I’m a great believer in building a life-toolkit – tools I can use when necessary, simply to make life better. Looking after one’s own needs is not selfish as many of us have been brought up to believe. A happy person, one who doesn’t live life by sacrifice & denial has more to offer family, friends, colleagues. A martyr who always puts themselves last; does everything for everyone then constantly complains of being worn out, is no fun at all. A happy mum, dad, colleague, boss, friend is a lot more fun to have around. Meditation can help hugely with well-being – and it’s not as difficult as you may think to build up a beneficial, enjoyable meditation habit.
A great read is The Mindful Brain by Daniel Siegel. http://www.drdansiegel.com/books/the_mindful_brain/ Dr Siegel uses scientific research and stories in this informative read to reveal how to transform the brain and to promote well-being. I suggest you take five minutes each morning to begin to meditate, then, build as you see the benefits. I know that most of us rush through many tasks every morning and time is tight. Believe me, it is worth getting out of bed ten minutes earlier than normal to take yourself to a quiet corner of your house, hotel room, wherever you are – outside if it’s available to you and weather permits. At night before going to sleep is also a lovely time to meditate.
Find a quiet, comfortable place and sit with a straight back. You may prefer a chair or to sit with your back against a wall. Think of something nice – I say this to my daughter a lot and actually it doesn’t have to be any more complicated than that. Notice as thoughts come and go. And they will. Try not to latch on to the thoughts, just let them float by. Be gentle with yourself as you explore a meditative practice. As you learn to let the thoughts go, your brain will become calmer and you will find that your mind eventually clears and you are indeed meditating.
I have shared with you below a lovely Chakra Meditation practice that I find wonderful, especially at night. I have used it myself and also, with my daughter to help her sleep as well as with clients for relaxation. It’s beautiful and works well for adults and children. I find that rubbing a child’s forehead whilst gently talking through the meditation helps them sleep. When your children sleep, they are happier and you get more time to yourself. Actually, it can be a “two in one” solution as by the time you have guided your child to sleep, you become calm and very relaxed too!
Find a comfortable space, either with a straight back or in bed – wherever suits you. Close your eyes. Take your brain to somewhere that you really love – a place where you are perfectly contented and happy. Be in that place for a moment. Appreciate the space. Be happy there. A little smile may come to your face as you enjoy being there.
As you experience that lovely place, you notice an archway that you have never seen before. You are curious. You wander slowly there and walk through. Through the archway you have arrived in the most beautiful meadow filled with red flowers. You see red roses, poppies and tulips. The earth beneath your feet is red. There are red apples growing on trees. The warm sun is setting and the sky has a reddish hue. You have never seen such a beautiful red space in your life. As you walk barefoot on the soft red earth the red gives you energy. You feel happy and contented in this wonderful place.
You come to a gate. You would like to see what’s on the other side of the gate. You open the gate and walk through. You are now in an orchard filled with orange trees. You have never, ever, seen so many oranges in one place. The scent of oranges fills the air. You breathe in the lovely fresh aroma of the oranges. Orange tulips are growing at the base of the orange trees and the earth beneath your feet is covered in orange petals. The sky has turned a magnificent orange colour. You notice a picnic blanket with orange cushions and orange juice laid out there. You drink a glass of orange juice. It’s the most delicious orange juice you have ever tasted. As you drink the tasty juice and look at your beautiful orange surroundings, you notice an archway. You wander slowly there.
Through this gate is a field of yellow with a bright yellow sun shining down. You have arrived in a field full of primroses, sunflowers, tulips, daffodils, yellow lilies – every yellow flower you can imagine. You see your favourite and walk towards there. The ground beneath you is covered in soft yellow petals. There’s a scent of lemon in the air. You look up and in the distance you see a lemon grove. You feel clear-headed and contented as you wander slowly through the field of yellow. Now, you see yet another archway. You walk towards it and through to the other side.
You are now in a huge green field with long green grass growing there. You are at the top of the field which rolls gently downhill. You sit down in the long grass and breathe in the fresh green-grass scent. You have an urge to roll down the hill, through the grass like you did when you were a child. Off you go. You feel young, free and ecstatic as you roll down the hill through the green grass.
You land on a fabulous beach with a twinkling blue sea at your feet. The sky is so blue you can’t make out where the sea and sky meet. The sun is shining in the clear blue sky. It’s deliciously hot. You decide to go for a swim. As you float free from care in the sparkly water, you enjoy being there, surrounded by blue sea and blue sky. As you swim along, you notice a shimmery purple light coming from a cave in the rocks. You swim to the cave.
Inside is the most amazing formation of bright purple stalactites and stalagmites lit by a wonderful purplish light. You stand and gaze in wonder around the cave. The purple light gives you a calm, relaxed, sleepy feeling. You would like to lie down and snooze.
You notice a patch of pale, soft sand underneath a hole in the top of the cave through which shines a gentle white light. The sand is warm from the white sunlight shining down upon it. You lie there. The white light surrounds you, gently heats your body. As you breathe in and out in the white light, you start to gently doze. You are calm and relaxed.
Are you relaxed yet? Nearly there?
When going to sleep and also at intervals during the day – try smiling. Even if you don’t feel like smiling, just make the movement. There’s so much research that shows how actually smiling even when you don’t feel like it, helps improve mood.
Please share this meditation with others if you like it and find it useful.