Meditation is a simple practice available to Us. Here, I will offer two exercises that I love. This is a brief introduction into how I got started on a path towards greater peace, acceptance and joy. I hope you enjoy,
Take a deep breath, and get ready to relax.
Even just a few minutes a day can make a big difference.
- Take a seat. Find a place to sit that feels calm and peaceful to you. It can be anywhere. ( I created a special space in my living room and bedroom for when I have company that is absolutely perfect to me. Floor cushions, a scent that I absolutely love and a blanket to keep me focused.)
- Set a time limit. If you’re just beginning, it can help to choose a short time, such as 5 or 10 minutes. ( I try to incorporate 30 minutes per day. It is not easy at first. , I used to listen to soft beautiful music or when I go really long an inspirational podcast which I can record for you if needed.)
- Pay attention to your body…Whether you feel relaxed or tense, restless or invigorated, pause before concluding. Take a moment of stillness, and then, with intention, choose to be present. (For me its sitting with my legs crossed and hands placed in my lap) Slowly begin to pay attention to your body AND THINK GRACIOUS THOUGHTS. I appreciate my… I love my… Start at the top of your head. Slowly and deliberately, bring your attention to the surface of your skin, one inch at a time. See if you can feel your scalp, your ears, your eyelids and your nose. Continue in this manner, moving across the face, over the ears, down the neck and shoulders and all the way down to your toes.At first, it might seem as if you don’t feel anything at all. But as you progress, you might begin to notice a whole world of new sensations. Some of the feelings might be pleasant, a gentle warmth, a comfortable weight. Some feelings might be neutral — tingling or itching. And some might be unpleasant. Your feet might feel soreness somewhere.Whatever the sensation is, just note it. If you need to move to relieve real pain, do so. But try not to react — labeling the experience good or bad — even if it’s unpleasant. Instead, just acknowledge what it is you’re feeling, and continue with the body scan. And of course, if you realize your mind has wandered, simply note the thought, and return your attention to the body.
- Begin to Feel your breath. … Breath in and out slowly.With mindfulness, the only intention is to attend to the moment as best you can. You aren’t striving to transcend anything, get anywhere, or block out anything out. There’s not even a goal of relaxation. That often happens, but you can’t force yourself into feeling it.You also cannot be good or bad at meditation. You’ll never fix unwavering attention on your breath. Some days meditation allows you a few moments of peace; other days your mind will remain busy. If you’re distracted almost the entire time and still come back to one breath, that’s perfect. And if you practice, you’ll find yourself focusing more often on life with less effort.
- Notice when your mind has wandered. … this is common an it happens. Please refrain from beating yourself up about it. DO smile and gently let your mind wander back to your breath. Close your eyes if you like, or leave them open and gaze downward toward the floor.
- Draw attention to the physical sensation of breathing, notice the rising and falling of your abdomen or chest, or perhaps the air moving in and out through your nose or mouth. With each breath, bring attention to these sensations. If you like, mentally note, “Breathing in… Breathing out.”
chant : “May you be happy. May you be healthy. May you feel safe. May you live your life with ease.”
What exactly is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a practice of purposely focusing your attention on the present moment, and accepting it. Practicing mindfulness, asks for us to suspend judgement, offer appreciation and unleash our natural curiosity. It creates a gateway for our mind to approach our experiences with warmth and kindness, to both ourselves and to others.
“Our mind wanders all the time, either reviewing the past or planning for the future.” -Suzanne Westbrook.
Mindfulness practice has been bolstered by a growing body of research showing that it reduces stress, reduces anxiety, improves attention & memory, and promotes self regulation & empathy.
Clinical trials supports the effectiveness of practicing mindfulness including stress, anxiety, pain, depression, insomnia, high blood pressure, hypertension, improved attention,decreased job burnout, improve sleep , improve diabetes control.
Let’s face it, we live in an extremely busy world. With the added pressures of social norms & ideals, combined with our day-to-day responsibilities, studies say that 8 in 10 Americans currently experience an abundance of stress in their daily lives. This can result in us having a hard time relaxing our bodies. With the added frustration of overthinking and anxiety, we are weaning away at our natural ability to calm our minds. This alone puts us at higher risks for heart disease, stroke and other illnesses. Of the myriad offerings aimed at fighting stress, mindfulness combined with meditation has become one of the most results driven methods in the wellness community.
Engage your senses fully, notice each sight , touch and sound so that you savor every sensation.
Sara Lazar, a neuroscientist, was the first to document that mindfulness meditation can change the brains gray matter and regions linked with memory, the sense of self and regulation of emotions.
Suze Schwartz, CEO of Unplug Mediation in Los Angeles, says her mindfulness meditation model is changing lives. One client, a high-profile reality show producer, was sent by a fertility doctor while on her fourth round of in vitro fertilization. She took time off from work and came to meditate twice daily, which, according to Schwartz, did the trick. The woman soon had a baby whose conception she credits to Unplug.
Just a few miles away from Suze in Santa Monica, psychologist Chris Marrero has his own share of success stories. One being that through his mindfulness practice, one of his agoraphobic patients was able to cut his medication by 75 percent within six months.
When practiced correctly, mindfulness meditation can be used as a reminder to be more calm, to get more clarity and will gently remind yourself that you are doing the absolute best that you can.
Take 10, Take 20, Take 45
A daily practice will provide the most benefits. The meditation can be performed for 10 minutes per day, however 20 minutes is suggested…. long-term goal 45 minutes, for over a period of 6 months.
Easy Ways To Perform Mindfulness Meditation:
- Find a quiet space
- Using a cushion or chair , sit up straight, however not stiff. Allow your head and shoulders to rest comfortably, place your hands at the tops of your legs with upper arms at your side.
- Close your eyes. Take deep breathes and relax. Feel the rise and fall of your chest.
- Stay focused on your breathing. Be kind should your mind wander and kindly find your way back to your breathing.
Remember, a daily practice of 10, 20 or 45 minutes will be the most beneficial.
Practitioners are the first to admit the practice can be challenging. Eventually the exercise will become effortless.
Think of it as a commitment to reconnecting with and nurturing yourself. Above all, mindfulness practice involves accepting whatever arises in your awareness for each moment. Mindfulness meditation centers the notion to being kind and forgiving to yourself.
THANK YOU FOR VISITING xo