Meditate your way to a glorious 2016
Happy New Year! This is a wonderful time of year. A fresh start, a clean slate; like starting a new school exercise book, full of promise and hope.
The joy of stillness
Winter and the new year in particular, is the time of year for reflection and letting go of the past and thinking about what we really want from life.
Bringing some stillness into your day is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, on every level of your being. Apart from being fantastic for just about every part of our physical body, as well as improving sleep, memory, clarity, focus, boosting energy and providing much needed stress relief, and being anti-aging (am I selling it yet? 🙂 ) This is time to really listen to our hearts, to what we truly want, helping us to ignore what our wanting mind tells us we need. I admit that this is often easier to say than do, but if you commit to sitting every day I promise it will get easier. Here are a couple of tips that might help:
Aim to sit at the same time every day, your body and mind will get used to the routine, and will come to expect it.
If possible sit first thing in the morning, then you’ve done it!
Once you get into the routine you’ll probably reach a point where your brain says “Right, we’ve sat for 5 minutes, job done, let’s go”, this is the time to sit for a little longer. Don’t let your mind dictate what you are doing and how long you are sitting for.
It doesn’t matter if your mind is chatting for the whole 5 minutes, the meditation magic will still be working. Please don’t think “what’s the point, I can’t still my mind” and give up. This is normal and all part of the games the mind will play.
Have a pad and pen ready for when you come out of your quiet time. Write down how it felt to be sitting, how did the mind behave, what thoughts kept coming up, and most important, did you get any insights or answers to life challenges (answers and dreams regularly come up during or just after a meditation session).
There are many tools out there to help you meditate. When you are starting out it’s great to give the mind something to focus on. I’m quite a traditionalist and like to keep it simple, this is what I do when I need to quickly find some stillness.
Sit comfortably, allowing your breath to settle.
Focus on the connection you make with the earth, or the chair. All the points of contact. Feel them sinking deeper into the earth….
Now, become aware of the low abdomen, its gentle rise and fall as you breathe…..
Let your awareness of the breath rise to just above the navel….
Again, allow your awareness to rise to the level of the sternum. Feel the gentle lift of the sternum as you inhale….
Awareness is now with the throat. Can you feel the breath moving in the neck and throat, focus on the sound this makes….
Feel the air entering your nostrils, follow its path to the bridge of your nose and between the eyebrows. Exhale as you observe the path of breath from the eyebrow centre to the tip of the nostrils again…
Allow yourself to rest, breathing naturally, either following the path of breath from the nostrils to the eyebrows or focusing on the rise and fall of the sternum. Neither is better than the other, let your inner wisdom guide you.
If your mind wanders gently draw it back to focusing on the breath.
When you are ready to come out, take a deeper breath in and out. Feel the connection you make with the earth once again. Slowly and mindfully move out of your seated position.
Enjoy! Let me know how you get on. Ix