- 1 thing that went well for me today . . .
- 1 person I’m grateful for . . .
- 1 thing I’m looking forward to tomorrow . . .
For the busy person your morning cuppa is the perfect place to start developing your meditation practice.
There's a reason why we do some of clearest thinking and best ideas in the shower … because we’re present!
- Feel water against the body / skin
- Wash away the day
- Sensory awareness
Respond vs React
Do you react quickly. And later regret the reaction? We have a choice. Take a breath. And choose your ‘Response’
Respond vs React
Wake - UP
Check - IN
Do you Do you set your morning alarm on your smartphone?
Then the first thing your brain does when it wakes is feel stimulated and ‘ on ‘ by the blue light + any of the notifications visible from over night. Messages, social media, emails or any other alerts that you receive via notification.
- Set your phone to flight mode and then set your alarm
- Or buy a cheap $5 alarm clock.
- Turn the alarm off.
- Take 10 sec to just check in with yourself before the day starts.
- Notice how the mind feels when you wake first thing.
- How does the body feel?
- Notice any thoughts you might have upon waking.
- Take a moment to appreciate how amazing and vital sleep is and its effect on the mind & body connection.
- Then go about your day with a smile :)
I breathe in,
I breathe out
- Take in a long slow deep breath in, through the nose.
- Breathe out.
- Breathing in, follow the air through the nostrils, lungs, belly.
- Breathe out.
- Breathing in, follow the air, breathing out.
- Breathing in, repeating to yourself (I breathe in).
- Breathing out (I breathe out). X5
(Stress / overwhelm)
- Repeat above deep belly breath.
- What can I feel, hear, smell ?
- What’s the worst thing that can happen.
Lunch break observation
Take yourself outside.
- Sit in sun if possible.
- Close down eyes, or alternatively just lower the gaze.
- Feel and observe warmth of sun against skin.
- Where do you feel it most intensely? Least?
- Starting from the tip of the head scan your body using the sensation of warmth of sunshine on the body to guide you.
- If and when your mind wanders (it will, that’s what it does), gently come back to the last point you observed the sun on your body and continue.
We have so many nerves in our tummy. Mind & gut are strongly linked. Digestion can be affected by stress. (vice versa!)
- Before you even take a first bite of any meal, take a moment to really pay attention to the prep (unwrapping, walk to the fridge, chopping, aroma etc)
- Look at the food carefully, feel the textures in your mouth, notice how your body reacts to it.
- You don’t need to keep this up all the way through the meal, but use it every now and then to focus your attention.
When the mind is racing.
Great tool when you can’t fall asleep!
- Close down eyes, if possible.
- Notice your thoughts.
- What's there?
- See if you can distinguish where one thought starts and another ends.
- Without looking for answers of why, or what the thought is begin to label / categorise each thought as it arises.
- Eg. Something about tomorrow ‘tomorrow’
- Eg. An ache or pain ‘ache’
- Eg. Something you need to do ‘to do list’
- Eg. A memory ‘memory’
- Eg. A worry ‘worry’
- Eg. Dinner plans ‘ planning’
- Continue to go on like this until you experience a gap between thoughts or until there is nothing there to label (enjoy this gap, present experience).
- Start by just observing your feet connecting with the ground
- Alternating with each foot.
- Simply noticing and observing the parts of your body connected with the ground as you walk.
- The key, to develop a sort of relaxed attention.
- When your mind wanders, bring it back gently, without judging yourself.
Easiest done without distractions, but this is not always possible.
Busy person's guide to practicing formal meditation
Thoughts are a part of us.
- The brain's job is to think.
- That’s what it does and what it’s good at.
- We need our thoughts. So don’t be hard on yourself if they find you in meditation, they should.
- When they do, gently bring your focus back to the task at hand (breath, touch). You might do this every second and that’s ok.
- The beauty or skill of meditation is being able to let go and come back.
- The more and more we practice this, the easier it gets.