Every day we are inundated with information. Our televisions, the Internet, our phones, our apps, and even our virtual assistants give us updates and input… It’s a lot of information to handle. But is that the real information that we need? I want you to ask yourself if what you are consuming is what you are choosing or if it is just being thrown at you so fast that you don’t know what else to do but catch it. You receive too much to digest, so nothing really sinks in. You don’t need to read the latest updates three times a day. This is just eating up your precious time. We’re caught between two pressures. Some of us are almost never alone anymore as our kids and families stay home more, yet we might feel more isolated and yearning for connection than ever before. We might find ourselves staying on social apps much longer than we really should, scrolling to the endless possibilities of connection without having the benefits of connection. This is the perfect time for a meditation.
I want to encourage everyone to stop.
Turn off the television. Turn off the radio. Turn off Alexa. Turn away from your social feeds. Turn off the notifications from your various apps. Close your shopping app. Then listen. Listen to you and the cues that your body is giving you. It has information that you need much more than anything those other outlets are offering you. Try it. Please, for your own wellbeing.
In the past few months, our lives have been altered greatly. We have finally moved out of the “just waiting for this to be over” stage and are now in the acceptance stage of things. This is our new normal. Like it or not, we are in a whole different chapter now. After these months of adjusting our routines, our habits, our amount of interactions with each other, after changing the “hows” of nearly everything we do (moving businesses out onto the streets, connecting via Skypes and Facetimes, teaching our kids and helping them with their homework all from the same room, losing our jobs, not seeing loved ones, no longer traveling to places we love), we have been changed. And it’s time to check in with you.
Here’s a meditation I’d like to suggest. I call it “Listening to You”.
Find a quiet spot.
In the garden, in the bathtub, in the corner of your room, on your bed, whatever works, even if it’s in your closet with the lights turned off.
Sit in a comfortable position or lay down comfortably.
Close your eyes and take three deep breaths.
Make each breath a little slower and a little longer than the last.
Feel your shoulders drop with each exhale, let the tension in your body go away. It’s not yours to hold onto anymore. There is no stress in this moment.
Try to visualize your heart. If that’s not comfortable, direct your energy towards the center of you.
There is no correct way to do this; find and create your own way to find your center or heart.
Take a few more breaths and enjoy being where you are…
Which is with you.
When you feel connected to yourself, it’s time to start a simple meditation.
Say hello, or hey or hi, and say your own name. It can be in your head or out loud, whichever feels right to you.
“Hello Carrie Ann,” “Hey Mike,” “Hi Joy…”
Give yourself a little time to hear yourself.
If this is new for you, you may feel a bit strange, and your inner you may be surprised to hear you talking to them.
So gently, say it again, and add, “How are you?” or “How are you doing?”
Take a few breaths and notice how your body changes, how it relaxes, how it calms. Now, take another breath and ask yourself, how are you? Imagine that you’re holding your own hand and looking into your own eyes.
How are you doing? Is there anything you need? And listen…
Listen to your voice. Listen to your thoughts. Listen to your body parts and listen to your heart. You can keep asking questions once you’re in there… go slowly, at the pace of your long deep breaths. Know that whether or not you heard or understood what your body was telling you, your body understood itself and will know how to give you what you need.
Today I did this meditation and my body told me she just needs time… quiet time… time to breathe and time to be without any responsibility. She asked for quiet. It sounds like my voice in my own head. Sometimes, I can just see a picture of something, like my backyard, or my animals, and I somehow know what she is saying to me. Today it was clear: time. She wants time to just be.
Give yourself patience. If no answer comes today, that’s okay. You have spent time in meditation with yourself, and it will have a positive impact on your day in unexpected ways.
After a few more slow deep breaths, just say I love you (and your name). I always add in I love you lots and lots and lots, and it makes me smile even though my eyes are closed.
I take a few more breaths to extend such joyful love filled moment, and then I open my eyes.
Welcome back to the world, and know that you’re not alone here. Your body, your inner voice, are here as well, supporting you and guiding you.