Staying focused in the present takes a little practice but once learned, it’s a simple way to reduce your stress and add a new dimension to your life. An easy way to get started is by paying attention to your breath – this is also referred to as ‘conscious breathing’. Take a few minutes to try this: get comfortable, close your eyes, as you breathe in feel the air being pulled in and filling your lungs, and as you exhale feel the air leaving your lungs and passing through your nose. As your mind wanders to other thoughts, keep bringing yourself back to the present, to your breath. A variation to this method is to silently say something to yourself as you breathe in and out – such as relax/release or even breathe in/breathe out. This will help you stay focused. Breathing like this is a simple tool that can be used anywhere and will instantly reduce your stress level, heart rate and blood pressure.
This meditation is easy to visualize and makes it easy for first time meditators. It is a powerful healing and empowering meditation.
Find yourself a comfortable, quiet location. A straight back chair is most effective as the position allows energy to flow more freely though your body.
Sit with your feet flat on the floor, arms relaxed and with your eyes closed, just feeling your breath as you inhale and exhale.
Imagine yourself as an acorn, buried just beneath the soil. Feel the warmth of the sun warming the moist soil.
The warmth and moisture stir your energies. Imagine your root starting to grow, straight down into the nourishing soil. Growing and starting to branch out. You sprout a stalk, pushing through the soil and finding the sunshine. Reaching towards the light and air, you grow stronger and taller. Feel the energy of the sunshine being drawn into you. Breathe it in. Breathe in love and healing energy. You start branching out, filling out with leaves, reaching for the limitless sky. Your roots drive deeper into the soil, spreading out and grounding you. Feel yourself pulling the nutrients from the soil, absorbing them and sending them all though you, reaching your farthest leaves. As you exhale, release all tensions and negativity. Feel the energies moving through you, grounding and strengthening, healing. You are now a magnificent oak tree. Enjoy the warmth of the sun, the gentle breezes through your leaves and the soft rains refreshing your leaves.
When you are ready, slowly become aware of your self and surroundings. Stretch and slowly open your eyes. Experience how refreshed, grounded and empowered you now feel.
Taking Notice of Beauty
With our hectic lives and times of increasing stress, it becomes easier and easier to lose sight of the beauty that surrounds us everywhere. Do you take the time to really notice the ‘small things’ in your life?
It doesn’t take much, just an open eye to see with and an open heart to feel with. Now, find something to look at. Anything; a photo in a magazine, a flower, a rock, a leaf, a cup of coffee, even your hand. Finding something outside in nature is ideal. Take a few minutes to really observe your object, see it with a new set of eyes, and become that object. Notice all the different colors and shades of the same color. Notice the texture. Notice what it feels like (if it’s a photo, feel what it would feel like to actually be there). Just lose yourself for a few minutes and become totally absorbed in feeling and observing.
Guess what. Your blood pressure dropped in those few minutes. Your stress level dropped. You relaxed. You didn’t have a choice; you were totally present in what you were doing. No other thoughts could enter into your mind. This is a simple exercise that can be practiced anytime, anywhere and with anything.