What was the last thing that you ate? Did you rush through eating it or did you savour it?
In meditation, the focus is bringing your awareness to the here and now. We can bring this focus to our eating too!
Most people have probably experienced eating something and then hours later not even been able to recall what they ate. It comes down to our busy lives and technology at hand when we are eating. We are either working, watching television, reading our devices…and as a result, we are mindlessly eating.
A lack of awareness when eating can lead to some health issues, such as obesity, high blood pressure and more.
So, what exactly is mindful eating and how do we do it?
Mindful eating is simply eating and focusing on the present moment and savouring each mouthful. But it actually goes even deeper than that! Have you thought of the process that this food has gone through to be in the form that it is as you eat it?
The process can start by thinking about:
To help you in the actual mindful eating process, I have highlighted 10 points to get you started:
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Have you ever tried journalling?
Writing is a wonderful meditative practice – either on its own, in addition or combined with other forms of meditation.
At times, when you feel that finding that inner quiet is challenging, writing your thoughts can be very helpful to express feelings and to quiet your mind. You may find that in some instances, it is the only way in which you can let go. There is something to be said about a few minutes of open and un-censored expression on paper!
If you are wanting to experiment with this form of meditation, a good way to get the flow is to simply write the first thing that comes to mind. Try not to judge what you write and keep an open mind. If you incorporate a little slow breathing, the experience can open up to many words just flowing from your pen.
Keeping a meditation journal is comforting, as you will always have a place to go to, to spend time journalling your thoughts. Remember to ignore any negative thoughts about whether your writing is good enough or interesting.
To help you get started, I’ve listed a few writing prompts. I urge you to give this a try 😊
10 Writing prompts to help you with journalling:
A few tips…
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Once you have committed to making meditation a part of your life (congratulations!) you may just need to fine tune a few things before you start. For instance, the question of ‘How should I meditate?’ or ‘How long should I meditate for?’ may be some of the questions.
Let us take a look at these to start with.
The ‘How should I meditate’ question is a personal choice and it might be a case of trying out before you decide. For instance, if you are a visual or creative person, you might find that looking at a picture such as beautiful scenery or a peaceful image may be what you need to start off.
Closing your eyes and picturing a calm lake with a sun setting may evoke a sense of calmness, and as you close your eyes, you picture this image. As you proceed with your breathing, you may like to visualise actually being in this serene place and with each breath, allow yourself to immerse a little further. Feel the air, the sun, the coolness, the sounds that surround you.
However, perhaps closing your eyes is a challenge, and so you prefer to gaze at a candle flame. The peaceful colours and stillness of the flame may bring you into a sense of inner calmness, just like the flame.
With regards to the question, ‘How long should I meditate for’ some people prefer to set a time limit. This way, they are committed to using up all the time just for meditation. It may just be what you need to commit to a daily practice, when your own daily schedule is full.
If a timer is not your preference, then the answer to this question is simple – there is no right or wrong time to how long you should meditate for. To be beneficial however, the following can assist with incorporating a technique to suit you, in your own timeframe. Your technique can be loosely based on these elements.
The key elements of meditation:
Being present – be aware of how your body is now.
Grounding – feel yourself connected to earth, connected to your breath.
Technique – visualising, sound, mantra, gazing etc
End Grounding – bringing yourself back into the space, being present and alert.
There are many ways to meditate and you may just surprise yourself with what suits you. Give a different method a try, you will soon know which is right for you.
Here are a few:
Mantra – this is when you repeat a positive word or affirmation throughout your meditation or in intervals.
Breathing – this can be purely breathing slowly in and out until you begin to feel calm. Or bringing your awareness to your breath at intervals.
Journalling – this a fantastic way to let your thoughts run wild as you write them on a piece of paper. This can be particularly good to release recurrent thoughts or to just feel freedom to express yourself.
Just committing to meditation is a wonderful and positive step – so embrace every minute and let it unfold in whichever technique or time frame is right for you.
I have tried to keep this article brief for the purpose of ‘just getting to the point of it’ – so look out for future in-depth blogs and posts as I delve into these and other aspects of meditation!
#meditation #howtomeditate #mantra #breathing #visualisation #guidedmeditation #soundmeditation #therapy #stillness #peaceful #calm #corporatemeditation #thoughtful #kind #selfcare
It happens to most people – we start our meditation practice and just as we have come through the breathing process, started to relax each area of the body and go into that super feeling of total letting go… the grocery list comes to mind, or that we forgot to pay the electricity bill, or that little Timmy needs to be picked up early from school to take him to his orthodontic appointment.
The list goes on…and on and on.
Does this sound familiar?
Don’t feel bad to answer yes, because most people experience this. In fact, not only in our space of meditation can this creep in, but in our everyday lives when we are going about our daily business.
It is said that Buddha described the human mind as being filled with drunken monkeys, jumping around, screeching, chattering, carrying on endlessly. He said that everyone has these monkeys who are clamouring for attention, but the key to tame the monkeys is with the same mind that is pushing us to do just the opposite of what we want it to do.
He taught his students that over time, the monkeys will be tamed. The concept of a ‘monkey mind’ has been in existence for centuries.
So, the question is - how do we stop it?
The answer is – to know that those monkeys can and will be trained - so we need to train ourselves FIRST to deal with the thoughts in a way that will benefit us, and then the ‘monkeys’ will then be trained. By altering how we react it gives us power to win the battle of the monkey mind!
Here are THREE ideas to try out…
Whatever is your preference, stick to it. Your mind will eventually get the idea it can’t rule you all the time. Then in time, it will become second nature to you, to step into your preferred method.
Taming your monkey mind will do all of the following for you:
The ideas detailed above will not only help you in your meditation practice, but in your every day life when one thought leads to another. By finding your preference in how you react, you can empower yourself to be ready at any time!
What is your preferred method for an active monkey mind?
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In the midst of a global pandemic, you may be feeling extra anxiety, stress or in general a feeling of dis-connection. With work-life suddenly thrust upon your home life, things can get a little topsy turvy with regards to balance. Add to that, everyone working from home in a shared space, and suddenly you have quite a different routine panning out.
So, what do we do about it? How do we keep ourselves calm and centred and still face the day in the best possible way?
With any work/life balance, the key is to set aside time and space to complete each task. This approach is needed more than ever now, so let’s take a look at how incorporating meditation/mindfulness into your working from home day can look like.
Keep your morning routine as if you were going to work. That may include a shower, getting dressed, breakfast. You may indulge in a morning coffee or tea, or a health shake. However your ‘usual’ morning routine looks when you are actually going to work is what we are going to build on.
Make use of your usual morning rituals and incorporate a little mindfulness into them.
The more you incorporate mindfulness into your day, the more productive you can be and this leads to greater feelings of joy, happiness and good health. The benefits are numerous - all from small and simple approaches.
To add to this, add a few minutes of meditation which can be done at any time of the day. The key is to build the time into your daily timetable. I would recommend scheduling a regular time so that you remain in a routine.
You may have started working from 8:00 a.m. and at 10:30 a.m. you feel the need for a break. This is the perfect time to incorporate some slow breathing. It doesn’t have to take long. The key is to just make it a priority in your break time.
Stretch your legs, go for a walk around the house, or better still, go outside, in the garden or on to the balcony. Stretch your body. If the prospect of meditation is daunting, and you feel that you’ll need a half hour to complete this – I can guarantee that even 1 minute of focussed breathing will have a positive effect.
If you can, close your eyes and focus entirely on your breathing. If your mind wanders, just re-focus on your breathing. Keep doing this – eventually the thoughts will just come and go the more you work on this. You can set a timer so that you feel like you can let go and know when to stop.
Breathe in through your nose slowly to the count of five, and breathe out through your mouth to the count of seven. Do this a few times, as much as you feel comfortable. Take notice of how relaxed you feel.
These are just simple ways in which you can create a foundation for yourself to come back to at any time. It really is a wonderful tool that you can utilise anywhere and for any length of time – well beyond working from home.
If you like to schedule a guided meditation into your day, I can guide you through a meditation online. We can schedule a time, and this can be incorporated in your schedule. For more information, contact me through my website or any of my social media channels.
If you would like to have a chat with me to work out how I can help you achieve an achievable work/life balance with regards to your meditation practice, call me on 0413 311 870 or drop me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively, I can be reached through Facebook and Instagram @meditationplus1111
#stayathome #workfromhome #corporatewellness #meditation #mindfulness #relaxation #calmness #worklifebalance #stayathomemum #lookafteryourself #selfcare #loveyourlife
I thought I would touch on this subject being the beginning of a new year. The tendency for many people is to map out their goals, dreams and wishes and these are usually, but not limited to areas like: Exercising more; Eating healthier options; Giving up cigarettes/alcohol/sugar etc
However, have you considered your mindful goals?
Mindful goals are extremely important, because they support you in your daily life. They can be the foundation for all those other goals as listed above. In fact, mindful goals can set you free of being on that never-ending cycle of making a goal, starting off with a bang and heaps of enthusiasm, and then slowly lagging in momentum, only to find that you have fallen by the wayside, and thoroughly disheartened and let down.
So, let’s talk about mindful goals.
Create at least 5 minutes of your day to being absolutely present. By this, I mean to carve out 5 minutes with your focus being entirely on you! Keep your mobile phone away, television and radio off and minimalise any distractions that will keep you away from focusing on yourself. It’s only 5 minutes!!
Other ways to incorporate Mindful Goals into your life could be:
What Mindful Goals are you going to incorporate into your life?
If you would like to attend my meditation classes or prefer to have a personalised meditation, please contact me.
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Your life as you know it comes from a place of love, and as the valley and great vastness of the landscape opens before you, you will see that there are beautiful patches of green lush areas. There are also areas of rich red soil. You see a vastness before you that is breathtaking – yet expansive and at times treacherous for those who seek the dangerous route, yet such beauty prevails, for those who seek to act accordingly to the breathtaking landscape.
This landscape is the metaphor at which your life is placed upon. See it as a vast array of sunshine, rain, drought – and let the beauty, however it appears, whether it is lush green, rich red or dusty brown to unfold.
Nature holds the key!
You see, nature doesn’t hold any expectations. Yes, it needs nourishment from rain and sun, but it still manages to thrive in times of hardship. It always does. If sheep once grazed in a green field, and the rain dried up, leaving little for the sheep, it is evolution that the sheep will find another field to graze and live in.
Therefore, wherever you see a ‘drought’ in your life, have faith because in the greater plan, there is a reason for this. And that reason could well be that there is a better solution.
You can apply this to your life now. Where there was once such love and happiness, and seemingly now there is only a shell of memories – seek solace to find where this love and happiness will turn up. You shall find it! It is just a matter of evolution, time, belief and love ~ Gillian ~
© Meditation Plus 2019
From the time I started meditation, which was 10 years ago, I've experienced such a positive tool that has been a wonderful support.