When beginning a meditation practice, learning to sit and be calm AND still for 2 minutes can easily feel like 10!
Most of the time we are thinking we don't have time to stop for 10 (really 2) minutes with the pace of life, the to do lists of our mind and all the yes’ we have reluctantly agreed to.
Have you tried to take time away from your phone for 15 - 30 minutes, leaving the sound switched on?
You may find that you just last the 30 minutes - but you did spend it wondering about your phone, who sent that text message and whether your boss replied to the email you sent only just 5 minutes ago! Sound familiar?
In light of the upcoming meditation journey that the Life Is Coming From Team are embarking on tomorrow, I can't guarantee that it isn't going to be testing. Please allow me to remind you that a challenge for change always is - that is why it's so rewarding.
In fact, I find that the testing never ends; but I have learnt to become equipped to preempt and manage the tests. I remember how it feels following my practice and the changes in my daily activities and interactions - there in fact lies tangible impact.
I am not going to raise my hand and preach to you that I do this every day - because I unfortunately I don't, I am human. But I can tell you that I long for the effects and remember them almost every day.
(And on remembering - such an important key to motivation, discipline and so many other things…. that I will save for an entire other post!)
When learning to sit and be still, many things will come up for you, many of which will attempt to steer you off your path. In sharing these hurdles, I hope that you will cut yourself some slack, refrain from self criticiscm and learn that it is okay to not be perfect and try again. (Remember Miss Goody Two Shoes).
The Unveiling Tests
Test #1 Sitting still for 10 minutes can initially be very uncomfortable, for most the upper and lower body and legs can start to ache.
Before commencing your practice; spend 2-3 minutes finding a comfortable seated position. As you soften your eyes, tune in to feel your body and make adjustments to your seat until you feel that you no longer need to make them.
You may like to:
- Sit on the edge of a cushion, keeping your hips higher than your knees
- Sit on a yoga block with your knees parallel to your thighs, feet resting on the floor, toes pointing down and back, palms resting on your thighs
- Sit on the edge of a wooden chair, feet firm on the floor, knees slightly wide, palms resting on your thighs with your chest lifted, spine long
- Lie flat on the floor, arms beside your body palms facing up, legs long with feet pointing outwards, with a slight tuck of your chin towards your chest
Good to know checkpoint - each day your position may need to change, it will be dependent on how you and your body feels - mental tick, this is smart self observation.
Test #2: I just don’t have 10 minutes to do this today
Please kindly ask yourself - "How much do I value my health and wellbeing?" "Can I put 10 minutes aside to enhance the quality of my happiness and well-being right now?
- Schedule 10 minutes in your diary, the day before each practice. That way time is allocated and the priority has been identified. If you are at work, find a quiet room - hey even the bathroom!
- Practice for 10 minutes following waking in the morning, set the alarm for 10 minutes earlier.
- If you have exercise planned; gym, yoga or walking, following your cool down, sit cross legged, close your eyes for 10 minutes and be in the stillness. Feel your strong body (you will find a very powerful feeling within).
- Create a 15 minute ritual before bed - 5 minutes to enjoy a herbal tea and 10 to meditate to wind down from the day’s events (keep your eye out for how well you sleep).
- Before you commence working or being seated at your computer, take 10 (you may be surprised how much more efficient you will be with your time).
- Near your office, find an open space, a park or street bench where you can take your lunch and practice.
Good to know checkpoint - when all else fails, download a meditation app on your phone. You can practice walking to and from a meeting, dropping the kids off at school or travelling home on public transport.
Test #3 I can’t stop wondering about what I need to do today
Unfortunately there isn’t one.... patience and time is needed to quieten the thoughts. But luckily the benefits can be felt almost instantly. Start to watch the thoughts, as one comes up, acknowledge it and let it pass, keep following this process.
Test #4: I’ve been sitting for 2 minutes, what am I meant to be feeling?
Return to observing the rhythm of the breath as it passes through the nostrils. Feel the light rise and fall of your chest and belly, scan the body for areas of tightness, relax those areas, let them melt and let go. Repeat.
If you have any others on your mind? Please don't hesitate to ask - someone will have the answers, and remember one of us will be thinking it.
I wish my fellow team members wellness and courage for the Mindful Month of May…..
may we rise to help each other
stay true to honouring our wellbeing
make time that we are deserving of
remember our intention
remain open, light and curious; and
most importantly find some inner peace!!
I honestly I can’t wait to hear what you find xx Good luck xx
P.S First wellbeing exploration is in less than 24 hours!
P.S.S Mindful in May is accepting registrations up to 10 May - it's never to late to join us!