The breath moves the body. The breath is the life force. It breathes through us every moment of every day. We have access to this life force every moment.
Step One: Be Still
Be still for a moment. Look here for meditation practices and activities for quieting the mind.
Being still for a few moments, letting your thoughts drop away. It may feel hard at first, thinking about all your "To Do's". Do your best. Sometimes it helps to set a timer for a couple of minutes to start this process of quieting. 5 minutes is a great place to start!
1. Sit or lay comfortably.
2. Close your eyes, or focus your gaze softly on an object.
3. Notice any sounds in the room.
4. Notice how your body rests on the chair, seat, or floor. Identify each body part that makes contact with a surface.
5. As you settle in, start to focus your mind on your breathing.
"I breathe in. I breathe out."
6. If other thoughts come your way, notice them, and let them go. Come back to: "I breathe in. I breathe out."
Contact me for more practice ideas and audio files.
In time, you will be able to find stillness in the moment, when you are feeling overwhelmed with emotion, and you can rely on these practices for a quick re-set.
Step Two: Notice
As you carry on during the day, many of us are geared towards being into our brains and out of our bodies. When discomfort arises, we attack it with thoughts, pills, booze, food, friends, running, you name it! We do many things to escape how we are feeling at any moment in time.
When that discomfort creeps in, try to move out of your thinking brain and drop into your body. Lose the story you keep telling yourself. How does your stomach feel? Is there tension in your left hip? Does your throat hurt?
You can perform a quick body scan. How do your feet feel, ankles, calves, knees, thighs, pelvis and seat, stomach, low back, chest, ribs, hands, forearms, upper arms, shoulders, neck, chin, cheeks, nose, eyes, forehead, top of head, back of head.
Anything feel a little off? Close your eyes and breathe a little into that part. Stick with the feels and out of the "whys" (i.e., stories).
Step Three: Listen In
Is there something tugging at your heart? A feeling that you can't ... quite... put your finger on?
Go back to Step One. Be Still. What is that inner voice telling you?
Take out a piece of paper and write at the top: "Right now, my soul/true self/spirit/God wants me to know..."
Then fill in the page.