Finding your calm during the storm
It is okay to be the way you are: right in this moment. Everything that led to this moment was put together to make you perfectly imperfect. You, with all your anxieties, all your problems, all your challenges, are perfect. In every way, you are perfect.
We talked about how focusing on fear limits our vision of opportunities, which include opportunities to love ourselves, to love one another, and to practice gratitude, compassion, and living life fully.
If there is anything you get out of this article, try this five-minute breathing meditation from Mindful. It has a pretty graphic that expands and contracts that you can look at while focusing on your breath. There are plenty of apps that do this as well (we will soon talk about my favorite), but clicking this link, focusing on your breath for five minutes, may surprise you with the space that is created around your energy fields.
Speaking of great mindfulness apps…
Insight Timer is rapidly gaining popularity in the mindfulness community for a variety of reasons. There are a plethora of free meditations that can be searched and filtered to your liking. One of the most widely used features is the timer itself. You can adjust the length, tones, and music. The app tracks and encourages you to make meditation a regular practice. Furthermore, once you are done meditating, you can see other profiles of people meditating with you (a perfect way to feel connected during this time of social distancing).
On their site, the group at Insight Timer wrote a wonderful blog about how to create a space for meditation during times you are overwhelmed. One of the key phrases that jumped out at me was being overwhelmed with the idea of having to be “always on” or always available. This article further illustrates the importance and difference between a choice of reacting and responding, as well as balancing your energy.
The article is written by meditation and compassion teacher Laurie Cameron. She talks about her acronym STOP and how it can be used to create your space and respond with wisdom and compassion:
- S: Stop. Literally pause and give yourself space to look at the situation.
- T: Take three deep breaths. After that, take three more.
- O: Observation and inquiry. Be curious (also can use the FACE acronym).
- P: Proceed with compassion and wisdom.
Mainstream and not
Meditation and mindfulness has entered the mainstream. Take for instance this article from Fast Company that talks about 6 habits that can calm your anxieties. One of those habits is to, yes, focus on the breath (see the link above for the 5-minute breathing exercise). They also talk about keeping things in perspective, as well as practicting gratitute. It is a great article; check it out.
When it comes to meditation and mindfulness, there is no “doing it right”. Explore. Be curious. Center yourself the way your body and soul are craving to be centered. Mashable even talks about masturbation meditation. Why not? There are a plethora of beneficial chemicals released in your body that come from both sex and general human touch. The article talks about trying to touch your eyelids and other parts of your body that you may have never considered. Other people have been using tapping as a way to find their calm. The importance is, when it comes to creating your own space and unplugging, there is no wrong. This is your life. It is okay to be curious. It is okay to pause. It is okay to be you.