A particularly tenacious aspect of grief is the rip tide, the undercurrent that pulls us back again and again and again... memories, upwellings, reminders, regret... they all keep us rooted in and connected strongly and immediately to the past event, while keeping the feelings fresh and present. It can be hard to stay present in this moment, this one.
After yesterday's toughie, I thought we could all use a little break.So today, I offer a gentle exercise in mindfully being here now.
This takes just a few minutes-- seriously, like a minute (my-noot) re-boot.
Find your mind racing/retracing?
Gently say, "stop". You can whisper it. You don't need to yell. I bet it is tired anyway.
Let it know you'll get back to it in a moment, but in This moment, you are going to take a well-deserved break.
I find that if I say stop and tap my thigh, I can stop saying stop, and that the tap will continue to work to remind me to come back to the present moment. I can often get myself out of grief loops this way.
Sit comfortably. Close your eyes if you want, or softly focus your eyes on something neutral to pleasant....
While you Breathe in (slowly but not with effort): say to yourself, "I am here"
As you breathe out: "In this moment"
Would you like audio assistance? Here's a short (under 3 minutes) guided exercise:
If ideas and thoughts come in, gently say stop, or tap your thigh, and let yourself return to the repetition of I am here, in this moment.
I invite you to try doing this for just a few minutes.
See if anything shifts for you, if anything comes up, if anything releases just a little bit.
Ok, so I did not use the word meditation until now, since meditation can seem kind of intimidating, but really, meditation is just this: mindfully coming back to this moment, again and again and again.
Want a more kinetic (but not frenetic) version? Try walking meditation--walk very slowly, letting each foot fully contact the ground before moving the back foot forward.... and simply pay close attention to each foot as it is coming into contact with the ground. Focus on arriving, not leaving. Thich Nhat Hanh, the well known Buddist monk and peace advocate, says when he does walking meditation, with each step, he repeats, I am arriving, I am arriving, I am arriving, or, perhaps more powerfully for some of us, I am home, I am home, I am home. (A thank you to Oprah's interview with him on Super Soul Sunday several months back for this insight).
Want the assistance of some sweet visuals?
Just want to have a 2 minute break (with or without guided meditation) anytime?
Go to www.calm.com
Remember, you can take mini breaks throughout your whole life if you remember to do this-- just quietly fall into it, and for a few breaths while you wait in that checkout line or for the water to boil or that file to load.... just bring yourself back to this moment, this moment, this moment, this moment.