My son and I have started attending Mindfulness Meditation Classes. And many of my clients over the last few days or so that have come for readings, are all about the present, and this is acting as a good reminder to me.
This brings me to another thought; so much of our anxiety, fears and stress appear to have their roots very firmly in the future (not so often in the past), as we find ourselves chasing the clock, rushing from home to work to school to class to the supermarket and so on. I am fond of saying I need an 8 day week and a 28 hour day, just to get everything done that I need to achieve. Some days our life is so crammed because we just can’t say no. And if we do, low and behold, hello mega guilt! Lets add that to our daily burden of anxiety, stress and fear. Its no wonder so many people hit burn out, become unwell, or end up on anti-depressants.
Is there a solution, if so, pray tell, what it is?
Like all good things in this life, the solution in essence is very simple. Declutter.
Declutter your life, delegate where possible and most importantly prioritise. And boy oh boy do I know how hard that is.
I don’t know about you guys (and I’m speaking directly to us girls here) we have become adept in this, the 21st Century and juggling the numerous balls of working, kids, parents, partners, etc. The list is as endless as it is diverse for each of us. We stress about failing, being late, missing a deadline at work, parents evening and more.
Our greatest hurdle is to give ourself permission. Permission to stop, slow down, be still, be quiet. To think, to contemplate and peruse. In the perfect world to meditate. For those who can’t or have never done it, write. Get a note book and write every day, write about trivia, nonsense, the annoying colleague and work, selfish boss, lazy partner, Stop stressing, start ranting, (if necessary) on paper. Look at all the tasks you have set yourself, do they all need to be done today, tomorrow, this week. But also observe and write about what you have achieved. The good, the bad and the ugly!
By giving yourself permission to spend time on your own, by yourself, just for you every day and spending those precious minutes writing or meditating, you are opening up a whole new vista for yourself.
Meditation is the better solution of the two, and the two together is dynamite. You may need to spend a little time retraining your household until they ‘get it’ that mum (or dad) is having some space. But it pays off. I find a whip and chair and gaffer tape works wonders 🙂
Once this routine is established it becomes an integral part of everyday life and put into practise regularly is dynamite. Suddenly time appears to become elastic.
The meditation practise goes a little like this:
Find somewhere comfortable to sit undisturbed, take a cuppa with you if you want to. Light a candle (remember to put it out when you are finished) and just sit. Plant your feet firmly flat on the floor, feel the carpet, earth, whatever beneath them. Become aware of your breathing, and watch the flame of the candle (if you have lit one of course).
Just allow your mind to be still. Follow your breath in and out of your body, feel for any tight spots in your shoulders or back for example. Let your breathing smooth it way. Thoughts will tumble through, so when you notice them just unhook them (as my mindfulness teacher says) and return to being aware of your breathing. It really is that simple. Oh of course it takes practise, but it becomes easier with time.
But also ‘peace of mind’ can be found in the most mundane of tasks, such as washing the dishes. Be mindful of the warmth of the water, the suds, the dishes in your hand. Focus on the task at hand fully. The same can be said for washing the car for example or maybe even the ironing. Just focus on what you are doing, and let any thoughts just float on by and feel the tension drain away…