“Meditation is a direct route to uninhibited self-healing. Think of it as a mood tune-up.” ~KeenI
If you’re like me, you might be the kind of person who thinks a lot. Take a moment now to stop and think about the most disturbing event in your life. How did you feel at that time?
Now switch it up. How did you feel at the happiest time in your life?
Riding the Highs and Lows
I’ve heard it said that highs and lows are the norm. In my experience, both are exhausting places to be. Spending too much time feeling low is an energy drain that breeds negative thoughts. On the flip side, trying to maintain a level of overly exuberant happiness can be an energy suck as well.
I believe that living our lives on an even keel is the sweet spot; striving to not go too high or too low. In hindsight, my experiences of highs and lows were great teachers, but neither is where I want to be day after day.
What if there’s a way to feel calm throughout undesirably-low and joyfully-high emotional events?
The disturbing or low event is the one that sticks with us most, right? We dwell on the event so that we can fix it. Here’s an alternative: why not drop it? Forget about looking for a fix and just sit. And by “sit,” I mean stop what you’re doing and be silent for one to three minutes. (It’s easier than it sounds.)
Sit And Listen to Yourself
Sitting in silence and listening to your inner guide will give you clues to your truest desires. Give the ugly old past a chance to melt into the distance.
When I was first learning to meditate, I took it oh so seriously and felt the only way to succeed was to head to a class, pretzel-up my bod, sit with eyes shut tight for 60+ minutes, and suffer like a bird who cannot fly.
No! Meditation doesn’t have to be like that. You can craft your own routine —– and always feel free to scratch an itch, open your eyes, or stand up if needed.
The secret is this: the reason that your negative voice says, “I don’t have time”, is the same reason you need to stop for a moment and breathe. Even when we’re over-the-top busy, a spare minute or three is always attainable.
When working with my first meditation teacher, I had a fresh mind-created burden playing in my head. It came after I lost sleep over a heated argument with a co-worker. I thought I had to solve the issue somehow. It was dragging me down, way down. I spontaneously decided to sit for 30 minutes, right there, on the floor at the foot of my bed. Later, when I journalled on my experience, I was surprised that I couldn’t remember the root of the argument.
Ha! I spent too much energy stewing over that disagreement. To this day, I’m grateful meditation allowed then and allows me now to forget unnecessary mind clutter.
I have to regularly remind myself: the past is the past; let it melt away. Sitting in silence is a practice. As an unknown sage wrote, “Life is too short to go through your day with broken pieces of yesterday.”
Relax Your Body and Let Go!
If you’re up for it, here’s a strategy that works for gurus and skeptics alike. Hint hint, this is where your superpowers come into play.
Who? Just you.
Why? To let go and accept the present moment just as it is.
When? Anytime. Sometimes at the most stress-pressured moments. Sometimes on a daily schedule.
How? Stand, lie down, or tangle your legs up into a lotus-pretzel pose; take your pick. The key is to stop all activity and just breathe. Relax. Sit for one minute or sit for more; the choice is yours. Own it.
Where? Find a space you call your own. Change it up regularly or keep it the same. Make it personal.
What? Create your own method. If you don’t have one, try this.
- Give yourself permission to stop and breathe deeply.
- Close your eyes and bring full awareness to your body.
- Drop your shoulders and release your jaw.
- Notice your entire body; sense how it feels to be still and worry-free.
- Visualize Mother Earth below you.
- You’re safe.
Your self-care plan is personal; you don’t need anyone’s approval. Make your practice your own. Once you listen to yourself more than you listen to others, your inner guide will always be there for you. Sitting in stillness is the foundation of your many superpowers. It’s a secret self-soothing strategy. Cravings for more of the same will set in, I guarantee it.
Letting go is a freeing experience. Contemplation, deep listening, prayer, meditation – call it what you will! Just nurture it and call it your own. Your body will respond in kind – this is the mind-body connection in full play. Trust your intuitive voice.
A benefit of sitting still beyond calming the highs and lows of life is improved communication with others. By giving ourselves more attention through meditation, we naturally gain clarity in communicating in all relationships. We perceive, receive, and interact more authentically with others when our self-relationship is authentic.
Journal activity: After sitting still to listen to your inner voice, what’s the message? Is your voice a bully or is it an uncanny kindred spirit? Jot down your feelings.
When we journal the hand-mind connection kicks in and we get deeper clarity on our experience. And, we have notes to look back at and reflect upon. Our journals can help us set goals by looking back at our experience to see what we need to work on. Your busy mind and body will thank you.