Ever wish you could have a compass that points you towards your true north? Me, too. We all do at times. Learning to trust that you're in the right place, even if it is confusing and uncomfortable, is a process.
You see, we are always where we need to be. The present moment is our true north. There's no other place, time, or 'other side' of a struggle that we need to get to in order to start living our lives. You might be reading this thinking, "No way am I supposed to be in this much pain!". And, it's probably true but the fact is that we all suffer at some point in life, which is not to diminish our experience of suffering by any means. It's just a fact of life. Now the question becomes, how do we begin to accept our circumstances? This is more useful than asking why, (Why is this happening to me?).
Let us return to the present moment. This term is used so much today and I don't think that we're given enough instruction on what it means and how to really 'be' in it, especially when we are going through tough times. One of the quickest and most direct methods of returning to the here and now is to come into your body, your field of sensational experience. Here is a little exercise that I practice to help get me out of my head and into the moment:
1. Sit or lie down in a comfortable position.
2. Take three deep breaths, inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth.
3. Return to your natural breathing rhythm. Scan your body, starting with the crown of your head, down to your toes. Notice any sensation you physically feel along the way. See if you can feel it without wanting to fix or change it. Simply notice and continue on your way.
4. Now pay attention to your heartbeat. Is it fast or slow? Does bringing your awareness to your pulse change it in any way? Again, we're not going for anything here. Just beginning to experience our bodies without any agenda.
5. Return to one area of sensation, whether that's discomfort or pleasure. Open up to it by softening the muscles and skin around it. Notice your reaction to this. Do you clench up? Do you open up more to it? If you resist it, can you open up to your resistance? If you are able to go further, notice what happens to that sensation. Does it intensify or weaken? Does it move somewhere else in the body or dissipate?
6. Continue this for a few more breaths, minutes, or whatever length of time you need to explore.
7. When you feel you are done, release any focus you have and take a few moments to simply sit in your practice.
8. Reflect on how you feel physically, mentally, emotionally, and energetically. Even though your circumstances have not changed, how has your perception changed?
Please let me know how this worked for you by leaving a comment or emailing me at email@example.com
*Short video of a guided mediation below :)