Did I tell you about our new washing machine? A month after we moved in to our new house, our washing machine stopped draining. It would get halfway through a cycle, flash the dreaded F2 error code and act like an almighty flood was coming. My Ironman figured out a way to “fix” it through a complicated procedure of button pushing with very specific intermittent waiting times.
It was not a fix. I mean, I had to truck myself down those basement stairs every 4.5 to 6.7 minutes to re-set/drain/re-start that washing machine.
Meditation, too, is like a re-set button during my day. And some days, I have to hit it a few times before I get my mood fixed.
But every time I stop, take a deep breath, consciously dwell with my inhale and my exhale, I reaffirm a healthy relationship with my body, my mind, my spirit.
When I do this, I draw my scattered mind back to the present moment and am able to make wise, deliberate choices. I’m kinder and more empathetic. When I’m able to do this, I feel a little more fresh, more focused, more ready for the day.
When I teach meditation, I teach that there are five simple steps to organizing a formal meditation practice.
- Establish a posture that leads to a feeling of stillness. Move around a little bit. No one expects you to be perfectly statue-still the first time you hit the re-set button.
- Take a few deep, diaphragmatic inhales and exhales. Clear out distracting thoughts.
- Systematically relax your body. Release a little physical tension. You know how good it feels to relax, you may not know how much tension you are unconsciously holding on to.
- Focus on the natural breath entering and exiting your body. Notice everything about the rhythm and feel of the breath. Give yourself the job of being in one place, at one time, appreciating your breath.
- Refine your mental focus by repeating a phrase silently. Give your thinking mind something positive to think about it. A mantra works wonders.
To get you started with this “re-set,” here’s a few of my favorite meditation practices:
Present Moment, Wonderful Moment
Beginning Breath Meditation
Guided Meditation Teachings
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