All cudos to those who can ’empty their minds’ or sit in a corner and ‘ohm’ for 30 minutes a day, but I just can’t do it.
I’ve tried ‘guided meditations’ too, but all that jingly jangly music irritates me, and I tend to already be swimming in the sea by the time they have stepped their first step on the sand!
Hence I didn’t do it.
Mistake on several accounts:
You don’t have to empty your mind or spend hours doing it.
It’s more like pressing [PAUSE] for a moment before you reboot your system.
Meditation is not a ‘nice to do’ thing, but a ‘have to do’ in our busy stressful worlds.
It reduces stress and saves time on packed busy days because fire fighting invariably leads to more fires.
It reduces pressure on the body and thus helps protect you from illnesses like my Fibromyalgia.
It’s important for weight loss!
I’m going to give you several ideas for quickly taking a pause in your day, and you can then proudly say that you ‘meditate’ every day!
3 Rules For All Options
1) Breathe in through your nose (it calms you) and out through your mouth
2) Breathe into your abdomen/tummy – you want it coming out as the air goes in, and then flattening as the air goes out.
3) If a thought pops into your head, don’t worry about it, just stop thinking about it and go back to the exercise
A Quick Reconnect Option
This can be from 30 seconds to 3 minutes.
Follow the rules while standing, sitting or lieing down, whatever works.
Imagine that there are roots coming out of your feet and going down into the ground.
Imagine that as you breathe in and out there is energy coming up to your from the ground and all your stress is going back down into the earth.
Imagine a string from the top of your head up into the sky.
Imagine that as you breathe in and out there is healing coming down from the ‘universe’ (or whatever you like to think as out there) and all your pains and worries are leaving as you breathe out.
Keep breathing a little longer now with energy coming into you from both the earth and the sky and your stresses and worries going out.
Making a Cuppa, Showering or Brushing Your Teeth Or Anything
Make a habit of taking a pause and being really PRESENT (i.e. not worrying about what happened or what is to happen) during one of your normal daily routines. You are going to focus on just that exercise for the next 1-3 minutes.
Follow the rules above.
Focus on the SIGHTS, SOUNDS, SMELLS, TASTE and TOUCH only.
Obviously this is tricky when the kids are in the room and it can be difficult in the early months to get any time without a child – do what you can and adapt the idea. It can even be done with children e.g. while cuddling a child to sleep or feeding them.
Making tea – the sound of your feet moving across the kitchen, the sound of the water going in the kettle, the heaviness of the kettle as the water goes in it, the slight coldness of the water splashing, the click of the kettle going back on it’s stand, the boiling of the water, the smells wafting out of the fridge as you open it to get the milk etc etc
Showering – the feel of the water (this is great for imagining it washing away all your stress), the temperature in the room as it warms up and gets steamy, the smell of the soap, the look of the water dropping down, the shinyness of the taps, the sound of the water dropping etc etc
Brushing your teeth – the sensation of the toothpaste hitting your tongue, the sound of the brushing in your head, the different areas of your teeth, the sound of the water, the taste of it when you swill your mouth out, the coldness of the tap etc etc.
Lieing next to a child as they fall asleep – this is a great exercise because calming yourself will calm them more quickly. Focus on hearing their breathing, maybe the feel of their skin if they need you to stroke them, the temperature in the room and feel of the bed, then REALLY notice their hair, eyes, ears and hands.
During Walking Or Exercising
Anything from 5-30mins.
If you get a chance to go for a walk or a run, cycle or even a swim on your own, then you can extend the exercises above.
Start with a quick reconnect (you can do this on the move once you’ve practiced it a few times).
Use the 3 rules.
Plus be present by focussing on the SIGHTS, SOUNDS, SMELLS, TASTE and TOUCH.
If you can be out in nature that is ideal as it is grounding, but needs must and a treadmill or pool will also work.
You will find that as it is probably a longer period of time that thoughts will start to pop into your head more often. I find it particularly difficult to do with without ideas for blog posts to pop in (I ask them to come back later!). You have 2 options on how to deal with these thoughts:
1) Notice what the thought was about, don’t beat yourself up, and move on to focussing on being present again.
2) Notice the thought and rather than ‘thinking’ about it, keep noticing it.
This is more tricky, but what you are aiming to do is to be ‘present’ with the thought or worry or stress. So don’t try to fix it, don’t think about it and don’t worry about it. Just notice it. How strong is it? Where does it affect your body? How strong is the effect? You are basically saying ‘yes, hello worry, you don’t need to worry, I’ve seen you’. Over time it should lessen it’s hold on you, a bit like an insistent toddler or dog that nags and nags until it knows you’ve seen it.
So there you have it, 3 different ways to add ‘meditation’ into your day as easy as pie. They follow the concepts behind Zen or Mindfulness meditations, but from the perspective of a busy mum, who hasn’t got time to study anything really complicated!
If I get a chance I’ll do a blog post soon about Shamanic meditation and the ways that you can use meditation to actually ‘answer’ questions or help you make decisions. It’s pretty cool!
Have a go and let me know how you do – if you have any questions, just pop them below in your comments.
I’m not talking about emptying your mind