If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look further than my own back yard.
Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with.
–Dorothy The wizard of Oz.
Why is it that whenever we picture mediation, we think of something close to the image above.
Of looking out over a vast skyline, or ocean view, high up with the wind blowing in our faces?
Why do we think that happiness and sanity cannot be found in the tiny moments throughout our day?
In this day and age there are all different kinds of meditations. Walking meditation, love and kindness meditation, gratitude meditation and just a whole lot more a-tations.
Something that I have learnt about meditation is that it is not going to clear your mind of all your thoughts. It is not going to quiet the voice in your head this is telling you that your bum does look big in those jeans, and it’s definitely not going to make you not want that cupcake.
What it will do is tell you where you are holding stress and why, it will also remind you to let it go. It will give you a moment to thank your body for all it’s done for you and will allow you a moment in your life that is completely yours. It will also allow you to look at your bum objectively and see that you are perfect the way you are or to see yourself without judgment if something needs to change. Oh- and it will make you feel a lot less guilty about that cupcake.
Something that I have also learnt about meditation is that I have absolutely no idea how we make it through our day without meditation.
Why? Why can we not take just one moment?
The common reasons are
- It is not working
- I am doing it wrong
- I am not good at meditation
- I won’t be able to do that for an hour
- I am too fidgety
- I can’t clear my mind
When meditating, noticing that you are distracted and then trying again is proof that you are meditating right.
The success in meditation doesn’t come from having no thoughts run through our mind. It comes from how aware you are of the thoughts (what you are thinking about in the quiet moments and why these are the thoughts that come up) and the repetition of returning to the breath.
The mind is not meant to be a vacant lot. Our minds are there specifically to think and work and be active. It’s like telling puppies to not be cute and avocados to not be delicious with everything… It’s not going to happen.
It takes just one minute
Some things that I do during my day to come back to the present moment
- Focus on the breath – Exhale first (cause you gotta get all that old air out first).
- Then take one deep slow inhalation in through your nose. Count the length of time it takes to completely fill your body up. When you exhale slightly part your lips and allow the breath to escape with a slight “haaaaaaa” sound. Match length of your exhalation to your inhalation.
- When on lunch, all I do is eat. No you tube, no earphones, no television. Enjoy your food without rushing and distractions.
- When I travel, there doesn’t always need to be something going on, I don’t always need to be doing something and sometimes, looking out the window is perfect in that moment.
- To calm my mind before I go to sleep I place my hands on my tummy while focusing on my breath.
- Walking to work taking note of the trees, the weather, the wind… paying attention to the work around me in that moment.
Our lives move at too fast a pace to not slow down just a little and enjoy the moment that we are in right now.