I suck at sitting still to meditate. During savasana in yoga class, the instructor often taps the space between my eyebrows, indicating that I am furrowing my brow. Apparently I don’t know how to let go and do nothing.
Maybe my dog can teach me a thing or two.
What I’ve learned is that meditation doesn’t have to be sitting still with your eyes closed. Meditation is simply getting out of your head and being in the present moment (thank you Eckhart Tolle!). I’ve found that these 3 methods make getting out of my head much easier:
1. When you are doing something, put your full attention on it. Washing the dishes, walking the dog, eating a meal… Whatever it is, focus on that one thing and apply all your senses to it – sight, smell, sound, taste, touch. It’s amazing when you get into your body and out of your mind. It makes doing anything enjoyable.
This morning I brushed my hair. I mean I REALLY brushed my hair. Looking in the mirror, I brushed it for 3 minutes. It felt so good on my scalp that at some points I closed my eyes. I didn’t want to stop. Normally I go through the motions (quickly) and my mind is already on what I want to do next. When you are doing something, give it your FULL attention. :)
2. Take a (really) deep breath. My hippie friend Jay (he’s the happy guy in the photo below) used to tell me to stop and take a breath whenever he saw I was frustrated. He would grab me and say “Stop and just trust me ! Take a deep breath!” I would pull away and say “No!” and continue being grumpy. He never fought and accepted where I was. Jay Pullano – you’ve been right all these years. One deep conscious breath works wonders. Thank you. Having hippie friends has it’s benefits!
Sometimes when I’m having an emotional breakdown, I find it is harder to focus. The thoughts keep coming and I feel stuck in this story that this and that happened, and I feel like shit. The only thing I feel compelled to do is tell it to my friends, over and over.
3. What I have found that works really well is to STOP talking about it because that only keeps me in the same place. If I want to vent, once is enough. After that I want to make the conscious decision to move forward.
If you are in a place like this, sit down with a friend and ask, “Can we talk about you? What’s going on with you?” People always have stuff going on, and if it’s a problem, even better. When you listen to someone else’s problems, it’s easier to recognize that everyone has silly stories, and ultimately it’s all kind of funny. (Have you ever laughed when you saw someone was pissed off over something you thought was trivial?). It also makes you realize how selfish you are being when you are upset about something, because all you are thinking about is how everything is affecting YOU. It’s a big world and there is a lot going on besides whatever is going on in your head. ;)
What are some of your techniques for getting out of your head? I would love to hear!