Seems like an oxymoron, no? But it is true we can spend quick moments in our everyday life being mindful and it will increase our overall presence, awareness, relaxation and contribute to a greater sense of groundedness and well-being.
These are very quick exercises that we would engage in for only a few breaths or so to come back to our body and our present experience. I’ll be offering up more of these in future posts, but here are a few to start. I like to do these if I’m working and want a quick fix of mindfulness or am on the go…give them a try and let me know what you think.
1) Stop light meditation – when we hit a red light as we are driving around, take a moment to feel your body how it touches and seat, your feet on the floor of the car, hands on the steering wheel. Take 2-3 conscious breaths, feeling the expansion and contraction of the diaphrahgm as we breath in and out. Keeping your eyes open all the while and you can proceed with breathing and feeling the breathing until the light changes. You an then go on your way. Perhaps keeping some awareness in your body while also keeping most of your awareness outwardly focused to safely and consciously manuever your vehicle.
This would work on bike as well, or on foot if you are a pedestrian. Be creative with this.
2) Telephone Ring meditation -This was mentioned a few posts ago, but I thought I’d list it here again. I discovered quite some time ago when I worked in a high stress corporate environment that I would hold my breath and become quite tense right before I answered the phone. I was anticipating (read as thinking) about what bad news might be coming through the receiver. It was my job to manage difficult situations, so in some ways this was natural. I found that this telephone ring meditation helped me to reduce the level of tension and stress for myself and also be more present to the situation that was arising with the phone call. I felt more balanced and was more effective with my work.
Here’s the instruction for this one: When you hear the phone ring don’t reach for it immediately. Consciously take 1-2 breaths, feeling your feet on the ground, your buttocks in the chair. If you are lost in thought bring your full awareness to the breath and the sensations in your feet and buttocks. At the end of the two breaths answer the phone. You’ll know if you’ve lost track of the present moment and are operating on auto-pilot if neglect to do the breaths before answering the phone. This is a fun one to challenge yourself to do several times a day, or even every time the phone rings. Just remember to be forgiving if you don’t remember to take the space every time before a call. You will become more and more present with the practice over time.
Hope this is helpful.