Sitting still. Quiet. Focusing on your breath. In. Out. Just receiving the data your sensors pick up - bird song in the backyard, the sound of your beloved waking up and saying hello to your cat in the other room. If your mind starts to tell stories about this data, just turn the thoughts into a bubble and let them float away. Come back to the feel of the slightly warm air resting on your arms and that ever-present breathing. In. Out.
This is how I try to start my day. It's a pretty new development in my life and it's taken a while to 'get into' with my frantic, herd-of-gazelles mind. But now I need it.
It's the shower my mind takes in the morning.
You know what I'm talking about - what all the blogs and media outlets and gurus are talking about these days. But it's been A Thing for thousands of years in certain circles and for good reason.
In this Brave New World of Distraction, it's a survival tactic.
Not saying it's easy. It's not. Funny how something that involves doing Nothing is so difficult. But it's just practicing "Is-ness". Just being with what Is. Because that's all there Is. Nothing is certain but death, taxes and this very moment.
So if you have a tendency to freak out, have low-level anxiety, are trying to juggle too many things and have a constant feeling of overwhelm (not that I know anything about that *cough*), I highly recommend giving this 'trend' a spin.
If you're ready to give in, let go, even just for a few minutes at a time, here are some good resources for the leery beginner:
- Headspace - Listening to his lovely New Zealand accent is worth the (free) price of admission.
- Meditation for Beginners - It doesn't get any simpler than this simple guide (from the Zen Habits guy, Leo Babtua)
- Youtube - Just search for "guided meditation" and pick one that seems geared for what you need right now.
Really, there's oodles of resources out there right now. Or just try to close your eyes every now and then just let your thoughts flow in and out without chasing after them.
And for heaven's sake, don't beat yourself up because you're 'not doing it right'. If you can just sit still for three breaths in a row, you're doing something good for your being. Something good for the whole world.
Photo by webhamster