When I bring up meditating to my overwhelmed friends, they often open their eyes wide and shake their heads.
I understand. I used to be in that same place. I thought I had to be able to sit perfectly still in cross legged position, in a room that was clean with white carpet and walls and smelled of freshly cut roses. For most people the first image that comes to mind is probably a yogi, sitting with a straight spine in front of a peaceful lake.
But in reality, there’s no wrong way to practice meditation.
Meditation is about being mindful & present in the moment. That can look a lot of ways, not limited to sitting quietly with no thoughts.
When you begin to add more mindfulness into your life—when you stop and take in the beauty that is all around you—you’ll find that the stress of the future and the regrets of the past simply melt away. It’s takes practice, that’s for sure. But you will find that more you focus on being in the present moment, the more peace & joy you will experience in your daily life.
The key is to do one thing a day with absolute mindfulness. Settle completely in the present moment. Feel everything, every physical sensation, and every subtle emotion that swells up inside. Breathe slowly, and smile in the stillness. Start with one thing until you’ve mastered it.
Here are 10 of my favorite things to do mindfully:
Find music that you really enjoy and then be present to every minute of the process of listening. Listen to the band, the singer, what do you like about it? How does it make you feel? What are the words inspiring you to do? Or what good memory does it bring up for you?
2. Drink Water Slowly
Every time you drink enjoy the liquid swishing across your tongue, activating all of your taste buds. As you swallow take in that this beverage is giving you the liquid of life. Your skin, organs, blood & skin operate efficiently when you give your body the water it requires. Instead of just tossing it down like a shot at the bar, with no thought, drink it slowly. Enjoy it – right now, this water is all that matters!
The practice alone gives you clarity, peace and mindfulness through your breathe. I imagine that with every move I am sculpting my beautiful body in peace and harmony.
4. Peaceful Drive
Your morning commute can be spent in absolute mindfulness. Turn off the loud music, tone down your road rage, and experience the quiet. This may be the only time you get to yourself in your day. Enjoy it fully!
5. Take a walk.
A slow one. Don’t walk to get to somewhere. Walk to experience the world that is around you. Take a picture in your mind of all the trees, flowers, & animals that come across your path. Breathe in the fresh air and feel it rejuvenate your soul.
The practice of painting, drawing, sewing, writing, singing, dancing or playing an instrument can be a meditative practice. Set aside a bit of time for your natural creativity to flow. Be present with each move, each inspiration, each new creation that you bring into existence.
Each morning, spill out a page of junk that’s been on your mind. Notice the sound of the pen gliding across the paper. The way it feels in your hand. Do you write with lines, circles, or scratches? Is your writing straight up and down or slanted to one side? Does your ink flow out or does it take more pressure? After writing for a bit about your day, cares, concerns and old emotions, you’ll find that you don’t have anything left to write. This is when you take a deep breath, and allow mindfulness to permeate you. Go deeper into yourself. Soon, you’ll be writing with complete presence, as if another voice is writing through you.You’ll be amazed at the inspiration that comes from you.
This is one of my favorites. My husband and I enjoy sharing our loving food with others. Cooking can be an incredibly powerful act of meditation. Notice the way your knife feels in your hand. Enjoy chopping, peeling and grinding. Inhale deeply the fresh smells of food as you prepare it. Put love in your food.
Not only is eating mindfully a simple and delightful act, but it’s much healthier than shoveling food down while you’re running to your next meeting. Take time to fully chew your food, noticing the temperature , texture, & flavors. Take a deep breathe before you eat and be present in the act of feeding your body with nutrition.
The most useful gift you were every given is your breathe. It keep you alive and can take you from feeling anger or anxious to calm and peaceful within a handful of breaths. Notice the pause between your inhalation and your exhalation. Enjoy the stillness when everything stops. In this space you will find profound peace.
In short, there is no right way to meditate. Better to modify and find the practices that work for you, than to deny yourself of the benefits of meditation.This is Julie Reed saying “Claim Your Whole & Complete Living Today!” TM