IT (Information Technology) work for Bank of America. I've been an IT guy since graduating college (I'm only 25). I’ve been involved in help desk/troubleshooting, managing systems, assets, and bridging the gap of technology to those who are technically challenged.
I've gotten into meditation and mindfulness after participating in a talk/seminar during college.
I am also the Chief Technology Officer for the a nonprofit called Walk A Mile In My Shoes, and I fill many roles within the organization. My responsibilities include managing the social media pages, managing the emails, updating the website, etc.
Beyond that I do what I can to help out during our community services and manage the finances. So being able to take a moment to reflect and breathe has literally changed my outlook on life and helped make everything much more manageable.
What originally drew you to the Monk Manual?
Originally, I was drawn to the opportunity to reflect and see a new perspective throughout my life. I have often felt very misguided or lost in terms of purpose and spiritually. I saw Monk Manual as an opportunity to shift things.
I was also drawn to complete The 30-Day Being + Doing Course, and am currently completing the Course a second time. I always try to reflect and slow things down in my hectic day-to-day life. The course has helped me reflect and ask myself serious questions about how I choose to spend my days and if it's moving me towards the life that I really want. Monk Manual has helped me realize that there are things that pop up which are beyond your control.
How has your life changed since using the Monk Manual?
Monk Manual has helped me reflect and reframe my life. The 90-day planner helped me realize how valuable and limited my time is. I never fully realized how to value my time, and how I was filling up that little time with a seemingly endless amount of work! Since being introduced to the Monk Manual, the Being + Doing course and especially the zoom sessions, I’ve learned to take my time and focus on right now.
It has also shifted my perspective and reality from a never ending to do list, to instead, doing what matters most. I now don’t beat myself up as much if I don’t get some important to-do task done, instead, I adjust, breath, and try again. I have loved the depth in which my Monk Manual helps me reflect over my days, weeks, months, and eventually year.
I've bought self-help books, and done guided meditation apps, and I'm always looking for more information about mindfulness and meditation, so I also love reading the The Monk Notes Blog posts to help shift my perspective.
What are some of your personal Monk Manual practices?
The Daily Schedule has helped me realize just how much I usually try to stack into one spin of the globe, and in comparison, how much time I get in a week, let alone a month! The schedule section has allows me to focus on priorities and not just endlessly working with no clear purpose.
It lets me work hard without the fear of burn out but let’s me plan my priorities throughout the week and month to get the most of my day and to keep my sanity.
Further, the reflection of relationship has given me a deeper appreciation into those bonds that I have with others from co-workers, my team in the nonprofit, family, friends, my significant other, the brothers of my fraternity, and any person I get the pleasure of connecting with, even if only for a moment.
What suggestions would you give to new Monk Manual users?
I would say: "Give it time, struggle with it, come back to it. The more effort you put in, even if it is inconsistent, the more that you’ll get back from the Monk Manual!"
Overall Monk Manual as a company has helped me focus on what matters most to me, family, helping others, and living a fuller life along with the chaos that spreads through it. I feel so blessed with so much, and through my Monk Manual practices, I’ve learned to truly appreciate what I have, while I have it, and to be thankful for the time I get with others before it’s gone.
If you’d like to be featured in a future “How I Monk,” share your information with us here.