Meditation, being a very calm practice, is normally considered to be done either early in the morning in the company of birds chirping or late at night to rock you to sleep. But why not find the peace that meditation gives you right in the smack of things during the day? It is amazing how little you need to reconnect with yourself, get some fresh air, and power up for the activities that still await you.
Normally, meditations make us focus inward, but let’s change things up and pay attention to our surroundings for this exercise. It is also important to be appreciative of the things that are happening around us: the noises, the scents, and the people.
For this meditation exercise, you can choose to either walk, stand, sit, or lay down. Take into account everything from things that make you happy and cheerful to the ones that irritate you. Take a moment to examine how you feel and disengage from your busy mind; shift out of doing into being.
- Start by deeply breathing with your belly. On the inhale, fill your belly with air on the count of five and make it expand. While on the exhale, let all your breath out and make your belly contract in. Bring your awareness to your breath. Oftentimes, when we are in stressful situations, we forget to breathe and, in turn, feel very tense. Connect to the world around you. The point of this meditation should be to be awake and observant.
- Bring attention to your body. How do your feet feel as they touch the ground? Feel the connection of your body to the world around you. Notice each part of your body. No matter in which position you are, sitting still or moving. How does your body actually feel? Acknowledge that feeling. Do you feel the weather? Notice the sky. How is it like? Bring your attention to the muscles that hold you up at that moment. Notice if there’s any tension in them. Place your hand on your chest, and feel your heart. Bring your attention to your breath again and the surrounding you’re in. What do you see? Take in those things like you have never before seen them as if you were to bring someone new here to introduce him/her to this place. What do you hear? What do you smell? How does it all feel?
- Notice how you feel when you become one with everything around you – relaxed, alert, and hopefully present in the moment. Know that you are a gift in itself and allow yourself to find excitement in all experiences.
- Reassess yourself. Are you appreciative of things around you more? Do you take things for granted? What are the things that you shouldn’t take for granted?
- Then, slowly bring attention back to your breath. Awaken your body by slowly rolling your head from one side to the other and embracing yourself in a hug. When you think of it, you’re either here or nowhere.
- Hopefully, a short practice like that can make you thrive each day. Pair it with some healthy and nutritious meals and sweat-drenching workouts and report back how you are doing. I’d love to hear your responses, whether positive, neutral, or even what’s not working.