Learning to rest after the holidays can feel hard, especially when the entirety of the health and wellness industry is feeding off your insecurities, trying to sell you the latest fad that promises “fast results,” or requires you to bust your ass at the gym until you want to keel over in exhaustion.
A body in motion wants to remain in motion, and while that’s a useful principle for exercise, we’ve taken it to the extreme. Tons of people find themselves burnt out at the end of the holiday season, yet still try to push themselves to find the “new me” the new year promises. Meanwhile, I’m over here like…
If you’re the kind of person who feels like there’s always too much to do, I get it. We all do. But as the saying goes, we’re human BEings, not human doings. So today, I’m sharing an unconventional meditation with you to help you practice relaxing as well as Rafiki over here.
If now isn’t a good time to practice, flag this email and set a reminder on your phone to return to it at a better time.
This one is a simple reading meditation. To do this, pay attention to the words as your eyes scroll across the screen. If you notice that your mind has wandered, go back to the last place you remember, consciously focusing on the words, and start from there. Yep. Regular old reading is a meditative act! For today though, see if you can read a little slower than you normally would. Here we go…
Let’s start with a solid foundation for your meditation practice. Find a comfortable place to sit. There are no rules here other than sitting somewhere comfortable. Check-in with your spine now, aligning and lengthening each vertebra as you relax your shoulders.
When you’re next inhalation arrives, consciously take a deep breath to expand your lungs and inflate the belly. And when you’re ready, slowly breathe out.
Let’s do that one more time: breathing in deeply, and breathing out slowly.
Good. Take the next few moments to rest in the present – giving yourself permission to be here without having to go anywhere or do anything.
Release your to-do list for the next several moments. There’s no agenda right now. Just allow yourself to rest.
The more relaxed we can get our body when we begin meditating, the more it helps to relax the mind.
So before we wrap up today, check in with the body, and if you notice any spots of tension or tightness, do your best to soften around those areas. Sometimes it helps to really intensify the tension to enable relaxation to feel easier.
Bring your awareness to your face, particularly the muscles around your eyes. See if you can soften any tension in those muscles around the eyes. The goal is progress, not perfection, so if all you can do today is notice tension, that’s a win!
Now let’s bring your awareness to the muscles in your jaw and the muscles around your cheeks. Again, just letting go of any unnecessary tension if you can.
And finally, dropping into the shoulders. Do your best to release any gripping that might be happening there.
To close today’s practice, I want to commend you for seeing it through. Let’s celebrate your efforts by dedicating them to the person who needs you the most right now. Maybe it’s you, a spouse, a child. Envision their face as you read, “This practice is for the good of all and to the harm of none.”
WHAT’D YOU THINK?
Did you love this practice? Hate it? This isn’t a conventional approach to meditation, but that’s what I love about it. Mindfulness meditation can be so versatile if we give ourselves the space to explore! Plus, did you notice how simple this practice was?! Get comfortable, two deep breaths, and check in with the tension around your eyes, jaw, and shoulders. You can do that a n y w h e r e. The only other question is: When will you practice again? 😉
A LITTLE SOMETHING JUST FOR YOU!
The holidays may be over, but I believe in sharing the gift of mindfulness all year long, so if you are craving more peace, ease, and joy in 2023, let this ebook be your guide!