I woke up at 2:27 am for hunger and racing thoughts. I knew I had two choices, either stay in the bed pressing my eyelids together and try to force myself back to sleep and eventually get frustrated, or I could get up and do something about it. Even though in that moment getting up felt like an effort, I knew “the tools” are working.
ONE MIND FULL NIGHT So I got up, ate a coconut yogurt and sat in the living room. The calm silence of the night is pretty comforting. I started breathing consciously in and out. I heard the traffic and the sirens. New York is one of the loudest cities in the world but actually, when you just focus to listen, there’s always some kind sound or wash, wherever you are.
The quietness, that floating, comforting and limitless space where the fulfillment lies, can be found behind all the noise.
I started scanning my body along my breathing and noticed some tension here and there and relaxed and released it consciously with the exhales. I observed my racing thoughts and emotions, simply recognizing what was going on in my mind.
I didn’t try to push the hassle away but I just followed-up and approved it all with the gentle self-compassion and curiosity.
I sat in the living room maybe ten minutes, being fully present in my body, in my mind and in my breathing and the surroundings. I liked the calm space I had found and enjoyed being there alone. Soon I felt calm and noticed how I became tired again.
I was ready to go back to bed where I continued the conscious breathing counting in seven with the inhale and counting eleven with the exhale. Continuing to relax my body with the breathing. It’s a good old mindfulness trick giving the mind something else to do than worrying about the unnecessary things. I was sleeping sooner than I noticed and woke-up fresh and happy as I had listened to myself and my own guidance.
I do longer meditations too, depending on my schedule, but basically I’m using mindfulness and do mini-meditations along my days whenever I need the check-in, find the guidance what I desire, calm down, focus and balance myself from the feelings of rush or stress. Or when I just have time to be present and feel all the good in my life, which is the best way to recharge oneself and enjoy life.
SIMPLE, EFFORTLESS EXERCISE The mind likes to warn us basically about everything scary and it just tries to keep us safe. Approving everything that is in that moment, is a way to release the negative emotions and the stressful thoughts, which are just thoughts.
Conscious breathing calms and roots us down when we are flying high. It activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which calms the body and lowers the stress levels. Breathing consciously in the middle of the day recharges your brain, your mind and your body in just few minutes.
If you’re are having a sleepless night or miss the peace during the days, try the tricks - bring your attention to you breathing whenever you are and give yourself a break to breathe:
Count from 1 to 7 with the inhale, count from 1 to 11 with the exhale.
IT'S FOR YOU TOO Many people still have think that practicing meditation is only something related to yoga, Eastern religions and spirituality. Or it’s woo-woo, which you just want to avoid. Or even though you would like to try, you don’t know how. Or you definitely don’t have time for it (a few minutes in the here and there, if possible 5 to 10 just after you have woken up).
I know, that’s what I said too.
Meditation became my medication when I faced burnout and understood that peace and freedom I had been looking for, were to be found from inside. It was absolutely liberating for me to understand I can take the responsibility of my own wellbeing and create my kind of life.
I had meditated on the yoga classes for years but I was resisting to take the practice to my days as it felt difficult and weird without the yoga and physical exercise. Nothing really happened as I didn’t know what I should be feeling or how to recognize the voice of my mind and my heart. I was thinking about what I wanted to eat for dinner and then thought I just can’t meditate.
But that exactly is the practice. When the thoughts arise, you just go back to follow your breathing approving everything that is happening, without judgement. It will get easier. And your patience will grow.
If you are looking for more happiness, and the feeling of being fully alive, feelings of love and compassion, ability to enjoy life, understanding, peace, balance and joy - these all are the benefits of the meditation and mindful living. And there are much more.
If you want to learn how to respond rather than react to life’s challenges, meditation helps. And it’s not only the emotional benefits when you get in touch with your emotions, but it improves the physical health too. And the relationships when you learn to be mindfully present.
Meditation is for everyone, it is the way to experience the life to the fullest and feel less stressed out. We need it in the middle of all distractions. It won’t take away life’s challenges, but when you become consciously aware and focus more on the present moment and less on your mobile phone, you'll become more connected with your emotions and feelings and needs, so you can take the responsibility of your own actions. You will get over the challenges sooner and you just don’t mind other people’s business that much.
If you want to be happy, be happy.
Ask, comment or let me know your thoughts - what have you found through mindfulness? What’s holding you back?
With love, Jenni