Life goes by pretty fast sometimes, and if you let it, it will run as fast as you are.
We live in a society that’s conducive to multi-tasking, busy-ness, and constantly being on the go. Taking a time out isn’t something generally taught or honoured, and yet it’s one of the most ancient practices, that have made recent medical acknowledgements for its effectiveness in reducing stress, depression, anxiety and to enhance mood and mental performance.
The same way our physical body needs daily movement to stay healthy, likewise our mind needs the opposite- daily stillness for health.
The practice of stillness starts with setting aside 5 minutes. Find a quiet place – as quiet as you can. Then set a timer for 5 minutes. Sit in any position of your choice. The ground or on a pillow is best, however if you need a chair or want to lie down, go ahead. Then just sit with yourself. Usually our mind begins to purge the moment we finally get still. Recognize that your mind needs to let go of all these things that surface – that is why they are coming up. It is a good idea to take a look at what comes up, yet the practice is to let it go.
A helpful tool to help clear your mind is focusing on your breath – which is flowing in your present state. The idea is, if you are so focused on your breath it will be pretty impossible to be thinking about anything else. This task is often harder than it sounds; you may find yourself “drifting” off into thought after a few seconds. That is part of the practice. The moment you catch yourself drifting off in some sort of thought or distraction, the practice is to return to your breath, to help you let go of the thought. Even if you find yourself very much in a state of thoughts continuing to flow, let that be your sitting experience. You will notice that if you commit to this 5 minutes a day, not only will you feel calmer, more focused, confident and at peace, but you will find it easier as the days go on. You may even find yourself sitting for longer than 5 minutes. Although meditation can be challenging at times, recognize that with practice you will experience moments of deep peace, relaxation and inner freedom. Yet don’t get discouraged if your practice fluctuates from feelings of frustration to feelings of peace Just as your physical exercise routine varies day to day, so will your stillness practice.
To truly feel the reward of meditation and stillness you need to practice it. So choose a time that will work for you, and that you can commit to. I recommend using 5 minutes first thing when you wake up. If you don’t think you have 5 minutes, challenge yourself to find it. With continued practice notice the changes that may occur. It may be something profound, yet it may be as simple as giving yourself a chance to take a genuine break out of your day.
I love to hear about your experiences, write me and tell me how your practice is going.