Right now “mindfulness” and meditation are a big hype in our modern world. However these practices are timeless and have been engaged in for millennia in all kinds of spiritual traditions--even in pre-religious times when nature itself was revered. Our ancestors sat silently and observed nature as well as their internal selves, which revealed so much insight on our contentedness with all, and how to heal ourselves.
These days though the message of mindfulness has been twisted into a goal oriented practice due to the “Americanism” of it. For example companies say mindfulness helps their employees be more productive thus resulting in more profits-- not bad things, just not what the practice is truly meant for. And personal development gurus are touting meditation as a way to get what you want in life, be it the perfect job, partner, bank roll or house-- or to become enlightened - which aren’t untrue statements, but again, “getting” anything or state is not the true purpose of meditation. Any time you’re meditating for the purpose of chasing after that “thing” or outcome you want in life, you’ve missed the mark.
"be more of a rebel - a non-conformist - go underground with your personal meditation or mindfulness practice"
I wouldn’t recommend simply jumping on this bandwagon of trendy, meditation and mindfulness practices with the intention of improving yourself or making yourself more of a productive member of society to look good or feel superior or get what you want.
Instead I’d suggest you’d be more of a rebel - a non-conformist - go underground with your personal meditation or mindfulness practice and not flaunt it and let it be a very intimate non-goal oriented self-care healing ritual that you cultivate more in private than in the public eye.
And first start with the true understanding that you’re already perfect the way you are, imperfections and all, you are no mistake. And yes there is room for further self-love and acting in the world among others in a more loving way. That’s the journey of life after all, so why not give yourself a break and enjoy your perfection in the moment while you embark on a meditation practice if you’re called to take that journey.
Remember that meditation is a practice that can be the ground and foundation of a truly well lived life of joy and contentment, or it can also be the cherry on top of a life that is already well balanced and sweet! Either way, it’s a win-win!
Mantra: “I’m perfect just as I am.”
So let’s start this Monday off with a rebellious attitude! Today, let your mantra be: “I’m perfect just as I am.”
Feel empowered in choosing to meditate knowing that it’s a way to top off the already great life you have, or to set the foundation for more well being to unfold in your life.
Simple 5-minute Breathing Meditation
Here’s 6 steps to practice a simple breathing meditation to start with...
1. Get comfortable
Sit down somewhere quiet and private where you will not be disturbed, it could even be outside in nature someone where you’re alone.
You can sit in a chair if you have a hard time sitting on a cushion on the floor. I highly recommend sitting on a high cushion on the floor to ease the pain in the hips and knees. Comfort is the MAIN thing! And give yourself permission to even lay down if you have severe bodily limitations, when sitting. Although it’s not recommended to lay down, if you can sit, because you could fall asleep easier when laying down.
Put a timer on for 5 minutes (or 10 if you’re feeling ambitious) to start with and make sure to silence your phone.
Take a few deep, slow and relaxing breaths and encourage your body and mind to relax. Release any tension you're holding in the body and release your thoughts as much as possible.
3. Follow your breath ~ like the ocean waves
Once you settle in, bring your attention to the natural rhythm of your own breath, imagining you are listening to or watching the waves of the ocean gently crashing on the shore.
Follow the flow of breath at the point of the nostrils, or at the chest as it rises and falls, or at the lower belly as it gently expands and softens.
Choose one place to pay attention to your breath during the entire duration of the mediation.
4. Be the observer
Simply observe the thoughts, feelings, sensations, emotions and sounds that come and go like clouds in the sky, and continue to return to the breath whenever you notice anything that comes up in your experience. That’s all you have to do for this simple meditation!
Watch your breath and notice what else arises, with no judgment on what comes up, just simply seeing it for what it is and returning to focusing gently on your own breath.
5. Optional counting game
Finally, if you want, you can even count 10 of your own breaths. See if you can count up to 10 in breaths and out breaths, without getting too distracted by thoughts or external distractions - and if you do get distracted, start your counting to 10 all over again, starting with one in breath and one out breath.
It’s kind of like a concentration game, but don’t be too hard on yourself. Have fun with it!
And if you don’t like this counting game, simply drop it - and observe the breath with natural ease again.
6. Finish with gratitude
Once the timer goes off take another few deep breaths to conclude your meditation. Then open your eyes and observe how you feel.
I’d suggest you seal the practice with any kind of ritual that feels good for you - maybe placing your hands to your heart or folding them together in front of the heart and bringing to mind anything you’re grateful for.
Then, off you go with your day - hopefully with a little more peace, relaxation and self love!
May you be happy,
May you be at peace and
May you be healthy in body, mind and spirit!
Peace and hugs,