I meditate. It’s like sunshine to me. I need it, for those days when everything moves at warp speed, but I’ve got the brakes on. Or worse, I want to run and life creeps by in. slow. motion. Does anyone else have those days? I know it’s bad when I start thinking of old Calgon commercials. Deep breath in, let it out s-l-o-w-l-y . . . aaahhhhhh, yes, lower those shoulders, feel those lungs expand. The best advice I ever gave myself.
It never ceases to amaze me at how tightly wound I can be, when moments before I would have sworn I was breathing fine and that my shoulders were relaxed. I often don’t realize my physical reactions to daily life, how crazy is that? To not realize I’m only taking sips of air, or that my jaw is tight, and that I can go through a meal like this, blows me away. That’s when I know, it’s time for a change. If life is a bowl of cherries, I don’t want to steal glances at it as I race by, telling myself, “Gorgeous cherries, I’ll have some later”.
Meditation helps me to be relaxed, fully present and grounded. When I first told my mom I meditate, she shook her head and said something about sitting like a pretzel. I’m here to tell you, you can sit in a regular chair, feet comfortably on the floor and meditate.
Being still, closing my eyes, and focusing on my breathing for as little as five minutes can lower brain waves from beta to alpha. Beta is the busy bee range of brain waves, High beta, for example, would be having a debate or multi-tasking. Alpha waves happen when we are relaxed, it isn’t sleep though, sleep waves, called delta, is two doors down from alpha with theta in between. Theta waves are happening when we are drowsy or daydreaming.
Sometimes I carve out a few minutes, other times I wake up early and give myself all the time I want. Whenever I am ready to meditate, I silence phones, and let my family know to give me uninterrupted time. Sitting comfortably, I focus on my breathing. When I first started, I used to picture my lungs inflating like bellows to help me stay conscious of breathing deeply. This is the time when thoughts come to distract me. Everything from A to Z, as well as the age old question, what to make for dinner pops up. It took me a while to learn how to deal with distractions, my latest trick for sidestepping them is, I see myself as the CEO of Me. And as such, when all those distracting thoughts rush in like secretaries clutching clipboards full of urgent news, I give a polite nod, and ask them to wait in the other room until later. As my heart rate slows down, what seemed urgent moments ago, falls away. It’s good to be the king.
I add into my meditations the idea of being grounded. Grounding for me is simply thinking that I want to be grounded to this world, otherwise I tend to fly off into the ether with daydreams. During most of my day, I need to be consciously on Earth. I used to picture an astronaut tethered to a rocket ship, but tree roots, a pipeline, or a ships anchor all work too. I like the flexibility to create what comes easiest to me. While I sit there b-r-e-a-t-h-i-n-g, my shoulders move out of my ear space, and I fall in love with the calm. In this place, I remember I’m in this life to enjoy every incredible moment. Another plus is that all of my questions have answers. What’s better is, they are my answers. Instead of being uneasy with what someone else thinks I should choose, I have access to what I want. And once I know what that is, I can begin moving towards it. I love how this lets my friends off the hook of making my mind up for me, as well as the bonus that I don’t have to come up with answers for them either. We’re free to have more fun.
In this quiet, peaceful space, I get in touch with who I am at my core. I love the gentle way I am reminded of the light in everyone, and that I am where I am meant to be, no matter what traffic looks like. These gifts come to my awareness gracefully, like a doe in the forest, and I am humbled and grateful for every glimpse.