The Thing: How a top Toronto mortgage broker maintains focus

Kim Gibbons says transcendental meditation can bring relief and fresh ideas to a broker's overworked mind

The Thing: How a top Toronto mortgage broker maintains focus

Maintaining a thriving mortgage business inevitably means two things: stress and mental exhaustion. Brokers power through the best they can, but there’s only so much you can ask of the human brain before it starts shorting out. Emotions get raw. Tasks get rushed. Performance gets sloppy. The brain needs rest, but what if you’re so busy that you barely even sleep?

Mortgage Intelligence broker Kim Gibbons is no stranger to the kind of mental strain that comes with being a successful broker. For the last seven years, she’s been using Transcendental Meditation to mitigate stress, boost creativity and prepare her mind for the next blizzard of activity.

“Basically, every time I meditate, even if it’s ten or twenty minutes, it feels like I’ve given my brain a rest for three hours,” Gibbons says. “As mortgage brokers, we have a lot to do, so it can be overwhelming. This kind of centers you, grounds you, and keeps you organized.”

For non-practitioners, Transcendental Meditation may carry a whiff of mysticism or New Age-iness: It’s what the Beatles went to India for during their LSD phase; a Google image search brings up no shortage of mandalas. Its Hindu origins may add a dash of exoticism, but TM is a relatively simple relaxation exercise: Essentially, the practitioner sits comfortably with their eyes closed, repeating a mantra, twice a day for twenty minutes per session.

That makes it sound easy, but TM takes time, and often guidance, to master. Gibbons took in-person classes for two months before she felt like she had a handle on it.

“You have to do it consistently for it to work, and for you to get in that zone,” she says, encouraging brokers interested in trying Transcendental Meditation to stick with it, even if the effects aren’t immediate. “Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. People give up on it too easily.”

Gibbons says her daily meditation routine has been especially helpful during the past three months of global uncertainty and anxiety, allowing her to drown out the noise, recharge and focus. And she’s not alone in her enthusiasm for TM. Celebrities like David Lynch, Howard Stern and even Katy Perry all swear by it.

“Jerry Seinfeld’s been doing it for thirty years,” she says. “He said he would be lost without it.”

And really, who’s going to argue with Seinfeld? Or with one of Toronto’s busiest brokers?

Transcendental Meditation has become a major component in Gibbons’ work. It fuels her creative marketing ideas, lowers her stress level, and allows her to bring the same high level of energy and commitment to every task put in front of her.

“It has helped me tremendously,” she says.