We are all looking for a bit more stillness in our lives, or so we have been told we should be. But what does that mean? For most of us, we are going through our days so quickly, that “stillness” may mean falling asleep the moment we hit the sofa at night, or the smooth pull of a glass of wine at the end of a long day of work — with dinner, laundry, and kids still on the docket.

For me, stillness is another word for a deep calm that emanates from within my body. Even if a stressful situation is unfolding around me at home, at work, or even on the news. Stillness is also a word that I like to use instead of meditation sometimes because the concept of “meditating” can feel overwhelming and complicated to those who have not done it.

Here are tips on tapping into a calm and “centered” feeling when you are stressed or overwhelmed:

  • Ask yourself, “Am I breathing?” and then focus on your breath…. simply going in and out. In and out. Do not alter it, just watch it. Feel it. This will naturally bring you to the present moment, and doing this for even just a minute or two can lower your heart rate, loosen the grip of a headache, and melt away stressors.
  • Listen to music that you find soothing and uplifting. This is different for each of us, so give yourself creative license. Each morning, begin your day by sitting quietly in a chair —or even before you get out of bed just propped up on pillows—and simply listen and allow the music to flow into you.
  • To take our minds off of worries and stress, repetitive words (such as prayers or mantras) can be very effective. But to be clear, meditation is not a religious thing, but all religions have a tradition that includes some ritual or technique to achieve the same results as meditation. Here is an easy, powerful one: “I AM (blank).” You fill in the blank with a word that is positive like: I AM … love, gratitude, health, sunshine, abundance, carefree, joy…. Sitting quietly with back straight, eyes closed, hands falling loosely on your lap, simply repeat this I AM statement for about 5 minutes or so. You can listen to music if that supports you. When your mind wanders, bring it back gently (and without recrimination) to your special phrase. And, your mind WILL wander. It is the nature of the untrained “monkey mind” we all have. Try this for a week, and see what happens!

For a 15-minutes music meditation layered with birdsong, soothing background, crystal bowls and gentle melodious singing, go to Enjoy!

air date: 1/20/17

Listen to “Stillness and Meditation (Part 1) – Christine Powers 1/20/17” on Spreaker.

Listen to “Stillness and Meditation (Part 2) – Christine Powers 1/20/17” on Spreaker.

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