I love my bed in the morning. I love the way my pillow feels under my head. I love the crazy half awake dreams that happen as I doze in and out of sleep. I love the cozy blankets still wrapped around me. My bed is where I want to stay all day long.
Alas the opportunity to stay in bed all day usually accompanies some sort of illness, or the removal of my wisdom teeth, neither are ideal relaxation practices. For that reason we must create our own ways to mellow out and take a break.
Over the last week I have stepped out of my comfort zone (and my lovely bed) in the morning to practice meditation.
I listen to a few podcasts for creatives and one of the tips I have heard over and over is meditation. Now I love you dear readers so I decided to try this out for you two different ways.
The first thing I did was download Mindfulness. An app for guided meditation. While I found this app useful for getting an idea of ways to meditate I found it pretty annoying to listen to the guide voice and have to follow along at her pace.
I decided it was time for me to march to the beat of my own drum for this meditation gig. I set my phone timer for 10 minutes and focused on a list of words that bring me peace. Here is my current list feel free to use it or write your own.
Shalom, Eshet Chayil, Freedom, Love, Breath. Each of these word is some aspect of what I believe God wants for me (and you).
I try to practice this meditation in the morning when my world is still quiet, but I sometimes find that I need to recharge in the afternoon and will choose just one word to focus on. I take a deep breath, visualize the word, then picture the ways that word can fit into my well being and growth.
Here are some of the benefits that I have noticed:
- I am becoming much more aware. Sometimes I don’t notice the feelings of overwhelm starting to creep up on me until we are pretty much past the point of no return. Lately I am able to sense when I am becoming stressed sooner than before.
- I am better focused. The habit of putting all of my attention on the way I am breathing or tuning my thoughts to a single word has improved my focus on writing, art and other tasks in my life.
- There is a sense of well being and peace blossoming in me. When I think about the words above and pray for God to cover me in them and surround me with each one there is calm that enters my soul.
- I start to believe that I can be a woman of valor (eshet chayil) or have freedom or give and receive love.
Please note I am not a guru of any sorts. Just a mom trying to find a reprieve from the chaos of her job.
Do you meditate or have another relaxation practice? Tell me about it in the comments.