Meditation Mondays: Control
Control…such a meaty topic, there could be a weekly newsletter just on that.
There's definitely a broad spectrum of behaviors and reactions around it. On one extreme, we have people that are cool to let anything happen around them. On the opposite side, some must be in control of every little detail of their lives, plan everything, and when something goes off route, there's panic, sickness, and an overwhelming feeling that life is unraveling. I'd say that most are somewhere in the middle and have tendencies to lean more towards one side or the other depending on the situation (aren't we so complex?).
I'd love to think I'm super chill about whatever comes up, but I also like to know what to expect in advance, and I prefer many things be a certain way (I'm a Taurus). Thankfully I've learned (through using my tools) how to easily adapt and roll with the punches, no matter what's happening around me. I will however admit, that on various occasions, it may take me a few minutes to adjust and relax because let's face it, no matter how much we meditate or do yoga, we're human and there will always be things that throw us for a loop or happen differently than anticipated!
I'll share a recent personal story: I was travelling back from vacation in the tropics; about five days of laying on the beach, having anything I needed and wanted, and laughing hysterically with friends. It's sad enough to have to leave paradise, then add airports and weather into the mix. After a 4 hour flight and saying goodbye to friends, it seemed that everything that could go wrong, did. I'll spare the details but I will say that despite being mentally prepared for additional travel and a long day ahead, I didn't actually get home until 24 hours after I was supposed to.
I confess there was a small period of time I felt on the verge of a meltdown…something I hadn't experienced in a very long time. When it comes to flying, airports, and travel pretty much everything is out of our power so it doesn't help to be agitated, but I was overly exhausted and knew I needed to do something to shift my energy. I prayed for miracles, I cried in a bathroom stall (which I fully stand behind because, ya know, sometimes you have to), and then I set my phone alarm and did this week's meditation (my favorite one) for 1 minute. Pretty much immediately, when I walked out of the restroom, everything lifted. Did I still have 2 flights and a long drive ahead of me? Yes. Was I still exhausted? Yes. But it didn't matter. I knew I'd get home at some point and I figured I might as well think of the whole thing as a adventure, a story to tell later, and make the best of it. Whatever it is that throws you off your game, having a practice or tool like this is how we more easily level out our emotions and energy as opposed to allowing outside factors to have power over us. This doesn’t mean that life is perfect and full of joy every minute just because you meditate. But what it does mean (and to me it's the most crucial benefit of the whole thing), is that you have the ability to FEEL BETTER and come back to yourself faster, because ultimately the goal is simply to feel good!
Meditation: Breath of Fire
This is my favorite, go-to that I've used practically daily for 3 years, sometimes multiple times a day. It provides results and a change in your body immediately and I use it anytime I feel I need to reset my energy, clear my mind, feel blocked, stressed, overwhelmed, anxious, or simply wish to bring myself into the present moment. Breath of Fire purifies the bloodstream, stimulates energy flow in the body, balances the glandular system, and even 1 minute of breath of fire can benefit you in the same way of normal breathing for an hour.
Either sit on the floor in a cross legged position (easy pose) or if that's uncomfortable for you simply sit in a chair with both feet on the floor. Straighten your spine and rest your palms on your knees facing up, your first finger and thumb tips touching (gyan mudra: for expansion and knowledge), close your eyes and focus up in between your eyebrows (your third eye point).
Begin an even inhale and exhale through the nose. The breath should be powerful and quick, but even. Make sure that on the inhale your diaphragm extends, on the exhale your diaphragm contracts, but keep the diaphragm relaxed, don't tighten up.
Note: If you're pregnant or menstruating don't do breath of fire, do long deep breaths instead. Do this for 1, 3, 7, 11 minutes. Also, try this one in your car (or wherever you can) for 1 minute right before going into a meeting, event, the office, or even a date and see what happens.
With Love & Gratitude,