In order to live in abundance, it is necessary to leave yourself space to just be. You will finish your work in less time, with reduced stress and greater results, relationships will strengthen and grow, happiness will flow through you and from you. To enjoy life, it is essential to maintain (or create) balance. I guarantee the following steps will add balance to your life, reduce stress and bring a strong sense of calm to all that you do.
Step 1: BREATHE
Something we do every minute of every day can actually change our lives. Most of us pay little or no attention to the breath and yet just 5 minutes a day is enough to notice a difference. Here is a simple technique to improve your health, ease your mind and bring balance into your life.
- Sit in a firm chair, feet on the floor, lengthen your spine to become tall; shoulders move back and the head lifts out of the neck. Close your eyes and notice your breath.
- When you are ready, allow the belly to gently fill as you inhale, as you exhale relax the body and feel the breath travel through the torso. At the end of the exhale, gently squeeze the lower belly to the spine. Practice this belly-breathing for 3-5 minutes.
- When finished, allow the breath to come back to its own rhythm and notice how it feels, and slowly open your eyes.
Step 2: YOGA
Yoga works! Not the poses that remind you of pretzels, rather the poses that allow you to heal your body in a gentle, non-aggressive way. Yoga is for men and women of all ages, all sizes and all backgrounds. With all poses, maintain long, slow, deep breathing.
- Low back release: Sit in a firm chair, feet on the floor, inhale and lengthen your spine so you become tall, with your chest and belly button reaching forward. As you exhale, round through the back, drawing the navel to the spine. Repeat for 1 minute or longer.
- Hip opener: Keep the right foot flat on the floor; place the left ankle bone on the right thigh. Grow tall through the spine and gently lean forward. The left hand (or elbow) can rest gently on the left knee. Do NOT round the back or push on the upper knee. Hold for 1 minute or longer. Repeat on other side.
- Gentle twist: Sit in a firm chair, feet on the floor, inhale and lengthen the spine to become tall, exhale and twist the torso to the left. If you like, hook your left arm over the back of the chair. Hold for 1 minute or longer. Repeat on other side.
Step 3: MEDITATION
Meditation comes in many shapes and sizes and is a wonderful way to tame the “monkey mind”. It is most effective to learn meditation with a particular point of focus. In my experience, it is best to choose one method and stick with it for a while. Commit 10 minutes to your meditation daily; you are likely to notice subtle changes in the first week.
- One of the most common forms of meditation involves using a mantra (a repetitive phrase) to focus the mind. It is best to choose a mantra that resonates with you, reflecting your life’s purpose or your spiritual practice. Choose a 3-5 syllable phrase or two the same length. Some examples: “God lives in me”; “God is peace”; “I live in abundance”; “Maranatha”; “Om Namah Shivaya”.
- Sit in a firm chair, feet on the floor, lengthen your spine to become tall; shoulders move back and the head lifts out of the neck. With the inhale breathe in your mantra, on the exhale remain silent.
- The mantra is your point of focus; it works as a leash for the monkey mind. Your mind (thoughts) will wander; when you notice, gently come back to the mantra.
These three simple practices will change your life; discovering the white space will allow you to move gracefully towards your abundant life. Commit to one or all of the above practices for 14 days and observe the changes; you will not only survive, you will thrive!