I put my phone on airplane mode and set an alarm for 20 minutes from now. I sit in a comfortable position whether it be legs crossed, in a chair with back support or on the edge of a bed with my hands above my knees and my feet firmly rooted to the ground (I like this position the best). I close my eyes and start to take longer breaths. Four to seven seconds breath in, four to seven holding, four to seven out, repeat. Sometimes it may be too much to keep track of how many seconds you are doing each step and just sticking to “deep breaths” can be much more psychologically calming. Focusing on the breath, focusing on the moment, focusing on the distractions that come up and how that’s ok, bring it back to the breath, my body is breathing, my body is really the only place where I’m truly at, my body is the basis for my calm, for my presence, it is all that I am thinking of. As I shift my focus to being present in my body I try to imagine what my pinkie toe feels like. I go to it, I imagine it, I surround it with an imagined energy, I breath in and out of it sending health to it. I like to imagine a big ball of blue light that forms wherever I am at in my body. I allow this ball to go from my right pinkie toe towards my other toes and then onto my foot. I particularly often have a lot of right ankle pain so I stop there and focus the blue light there. I sometimes imagine two hands massaging where there is pain. I breath in and out of it sending my energy and breath to my ankle. I acknowledge the pain. I sit with it. Sometimes, it even melts away or if it doesn’t, I find a peace with it. It is not a limit to myself but just something that is a part of me. The pain doesn’t define me, it is only a small part. I move on from my ankle up my leg with my nurturance and awareness ball of blue light.
Distractions come up and bring me away from my body. “Oh yeah, I need to write that down, why did that person talk to me like that, why am I meditating when I can be doing so many other things, where can I find better love, did I treat so and so right, why am I so depleted, what if I had done that, what am I doing with my life, how many people care about me, how many people liked my social media, then onto judging myself for being a validation junkie, and on and on.” After a while, the thoughts go through their loops, I return to the ball up my leg. It is pleasant to be in the body as opposed to my thoughts. My thoughts seem never ending. My anxieties and impatience seem never ending. My depressions and judgments seem like talons gripping onto my sense of self. You allow them there and give them power. You can’t think your way out of them and if you simply just try to ignore them they fester and ooze out more as time passes. Return to the breath, return to the ball of blue light. My body is all that I really have. My breath is all that really describes me. The present moment and how I want to feel is a powerful place to be. You can’t control much of anything else even though we think we can think our way to a successful life, success to our problems, success to our loves, success to being all that we want to be. There is a glass ceiling to that type of mental approach. There has to be a breath and life flow and acceptance that is catered to, otherwise, we will most likely be stuck in the same neurotic thought loops, angry or depressed about our lives, or forcing things for much of our time thinking they define us, all when actually they define just a small part of who we are.
Finally, I return to my leg with the blue light and feel compassion and non-judgement for how I can be easily distracted and in my head. Eventually, with meditative practice, it gets easier to not always be battling distraction. Your brain does learn. Advertising does work whether it be positive or negative. You CAN retrain it to cater to a different paradigm of thinking and feeling. We are powerful beings in that regard. The blue light continues up my leg, into my hips and over and down to my other leg. I reach my pinky toe then venture back up to my hips again. I usually always stop at my lower back and give it many breaths of healing energy. I focus on the pain, I allow the pain, I recognize it and say hi to it, we live together as the point is to not always be pain free but to be more balanced in our acceptance of our lives, our pains, our loves. It can sometimes be easy to get lost in my breath on certain parts of my body. It creates such psychological calm to just be breathing, to have to worry about nothing else for a minute, to give yourself a reset of even a few minutes of what you put on yourself each day. I venture up my back with my blue light. I swirl around my torso to my abs and chest and allow the spotlight to continue on my body. I reach my arms, going down them and then back up and over to the other one. I always stop at my neck and upper back and give that extra breath too. Being a massage therapist, EVERYONE, holds massive stress in their neck. It is a good place to always give extra healing to.
I head up to my head and face. I notice that my brain is a very stimulating place to be as my thoughts are yearning to come out and be acknowledged and noticed as truth and given their due ego attention, their supposed solutions, the rationality that we define as “correct” in our society. “I think, therefore, I am” has amazing intellectual roots in enlightenment thinking but it can easily turn into “I think, therefore, I am entitled” or “I think, therefore, it is true.” We have to come up with something new for how we approach the world as even an age such as the enlightenment has its limits and gets skewed. I go beyond my brain in this moment, up above it actually and focus on my crown chakra. That which I am attached to, but which is outside of my body. It is above the mind, above the ego, and rather, involved in a collective consciousness with the world. That consciousness has attachments to everything else. It is a rather pleasant place to be at times as it truly makes you believe that everything happening in your mind doesn’t have to be catered to, that there is this whole other outrageously expansive universe that is swirling around us. We have the internal universe of our bodies, the thought universe of our minds, and the external universe of connection to others (and probably loads more!). I venture back down from my crown chakra and allow a witnessing to take place with my mind.
In this moment in relation with my mind, I don’t try to fix anything. I don’t try to figure anything out. I don’t try to find solutions. I don’t pay attention to what is right or wrong. I don’t pay attention to what I want or how I’ve been wronged or what I need. There is enough of that naturally happening in my life and I want to try to move away from this overall. Instead, I want to just observe what comes up. I imagine myself on a beach and watching waves come in. The waves are my thoughts and what they are bringing in. Rather than trying to go out into the water and ride them or play or fight with them, I just want to notice them. They come in, sometimes with force and demanding to be paid attention to and then they crash and go back out to sea. Others come in softly and make it up higher on the shore. Each displaying their power to inflict, I sit and watch and when I feel urges to really interact with them, or to feel something about them, I usually resort to having compassion for myself and others. “I have compassion for Michelle for saying that to me, it isn’t about me. I have compassion for wanting to be noticed and my social media, there is something deeper there about needing validation and not fully having self-love. I love myself despite the short comings I define myself as and the expectations I put on myself.” I move away from judgement and expectations about my life and allow them to flow through me and pass. I am perfect in this existence. I am perfect in this breath. I am perfect and in love with what I’ve done. I don’t need more expectations and pressures and judgements or to compare myself to others. I notice that I have depression with expectations and trouble with self-love and confidence regarding not doing enough, not loving enough, not “accomplishing the important things” in life. I notice these things. I notice the waves. They are all little parts of me that do not solely define me. Not even coming close to defining me, but in my normal life I cater to them and can easily let them take over and define me as it is hard to not give into the obsession of thought and WHY everything is occurring. Would a surfer be defined by one wave that comes in? Would they allow that one wave to define everything about their ability to surf? The psychological calm that comes from sticking to my breath and not taking anything personally which comes to me in this mediation allows more room for self-acceptance, confidence, and moving on from past traumas. Most importantly, it allows for a new creative flow to emerge. This creativity allows for new solutions for my life to arise. It allows for positivity to fill spaces more than negative neuroticism. It allows me to confront my shadows and have more control in what I want to focus on and what I want to just allow to come in and let crash on the beach. I don’t automatically have to absorb everything. I am not there to sacrifice myself at all times, especially in the presence of others who have no idea how they are energy vampires. I have power and control over much in my life. I can choose who to give love and energy and gusto to and I can decide who I want and how I want it to come to me in my life. If I truly come from a place of self-love than that will be confidence in itself and I can shower that forth and live in healthy balance and focus on communicating effectively with the give and take of it all. We have more control than we think.
These are just a few examples of things that come up. I try to not have anything mean anything. I don’t want to replace my anxious depressive thoughts in my normal waking moments with anxious positive thoughts about expectations even if they are good willed and positive. For myself, I am really trying to create balance and observation and move away from thinking and having things be defined in my head, which can easily lead to energy depletion. I want things to be defined more by flow and feel and come from a place of self-love and not ego driven. I don’t want to be depleted anymore and feel like I’m not doing enough. I want to feel that I’m doing what I can and that is perfect. I don’t want to compare myself to anybody else’s life. I want to be more in the present with my breath and having confidence with what I’m trying to do vs being in the past with depressions or in the future with anxieties. That pathway doesn’t lead anywhere except to more of the same. This is all hard because it is a counter cultural movement to think and believe this way but one day the counter culture will perhaps be the dominant culture if we all do our part in this, and people will be allowed more to be in their acceptance based bodies than constantly stressed out in their minds.
There are moments during meditation where I might want to think about things but my breath leads me otherwise. It’s a simple incentive that it just feels better to be more in my breath and the more I’ve meditated the more I’ve actually been in that still state vs the thinking and observing state. Then there are moments when a sort of zap occurs with my mind and just for a second, I go to this other place that feels sort of like a vibration that I’ve tapped into that is outrageously calming and motivating in itself. I call this the nirvana state because it feels like this is what is being chased after by all the monks that dedicate their whole lives and being to meditation. To be often in that state of vibrational relaxation would seem wonderful. I’ve only tapped into it but a few times and still I’m not really keen on even knowing what it is. It almost feels like an awareness-based sleep.
My alarm goes off and I slowly open my eyes. Sometimes I continue for a little while longer, but mostly I bring my hands together in front of my heart and repeat a few times that I love myself, that I have compassion and love for others and their plights and pain and expressions and that it’s not about me, and that I choose to feel the joy, the love, the connection in life that makes me love myself, love others, be around others who do the same, and move away more from ego expressions, and just be more content and confident with being and believing in the positive energy I am allowed to give to the world. What a gift it all is despite whatever we have experienced in the past. We do have the capacity to positively change and not be defined by our own negative thoughts or the negative thoughts and actions of others. Learning to balance out all these things and being more in the breath and present is truly a powerful approach. I am recently new to meditation and it took me years to really take it on and implement it but now I can’t imagine my life without it.