Whether we are living a spiritual life, or just looking to reduce life’s stresses, we have all heard about the importance of meditation. This process of taking ourselves to a calm and tranquil place allows us to be in touch with our higher selves, which leads to greater knowledge within.
How many of us just can’t do it? Many struggle. Well it may surprise you that I for one am right there among you all.
Leading busy lives, our minds are in a constant state of flux. We’re always turning some idea over, or making a list of things to do. The moment you find that impossible half hour to sit in a quiet place, hoping the kids won’t barge in or the telephone will stay silent, every little thing in the recesses of your mind floods forward like a tidal wave and you’re unable to stop it. Before you know it, you’ve made a shopping list for your groceries, rearranged your schedule to include the last minute appointment that came out of nowhere, or even decided to paint the wall you have been staring at in a lovely shade of duck egg blue to help with a calming atmosphere. Sound familiar?
Simply try just ‘being’. This is a calm state of just being in the moment, doing nothing, but at the same time not trying to fight any emotion or thought that comes into your mind. An easy way to start this process off is to take a nice warm shower. While standing there, close your eyes and enjoy the warm spray of water flowing over your body. Concentrate on each and every single drop. Just live in that moment, enjoying the calmness that overcomes you and the peace that it will bring. Don’t worry if thoughts or feelings pop into your head. The key here is to not do anything with them. So if you start thinking that you need milk or bread, just let that thought be and don’t start then mentally going through your cupboards adding items to that list. Once you have practiced this many times, move it out of that environment and into everyday life.
Whether at your office desk, or in a busy hectic family home, if possible take yourself to a quiet corner. Sit or stand, but place your hands on a solid texture, like a table or desk. Slowly concentrate on the wood beneath your fingertips, letting your breathing become calm and steady. You will find that the noises around you have filtered away, but may still be there. That is OK. This is just about being in the moment, whether that moment is just a few precious minutes or even a lucky ten. Follow the same principle as when you were in the shower, let thoughts and feeling come and go, but do not allow your mind to act upon them. Just simply ‘be’ in the moment, right as you are at that present time. You will feel the tension flow out of you with each and every breath, leaving you feeling lighter, fresher and most importantly less stressed. Do this as many times in the day as you feel you need to. With practice you can do this anywhere, just putting your mind in a calm state and you will start to get the benefits that any quick meditation will bring.
So next time the phone won’t stop ringing, your project is overdue, or the kids are running around shouting loudly – stop! Breathe! And put into practice what you have just learnt. It will calm you down, reduce your tension and most of all make you a happier and content person, more able to face life’s challenges. Go on, give it a try.
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