Echo Motivate Blog

Mindful of the Seasons

Well here we are 2015 how does your year look so far?

I use this time to reflect on the things I have achieved, the things I have learnt and the experiences that have given me tools I didn’t have at the start of 2014. It is all part of being Mindful and appreciating the moments, taking time to notice the little things and listen actively to our loved ones. This heightens the colour in our lives and we in-turn feel more fulfilled and connected – why wouldn’t you do it? I would like to suggest for at least 10 minutes everyday you try this, it really works.

10 Minute Mindful Exercise
Take off your shoes and loosen any tight clothing, especially a tight waistband or belt. Sit comfortably. If you’re sitting on a chair, put your feet flat on the floor – if necessary support them with a block or cushion. If you’re sitting on a cushion then sit in such a way that your knees are supported either by cushions or on the floor; you can sit either cross-legged or kneeling (Japanese seiza posture). Aim for a posture of stability that can’t be pushed over – like a doll with a weight in the bottom, which just bobs back upright again.

Straighten the back and raise the sternum, opening the front of the body so you can breathe easily. Keep the head straight and balanced directly above the spine, not tilted forwards or backwards or to either side. Imagine a ‘skyhook’ gently lifting the crown of the head, slightly stretching the spine. Relax the shoulders as you breathe out.

Place your hands on your knees, or in your lap in the meditation mudra – palms up, right hand resting in palm of left hand, thumb-tips very lightly touching.

The eyes may be closed, or slightly open with a soft gaze, relaxed into peripheral vision.

Let your attention travel around the body, checking in with every part, and release any areas of tension. As you become more aware of your posture, make any little adjustments you need to until you find a position in which your body is entirely at ease.

Your posture should be conducive to a state of relaxed awareness. During your meditation session, keep still, avoiding unnecessary movements or fidgeting; however do make whatever slight adjustments may be necessary to maintain your posture – habitually recurring tensions may need to be noticed and eased repeatedly. If physical discomfort arises during your meditation session, sit with it for a few minutes (it may go away); if it persists, just change your position to a more comfortable one and continue as before.

You may like to recall a previous instance of experiencing calmness and clarity; or if not, imagine what it would be like to experience that now. Use that calmness and clarity now to help you enter meditation.

Begin your practice of mindfulness of breathing by becoming attentive to the physical process of breathing, the actual physical sensations. Let the attention rest lightly wherever you experience these sensations most easily: the entrance to the nostrils, chest, abdomen, or maybe even the whole body. Simply be aware of the breathing, noticing a long breath, a short breath, a sigh, making no attempt to tinker with it or change it in any way. Just relax into it and enjoy the process. As you breathe out, release any tension, whether physical or mental, so you are relaxing with each out breath.

If you find your quality of awareness becoming dull or even sleepy, sharpen your attention and focus on the sensation of the breath entering and leaving the nostrils. If you are becoming distracted by thoughts, relax even more and rest your attention on the rise and fall of the abdomen.

If you like, you can mentally count the breaths: count from one to ten, then start again at one; if you lose count, just start again at one. Count on the in breath if you have a tendency to dullness, on the out breath if you have a tendency to distraction.

Keep the sessions short, not more than 10 or 15 minutes to begin with, or even less if necessary; a short, good quality session is much better than a long session full of distraction and dullness. But do maintain some discipline: decide in advance how long you are going to sit, and stick to it.

It’s good to get into the habit of spending a few moments at the beginning of each session reflecting on your motivation, why you want to do this, what is your purpose; then take a few moments at the end to reflect on what you have learned and to dedicate the positive potential of your meditation for the benefit of yourself and others.

If you want to harness this skill this Mindful Workshop is the best in Somerset run by Nicki Hughes.

PS I was given this exercise however I do not remember by whom – many thanks and I hope that you do not mind me sharing.