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A Moment of Stillness

dockWe live in such a way these days where busyness is almost looked upon as something to admire and respect. It sometimes seems like busyness equals importance. Yet, the reality is that more and more of us could benefit from slowing down, even for a few moments, in order to become more effective in whatever we are doing.

This year I am learning more about mindfulness and it’s positive effects on our lives; personally, professionally and athletically. In addition to taking a course about mindfulness, I also subscribe to a few newsletters. One of my favorites is from Leo Babauta of Zen Habits. Leo is happy for his material to be shared and I wanted to share an excerpt from a recent blog post called ‘A Moment of Stillness’ to help you find a moment in your day to be still.

I encourage you to try it out, just for a moment, and notice what effect it has on you. I’d love to hear your experiences.

So, here is goes … Take a minute out of your busy day and try to do the following:

  1. Sit still and look away from all devices and other activities. Just sit there, maybe with your eyes closes, maybe looking at nature or a wall.
  2. Take a moment to assess your condition. How do you feel? Are you tired, anxious, frustrated, calm, happy? What state is your mind in?
  3. Assess how you’ve been behaving recently (today, or just in the last hour) … have you been constantly distracted? In a state of busyness? Focused? Procrastinating? Anxious or fearful? Irritated? Feeling down?
  4. Stay with these feelings for a moment, just being curious and non-judgmental about them.
  5. Face each of the feelings you’re noticing, and notice the mental pattern that caused it. If you’re frustrated, are you stuck in a resentful story about someone else or your current situation? If you’re anxious, is there some desired outcome that you’re holding tightly to? If you’re feeling down, are you comparing your situation with some ideal that you don’t have?
  6. Bring your attention to your body. How does it feel? What sensations can you notice in your head, neck, arms, hands, torso, hips, butt, legs, feet?
  7. Can you find gratitude in this moment? Can you find love or compassion, for yourself or others?

You don’t have to do all of these things each time you sit still, but these are all things you can try doing. Pick a couple and focus on them for a minute, then next time pick a couple more. Take a few deep breaths, then give yourself permission to return to work or whatever activity you’re doing.

 

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