“If you are quiet enough, you will hear the flow of the universe. You will feel its rhythm. Go with this flow. Happiness lies ahead. Meditation is key.” Buddha
Close your eyes and take a deep breath……Ah! Feel better?
I wish busting the stress bubble was so easy. Between raising children or in my case caring for grandchildren, navigating a career, keeping up with friends and family and ignoring the loud distractions of technology, one deep breath isn’t going to wash away the day’s tensions and make you feel like you walked out of a one hour massage with a Swedish masseuse. No, swallowing air through your lungs is not a Calgon Bath! But seriously, does achieving a relaxing Zen like vibration require daily yoga classes, morning meditation and a daily commitment to long walks on the beach? No! There are a few daily stress busting meditation exercises that can help motivate your day, calm your nerves and help you achieve a sense of well-being.
First of all, try and commit to spending at least three to four days a week to meditation. Find a quiet area of your home where you feel comfortable. Turn off your phone and dedicate ten minutes to finding yourself in the present. American Buddhist nun, Pema Chodron calls this time, “pause practice.” These micro meditations can reset your state of mind, clear out the minutiae and make room for the serenity and peace, all necessary requirements to have an optimum day in which you are in control of your life.
Are you ready?
Take Three Deep Breaths –
Feel the air fill your lungs. Hear the sound your breath makes as it enters your nose. Watch your chest rise. Now slowly breathe out. Hear your breath leave and enjoy the sensation.
Make a List
I call this “The Worry Knot List.” Take all that you are worried about and list them in your head. Don’t worry about listing your concerns in order of importance. See the worries read out like sentences making each worry a headline. When you are finished with the list, take the worries strands and tie then up into a tight knot. Enjoy watching each thread of worry intertwine into the other until you have a ball of worries. Take that ball and now toss it out of your head. Now you have space for sunlight to enter. This is a solarium in your mind for just calm and serenity.
With the worry knot out of your head, you feel lighter, calmer, more able to respond and in charge of your senses. Your hearing is now focused because you are in tune. Listen to all that is around you. Hear the wind outside your window, the birds in the trees, and the hum of the ceiling fan. Can you hear your breathing? You are relaxed and now ready to receive.
Feel the Love
Feeling calm, makes you receptive to feeling positive emotions. Concentrate on the love you feel from your loved ones. Feel the adoration from your significant other, the comfort from your children, and the support from your friends. You are now at peace.
Finally, take one more deep breath and with all the affection you feel from your loving thoughts, smile in gratitude. Know you are loved.
After a few months you will be quite good at micro-meditating and look forward to it as a special part of your day, especially when you start enjoying all the benefits of meditation such as a reduction in stress, an improvement in concentration, an increase in happiness and a sense of well-being. You may even want to try macro-meditation, a deeper, more concentrated retreat held at a meditation center. According to sweet.com, “There are so many good meditation centers in the world, many of which offer retreats by donation. Do some research online and see which teachings resonate for you. Some of the good ones include the centers (there are three in the U.S.) in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh (thichnhathanhfoundation.org), the beloved Spirit Rock in California (spiritrock.org), and the many centers worldwide teaching Vipassana (dhamma.org). Pema Chodron’s teaching schedule is available at gampoabbey.org”
Live your dreams…