Monday, July 5, 2010

The Return of Meditation Monday

I know really haven't been a very good blogger lately.  I've stayed away too long.  I've let you down.  

Will you ever forgive me? 

You will?  Whew!  Thanks!!   (And if you can find the three Followers I lost in the last week, tell them to come back too. Or maybe you can find me three new ones.  Free beer.)

One request I had recently was to revive my "Meditation Mondays" posts.    Ask and ye shall receive.  I'm a givah.

Personally I think of meditation as exercise. Mental exercise. Spiritual exercise.  It's just internal vs. external.   And usually no sweating which is a real bonus for me personally.

You can certainly spend a full focused hour chanting and breathing with great karmic drama.  Alternatively, you can meditate in small subtle bits throughout the day; no one around you will even know you are doing it.

Kegels for the mind.

In the scheme of the Great Juggling Act (family, friends, work, home, community, school, etc), I find that these micro-meditations are super helpful for keeping the balance.  Depending on the person, "balance" might mean not taking a hostage and/or not running down the street in your birthday suit screaming like a banshee on fire.  Hey - we all have our moments.  

The important distinction I never get tired of reiterating is that true "life balance" is internal.  It's not possible to keep those balls in the air in perfect harmony at all times.  Sh*t happens.  Therefore, the real challenge is keeping our mental/physical/spiritual foundation strong enough to handle whatever crap comes our way.

Meditation is a good start.

I've shared this first one before but it's really easy and perfect for those "Calgon take me away!" episodes. 

It's called SQUARE BREATHING.   You'll find me "square breathing" in the car, at airports and at work a lot.  (I also have my kids do this before big tests or competitions and they really love it.)    Pretty much anytime you are feeling generally overwhelmed, anxious or whatever.

It will feel more effective if you read at half-speed.   Nice and slowly now...

                      Breathe in for four slow counts (1...2….3….4). 

                      Hold the breath for four slow counts (1...2….3….4).

                      Breathe out for four slow counts (1...2….3….4).

                      Hold for four slow counts (1...2….3….4).

Do this a few times until you start to feel more relaxed. Once you get used to it, and assuming you're not driving, close your eyes.  Rinse.  Repeat.

If you can’t stop yourself from breathing fast or counting too quickly, count to eight.  Hyperventilating is not recommended.   No blue people.

It also helps me to repeat a personal mantra once I'm starting to feel more calm and centered.  Here are some of my favorites depending on the situation.  You probably have some of your own, but the idea is pick something simple and helpful for that moment and keep repeating it until you really feel and believe the meaning.

                      "This is not life or death."

                      "I am filled gratitude; I have so much to be thankful for...(and list)"

                      "I am welcoming health, happiness and prosperity into my life now."

                      "My life is filled with love and light."

                      "All the answers I need are coming to me easily and effortlessly."

                      "This too shall pass."

I'm also a big fan of the mantra, "Only four more hours until I can have a glass of wine."   It's not very zen, but whatever works.  This is a no judgement zone.

My plan is to do more "Meditation Mondays" and post more often in general.  Thanks again for your great patience, support and positivity!

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Eva Gallant said...

I like that "in 4 hours I can have a glass of wine." I think that would work for me!
Thanks for visiting my blog and commenting. Come back soon!

BLOGitse said...

Forgiven! :)
A personal mantra is good to calm down when outside world is really annoying...better to count to ten than behave like them!
Have a great day!


Sarah said...

I do breathing exercise while walking the dog, but I need to add the personal mantra to it. Welcome back!

webb said...

So good to find the no judgment zone open today and with a good, easy exercise for homework. Missed you, girl. Hope things are settling down now.

Charlene said...

Eva - yes, one of my faves for sure! Cheers!

Blogitse - Thanks for forgiveness and the comment. You rock!

Sarah - Thanks and absolutely, walking the dog can be very meditative! :-)

Webb - Thanks sweetie!! Getting back into the groove. Still have my sad days but trying to get back to normalcy...

Missa said...

I think taking a shot inbetween breaths might be worth it. I mean, after all, you do meditate while on the floor. It's all about mitigating risks. :-)

Great to see you around again!!

Leslie said...

Please do more Meditation Mondays. Please! I love how you made this so easy to do throughout the day. Sometimes I stop even thinking about meditating, because it just moves somewhere to the bottom of the busy list (even though I know better). This is a great way to just remember, little by little, until you're ready to go all the way back in it. Thanks!

TC said...

In 20 minutes I can have chocolate? Is that a mantra? LOL
I am actually doing yoga today THANKS for the meditation tips...

This Mama Rocks said...

I hope you enjoy the banana pudding recipe. You will have to let you know how you family likes it :)

Bruce Coltin said...

You posted this just in time. You almost lost me. I not kidding. I had my finger on the "stop following" button, but I paused, took a deep, meaningless breath, and checked your blog for signs of life.

It was so close.

Tony Anders said...

Kegels for the mind - LOL! (Good analogy though) I also like your square breathing concept - will have to give a try. Tried round breathing but never exhaled and passed out. Good to see you back in gear!

Vivianne's Vista said...

Good to have you back! I was missing your sage words.Hopefully soon the days of normalcy will be more frequent then days of sadness. (Hugs to you)

I have always wanted to learn to meditate but I always end up feeling like an idiot with a runaway mind. Nothing seems to quiet it down. (I think it's the sound of "MOMMY" every 5 seconds.) This sounds like a good start.

nothingprofound said...

Taking some time for yourself to relax is always healthy and re-energizing. Clears out the cobwebs and makes it easier to cope even with the unexpected.

Charlene said...

Missa: Tequila definitely works too - LOL!
Girl after my own heart!

Leslie: Definitely! Thanks for the support and encouragement. :-)

TC: You're welcome! Chocolate has many healing properties -- scientific fact.

Bruce: I would have been SO hurt. Seriously. But yes, I'm back and promise not to disappoint again.

Tony: I'm glad SOMEONE appreciated the kegels reference. LOL! (And yes - passing out is bad!)

Viv: I have to admit, it's a little nice to know I was actually missed. Thanks!

Nothingprofound: Absolutely - exactly my point.

Traci said...

Very cool blog. Thanks for visiting mine too. :) Sounds like a great way to re-energize by relaxation.

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