Part 3 of 4
Slow down!! Yes, now that you have added movement it is important to slow down and add space. My preferred method of slowing down is to meditate. Modern science is proving the huge benefits of meditation – it improves heart health, reduces stress, enhances immunity, improves focus, creates harmony and provides a deep sense of peace. One warning: when you practice meditation you are very likely to experience more balance, calm and peace in all four realms of your life.
Now, don’t get all worried that you have to do something weird to meditate!! Be happy – there are several ways to do so and all of them are simple and easy. What I suggest is you try each method daily for at least one week and find the one that best suits you and go for it.
– One method is to sit and watch a burning candle with a soft gaze, this is a great method if you are uncomfortable closing your eyes.
– Another way is to close the eyes and count the breaths as they travel into and out of the belly and chest, once this feels natural you can start at 100 and count backwards.
– If your body is restless and unable to sit comfortably or still, try a walking meditation – stand tall and tune in to your breath and when you feel present, slowly walk paying attention to how your feet connect with the ground, the movement in your ankles and continue moving your awareness up the body. I love to do walking meditation outside and barefoot, if at all possible.
– One last way is to use a mantra to train your mind, I liken this to a leash for a dog; it helps to control where your mind wanders. (This is my meditation of choice.) The mantra can be anything you like from a Sanskrit spiritual one (e.g. Om Namah Shivaya), or a religious prayer (e.g. God be with me) to a phrase that sits well with you (e.g. I am happy, I feel at peace etc…)
Meditation is a life long practice that calms and nurtures; I hope you find it to be of benefit in your life.