How can Mindfulness help us in every day Life?
Perhaps we don’t have time to sit for classical meditation, feel too anxious or restless, don’t know how or aren’t comfortable sitting still with closed eyes. These could all be indications that you need to take time out for inner reflection, but you don’t have to start with classical meditation.
And the good news is, that’s ok, we all have different personality types and sitting still with closed eyes just may not suit you. There are many ways to experience inner-peace with mindfulness and tranquility. For those who feel more relaxed while moving with open eyes, here are some great alternatives. But do remember to unplug the computer, turn your phone off and claim your personal space.
Why this is good for our Soul ?
We are often on autopilot and as such not really aware of our inner feelings, thoughts and emotions. Stress can seem to suddenly overwhelm us, but due to a lack of awareness it may have been building up for some time. Self-Nurturing is an important aspect of maintaining balance in your busy schedule. Becoming conscious or mindful while active will leave your feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to go on with renewed enthusiasm and zest for life.
Taking time out of our busy schedule is an important part of staying healthy, happy and sane.
So here are some ideas for Active Meditation….
I am not talking fast pace walking here. In walking meditation, there is no destination in mind. Avoid tight time restrictions or deadlines. This is simply strolling or walking mindfully while noticing the environment around you. If on the beach, feel each foot touching the earth or sand under your feet, listen to the waves hypnotically rolling into the shoreline, inhale the cleansing salty air or if in the forest let the trees enthral you and the notice the simplicity and beauty of flowers. Let your senses come alive with smell, colour, touch and sound.
2. Mandala Drawing or Colouring
Perhaps you prefer to draw or colour in. Mandala colouring books are becoming a popular meditative way to destress the mind. Mandalas are circular patterns often spiralling out from a central point in attractive patterns. Buddhist monks have used the creation of sand mandalas as deep periods of focused meditation. If the artist in you finds drawing, painting or colouring soothing and relaxing then set aside some time where you will not be disturbed. Get out your coloured pencils or paints and let loose your inner artist, hypnotically colouring the patterns that unfold.
3. Watching a sunset or sunrise
Depending on whether you’re an early riser or prefer the peace of the early evening, sitting quietly while gazing at natures magnificent colours of an early morning sunrise or a tranquil sunset can transport us to a peaceful place. Each morning offers us the freshness of beginning our life anew and the evening offers us an opportunity to rebalance after a long day. Nature in itself is very healing.
4. Listening to Relaxation Music
Music comes in many forms however since time immemorial music has offered to transport us to other realms. It can change our brain waves, make us laugh, smile or weep. Relaxation or meditation music is designed to help transport us to a mindless state of peaceful heart connection. Sound therapy has shown our brain waves alter as we listen to certain forms of music altering our hormones creating a softening and relaxing muscles. So next time you find yourself alone pop on your favourite Mozart or Meditation music and tune in to the calming world of sound. In our work we use music as part of our retreats to shift attention out of the head and into the heart.
Working mindfully in the garden can become a meditation in action. The key is in remaining present with mindfulness. Continually check that you’re not on autopilot. Become acutely aware of the plants you’re working with by engaging the senses, the colour and fragrance of the flowers, the sound of the birds in your garden. Don’t hurry or rush, let yourself relax into the atmosphere of your garden. Even weeding can become a deeply gratifying experience.
6. Dancing – Like Nobody’s Watching
Pull the curtains and put on your favourite dancing music or better still use our Dancing through the Chakras album. This powerful music is composed by Terry Oldfield and guided by myself (Soraya) to inspire you on a journey of exploration of your body and chakra system through free dance. Let your inhibitions fall away as you connect with the resonance in your body and allow your innate potential and creativity to flow through physical expression.From the tribal rhythms of the earthy base chakra you progressively work upwards through each center to the ethereal sound of angels that will leave you in a state of complete presence; a unique experience.
7. Yoga Nidra – Guided Relaxation
Ok so you just need to STOP and relax on your back. Well, Yoga Nidra is the most amazing practice that guides you into a deep state of relaxation. All you have to do is lie down on your bed, yoga mat or the carpet and follow the simple instructions. This scientific practice systematically relaxes the physical body, mind and spirit. The result is an overall release of physical stress, anxiety and mental tension. It also includes the use of a ‘Sankalpa’ or Affirmation to assist you to remain focussed on positive intention.
See Soraya’s Yoga Nidra cd here…and follow the gentle voice to experience deep relaxation.