Have you ever felt like there’s a conspiracy happening and something has taken over your mind?
Do you find yourself wondering where some of your thoughts have come from? Does it feel as if you’re under a hypnotic spell? Would you like someone to just snap their fingers and wake you up from this mind numbing experience?
It’s a given that your life is crazy busy, the result of living in a demanding modern world. Some of those demands call upon us to be picture perfect. Whether that be as a super-parent, partner, creative, employee, entrepreneur etc. Let’s be really honest here, I know so many people, some I have taught, who are stressed out practising meditation, the very thing, scientifically proven to help release stress. How does that happen?
It happens because we have over complicated our lives and committed to too many tasks. We then feel like failures when we don’t complete the said tasks and the cycle continues………..!
We receive messages from everywhere,all day long, luring us into a false sense of purpose and identity, whether that means you have to have a better body, the latest technology, a bigger house or you’re being judged on your parenting skills or business acumen.
We are being hypnotised into a state of powerlessness every time but it’s cleverly disguised by the marketing geniuses, into convincing us that we really do need what they suggest to us in the glossy pages of the magazines, on the emotionally charged television adverts or via social media sites.
These distractions hold us to ransom and the only one who can free us from these captors, is ourself.
I feel it’s time to pay attention to what is going on once and for all. It’s time to ask important questions of yourself. Have you considered a little self-examination? How much are you contributing to this frenzied drama that continues day in and day out, like a movie in a loop, playing over and over, until someone hits pause or stop?
For some time now I have made a conscious effort to lead a much simpler life in terms of really looking at all the possessions I have around me and asking myself if I really need any of it? It was helpful to have been through an emigration, where packing things up and moving many things on were necessary and timely. My husband and I realised how much excess we had, in fact, it is downright embarrassing to admit to the extent of such overabundance. We discovered we had doubled up on so many things, books, not to mention kitchen utensils, towels, devices etc. etc.
Letting go of attachment to “stuff” awakens a deeper appreciation for what really matters and an understanding that when all the unnecessaries are stripped away, what remains is raw and wonderful space.
Space is what we are in short supply of, starting with the lack of space in our minds. Next is the awareness that many of the environments where we function from is crowded and cluttered, our homes, offices and even our cars. Remember how amazing it feels when you cleared out a closet or a kitchen drawer?
I recommend the following simple steps to invite more space into your life.
1. Begin with a clearing out of your physical space. Go through the items you want to keep and ask yourself if you really need it. Go with the initial response, you keep it or recycle or perhaps donate to charity, this will make you feel instantly good about yourself and you may even notice a sense of freedom surface within. Open your windows, invite fresh air into your home or office and do a spring clean of sorts. For those of you who don’t particularly like housework, here is a tip, consider the time you spend cleaning, lifting and dragging as your exercise time. Listen to some music as you go about your duties, dance, sing and notice some amazing insights you gain when you’re not forcing. Every so often, become aware of what you’re doing and be happy you have spent a moment in the here and now.
2. The simplest way to introduce space into your body and mind is to breathe consciously. We underestimate the power of our breathing. We take it for granted as we breathe consistently, 24/7 with very little appreciation for it’s benefits. However, we can control our breathing to maximise it’s potential in energising our body and mind. Most of us are not breathing to the fullest of our capacity. You might like to try this very simple exercise – Inhale slowly through your nose for a slow count of five and then gently release through the nose for a further count of five. If you wish you can hold your breath in for a count of five at the top of the inhalation and then hold the breath out for a count of five. Notice how you feel. The benefits of proper breathing are enormous. Just start with breath awareness and notice tension leave the body, an increase in clarity and overall a feeling of having more space within.
3. Do some yoga – just five minutes practising yoga is beneficial. Simple stretches whilst lying down can be enough to get you started. Yoga brings you home to yourself. When I was teaching yoga on a frequent basis, I loved to remind my students of the benefit of the pause between the poses, being just as important as the pose itself. This typifies for me how we learn so much about ourselves on our mat and how those lessons can support our growth and inner journey off our mats and in the real world. Yoga creates space in our body and mind simultaneously.
4. Meditate. There are so many types of meditation to chooses from, find the one you love and begin. Meditation changes lives. It’s a proven practise to increase better levels of joy, energy, wellbeing, awareness and much more, while, at the same time, releasing stress, fatigue and an overactive mind. When you begin, five minutes will suffice and you can gradually increase the minutes each day. Don’t expect your mind to be empty when you meditate, that is a myth. Thoughts will always come and go, this is part of the meditation, relax into it and enjoy.
5. Make a conscious effort to let go of a bad habit that sabotages your energy and no longer serves you. Habits such as smoking, over eating and drinking too much alcohol are hard to break, we know that. When you find your reason why you want to stop this all consuming habit and regain the lost self-respect for yourself, you will find it much easier to let it go. The reason I’ve added this here is because, loathing a bad habit you want to kick, sucks the life out of your mental space, keeping you stuck on repeat. I would like to add here, that the greater a practise of yoga and meditation you have, the greater the awareness of who you really are becomes available to you. As you connect with this aspect of yourself, you regain respect for the whole of you and when you feel whole, all of you decides to release the bad habit and hopefully you won’t look back.
6. Finally, take yourself out into nature, preferably into an open space. Go to where it is convenient or to your favourite place. I love the sea and am very lucky to live nearby. As you walk, do so mindfully, becoming aware of each foot as it touches the ground. Where possible, walk barefoot and caress the earth, absorbing the energy below you,above and all around you. Allow your senses to be satisfied. Feel yourself recharge naturally and easily. Breathe in the air, feel the breeze, notice the colours, smell the scents, touch the sand, grass or flower. You might notice some fresh ideas arising in your mind or you might find a solution to something that has been annoying you for a while, you have just reactivated your inner intelligence and wisdom, your sixth sense, commonly known as intuition.
Pick one or two of the above and start slowly implementing them into your every day experience. Enjoy the transformation it will bring to your life.
ps. On a personal note, I gave up alcohol in April 2014. It was a lifestyle choice. After many failed attempts over the years, I finally did it with the utmost ease when all of me was committed and dedicated to the change.
pps. If you struggle in any area I’ve mentioned and you feel you’d like some help from a “Been There Done That “ kind of a person, I’d love to hear from you. You can contact me for a Special COMPLIMENTARY “CREATE CHANGE TODAY” 30 minute Coaching Session. – firstname.lastname@example.org
> Create a crystal clear vision for “ultimate success‟ so you know exactly what you want, where you’re headed, and what you need to do to make it happen.
ppps. You can visit my website and download my Morning Connection Meditation – http://www.advayatruth.com
Hugs & Love Always