16 Dec Christmas Presence
We can all become caught up this time of year with places to be, items to buy and houses to decorate. We are all very aware that it is not about all “the stuff” and yet it can be difficult to step out from this. Learning to step out just for a few moments however can make a great difference to ourselves and those around us. Taking 20 mins may seem impossible!! How does taking 10 seconds? 60 seconds sound? When we cannot make space for 20 mins it is really important to take smaller breaks. At the end of each day it may all add up to 20 mins!!! The shortest breathing and mindfulness practice can take just 10 seconds. Practice this throughout the day each day, on the busy days, at the traffic lights, in the bathroom, before you turn the key in the door, in the midst of Christmas hustle and bustle.
Physically stop, stand or sit still. Become aware of the contact your feet make with the surface beneath.
Imagine a balloon in your tummy, take an inhale. Visualise the balloon inflate as your breath moves in.
Allow a long, slow exhale. As you allow your breath out, imagine the balloon deflate.
Continue with your day. This short practice can take as little as 10 seconds or repeat it a few times.
How will this help? Becoming physically still, you have made a conscious decision to stop. Up to this point you have most likely been on automatic pilot! Your mind doing one thing and your body doing something else without any conscious thought. You have now brought your mind to what you are doing now, the present moment. You have allowed yourself to be present. When you practice a controlled breath, a signal is sent to your nervous system to trigger a calming response. Visualising a balloon ensures that for this 10 seconds (or longer) you are focused just on the balloon. In this short time we have created a space from all our other thoughts.
Over the Christmas practice this short and simple exercise regularly, it will not change the actual situation, it can however change how you respond to it. Pause, take a moment, be present.
Thanks for reading