Living a life of Intention, Clarity, Fulfillment and Joy
Guest blog by Jenn Shields from Open Hearts Yoga
Non-Traditional Meditation Practices
Mindful Meditation does not necessarily mean sitting in silence for extended periods of time. This is definitely a form of meditation that can be effective for some people, but it is not for everyone. And it can be a very challenging way to start a meditation practice. When working to develop a meditation routine and ritual, one of the most important things is taking time to find a form of meditation that feels good for YOU. An effective way of finding a meditation ritual that will become a longer term habit, is by forming meditation practices around something that is already part of your daily routine. Just like when we are developing any new practice or habit, it takes time to find a rhythm and build endurance. Start with short practices more frequently and gradually lengthen them as it feels good for you. Below are some suggestions on activities that can be very restorative/meditative.
We all shower regularly, but for so many of us it is just another thing on we do on auto-pilot. Or it might be where we actually start running through our to-do list of the day in our minds. But it provides an incredible opportunity to pause, breath, and be mindful. Give yourself a little extra time that usual, and approach the entire experience from a place of mindful awareness.
Sky gazing meditation;
There’s nothing like looking at the sky to put our lives into perspective. When things feel overwhelming, and heavy, gazing up can remind us of how huge and expansive this world is. Not just our planet, but the whole entire universe. It is also an important reminder of how quickly things can change. The sky will never look completely identical from one moment to the next. But, it is always powerful, and beautiful.
Turn on a song you love. And allow yourself the time to be present fully in the music. Allowing yourself to notice each and every word in the lyrics, without attachment or judgement. Or choose a song without lyrics and simply bring awareness to the instruments you hear. If you find your mind wandering, you may choose to restart the song, or simply just bring the attention back to the lyrics and the music. As you are listening, paying attention to how the music makes you feel.
Coffee (or any food/drink) meditation;
Slowly and mindfully begin the process of preparing your coffee. Take time to choose a mug, and notice how it feels in your hands. Lift the cup to your face and notice the heat of the steam from the coffee warming you, close your eyes and draw in a deep breath noticing the smell of the coffee.Then when ready gently draw the cup to your mouth and take a small sip. Noticing the temperature, and the taste of the coffee as it hits your tongue and moves down your throat. Repeat this for as long as you choose.
Taking a few extra minutes in your morning to mindfully approach something you already do (likely on auto pilot) can help to frame your mindset for the day.