Meditative Exercises are brief and simple mindfulness practices that provide us with an opportunity to apply the skill of meditation into the busy-ness of every day life.
The festive season can be an extremely stressful and anxious time for many people.
There is a lot of to be done, the shops and streets are too busy, people rush and lose patience, it can feel as if we are constantly spending money (worrying subconsciously about how much) along with the practicalities of cooking, cleaning and organising.
There can be the danger of allowing your regular meditation practice to be relegated to the not enough time basket .. which only makes you feel more frantic and out of touch.
Meditative Exercises can fill the gap until you settle yourself and find some time for your usual meditation practice. What we need however is a mindfulness bell .. the bell that tolls at retreat to remind us to pause and observe body and mind, to take a breath and reconnect.
Christmas carols can be your mindfulness bell!
Each time you hear a Christmas carol (or any festive type music) .. do this ..
PAUSE what you are doing
OBSERVE where is your body? where is your mind?
LET GO scan through your body and consciously release and relax your shoulders, jaw, and face
INHALE take a long, slow, deeper breath through your nostrils and feel the cool air .. then release your breath through your mouth (do this a couple of times)
THANKS give thanks for this breath, this moment, this day.
EXPRESS a smile to yourself and to others
Our POLITE practice .. sharing the spirit of the season.
By practicing this technique regularly over the coming weeks, little by little, a subtle relaxed alertness will begin to weave into your day. When you know that you can access this relaxation at any time you will begin to feel more in control and in touch with your life. Even on the busiest of days (or perhaps, especially on the busiest of days) you can always find a moment to pause and breathe.