8-Step Plan To Help You Meditate Anywhere
If there’s one thing for which I was thankful for last year, it was my dedication to my practise, and admitting that I was failing at even faking to be happy. I have since figured out (after a handful of solo holidays and making myself feel more alone but just trying to get somewhere), that wellbeing isn’t about where you are. Feeling well in your mind is where you’re at with yourself. You can be marooned on any white sandy beach, still haunted by worries, thoughts and your past.
I realised some years ago that I could only be of benefit to others when I was actually happy. If I was sad, or felt trapped in a job or with a guy I would head down into a spiral of hate for myself, reliving the worst parts of my life. My fathers life inside psychiatric hospitals, my mothers torture, all the truths that indeed make me who I am, but serve no purpose to think of daily- I owe myself more than that.
For the last 10 years I had always felt unwell in my mind. I could never put my finger on why. Sure, I could have blamed my dad’s illness or the genetics of the whole family tree, but it had to be go deeper than that. I think it’s a fright that happened that never left me. That sudden worry that I would come home and he would be there again, hanging, in my garage before school. That worry turned into fear. The fear turned into anxiety. The anxiety turned into depression. I’m not sad about anything. It’s all the things. No joy.
As a child my mum told me that my Aunty was mad and I should keep my distance. My aunty is actually an incredible artist and was found by the police in a field of wild flowers. She has bi-polar, but this for me isn’t anything to be fearful of. She uses her low times as leverage to enable her creativity and writes about her thoughts in the light and dark times. She’s a warrior, and an inspiration to my own journey in floral, fauna and fantastical women.
I always say that people are either asleep or awake. I think of people who are awake as being pretty sound and even a little spiritual. To be awake, for me is to be open to opportunities, able to listen to stories that enable good strong new paths for us to opt in on. It’s to be in tune with how you are feeling, and confident in yourself to admit that today is a tough day and you might need a little more time.
Emotional positivity is not something that you can buy, you can’t preserve it in a jar, or be given by a yogi. This is something to continuously aim for, a foundation of points that you tailor to yourself. They keep you realistic and in check about things you said, they said, and you did. For anyone that suffers from anxiety or depression, meditation has been proven to have undeniable benefits. Buddhist philosophy teaches the ‘click of the fingers’ technique, bringing any thoughts of past or future to now, steering the focus to change our outlook. At my lowest point I was taught to wash my thoughts daily, like taking a shower. Meditation is the messiah of the daily cleanse. Once that emotional cup fills up, you can find yourself in the grocery aisle, wondering why you’re there. Sure, checklists and organising tools can help, but meditation and lots of ball-busting exercise will make you sharp and very mindful
Here’s a simple 8-step plan that you can squeeze in before, after, or during the baby crying, and the washing machine droaning. Loosen your slacks, kick off your heels, and relax.
1. Clean your space.
Energetic cleaning can leave a space more balanced and open. When meditating, it’s important to pay attention to your surroundings. Always meditate
in a clean room and one in which you feel relaxed and comfortable. I like candles and incense to calm a space.
2. Get comfortable.
I don’t like being uncomfortable. I don’t think anyone does. And sitting cross-legged in lotus with a straight back and poised yogi fingers doesn’t spell comfortable to me. Sore butt, achy back, and pins and needles will most likely be the outcome.
3. Body check.
Take a few moments to settle in to your body. Observe your posture
, and notice the sensations where your body touches the chair and feet meet the ground. Feel the weight of your arms resting on your legs.
4. Use the alarm clock meditation.
If the recommended 20 minutes seems a bit full on to start, set a timer for five minutes. Then meditate until the timer goes off. This way, you don’t have to wonder about how long it’s been, or how much longer you should meditate for.
5. Observe the breath.
In the first stage you use counting to stay focused on the breath. After the out-breath you count one, then you breathe in and out and count two, and so on up to ten, and then you start again at one.
6. Hold your attention.
While doing this, it’s completely normal for thoughts to bubble up- what are we having for dinner, I need to call so and so, the list is endless. You don’t need to do anything- just guide your attention back to the breath. If you can remember the number you’d counted up to, start again from there, or simply start from one again. Continue until the timer chimes.
7. Wish yourself well.
A common technique in Buddhist practice is to practice loving kindness meditation. Sounds a bit airy fairy but this really works. Practice it on yourself, someone you can’t stand, or a neutral person you pass daily. Turn your attention to yourself and say words like May I be well and happy. May I be peaceful and calm. May my mind be free from hatred. May I be free from suffering. Repeat as desired.
8. Let it be.
Spend 30 seconds to a minute just sitting and thinking about nothing. Let those thoughts come in, and watch them go out. Don’t rush back into whatever it is you need to do. Just take your time, slow your pace, and let it be. Remember, you’re the expert on you. Find the things that work for you, and ignore the rest.
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