Whenever I open Facebook, I’m greeted with the same question, “What’s on your mind”? Wow, that’s a loaded question! Along with most others I know, I’m worried, scared, and sad about the plagues that we are facing in these times. The other day I was reminding my brother, who was having a bit of a rough time that if he can stay in the present or the “NOW” the blessings in his life will often appear. The NOW is really the only place that we have any control of at all. We can’t change the past or go back if we wanted to, and we can’t know for sure what will happen in the future. In the NOW, at least we know the reality of the situation, good or bad, and we have choices of how we deal with it. He responded, “yeah, but right now, the NOW is not so good” Yes, I know it’s true that the NOW is not always so good, but it IS, and it may be very different in a minute. One thing you can count on is change, for the better or worse, AND we never know which it will be.
So what do I do? I have a couple of simple practices that balance out my worry, fear, and sadness. I can’t rid these emotions because they exist and are warranted, but I can have them not overcome me. I would like to share my practices in the hope that something in them may speak to you and help if you are one who is struggling with these same feelings.
My Daily Hot Beverage Meditation
This “centering” practice is a great way to start the day. It can take as short or long as you want. It usually takes me about 10 minutes.
Each morning, I make myself a cup of tea (on the weekend, I treat myself to coffee).
I find my comfortable spot and position (on the couch, seated cross-legged pillow behind my back).
Now, here’s my favorite part! To start my meditation, I hold my hot beverage next to my chest and take a couple of deep breaths, feeling the warmth penetrate my heart (best feeling ever)!
Returning to my normal breathing, I then scan my body in 3 dimensions
- Length (head to toe)
- Width (side to side)
- Depth (front to back)
Traveling around my body, I take notice of any sensations I’m having in any particular area. This can be tension or constriction, pain, temperature, numbness, etc. If I notice a sensation, I pause there for a moment and take a deeper breath, sending spaciousness to the areas of tension, healing and love to the areas with pain, and energy to the areas feeling dull. Simply providing whatever is needed at that moment to that area.
When I complete my travels, I send blessings and gratitude to my body
- May I be healthy
- May I be strong
- Thank you for continuing to work hard for me every day
Taking in the Good
Now that I have a good start to the day, let’s keep it going. I have found this practice very helpful for me to remember all the blessings (small or big) in my life. It’s super easy and only takes a few seconds!
Throughout a day, whenever I experience an enjoyable moment, like being with family or friends, walking in nature, listening to music, playing with a dog, or eating a good meal (to name a few), I try to pause for about 15 seconds to register how it feels in my body and mind, paying close attention to when I’m feeling good. This is how I remind myself what it’s like to feel good. When I’m in an enjoyable moment (it happens more than you might think), I try not to miss it!
Hope you stay well and experience much joy!