Summer parties are a lot of fun, but the food shopping can be a drag! Here are a few ways to add meditation moments to your shopping chores and infuse your party with peace and fun! As you sit at home ready to write out your list, take a moment to check in. Ask yourself three questions: Are my thoughts in the present moment? Are my thoughts positive? Is my body posture aligned or twisted? This check in moment is your first meditation! Checking into your mental and physical state throughout the day develops mindfulness. With this mindfulness meditation, you are more likely to spend time in the present, focus on the positive, and treat your body better.
Now that you are in the present moment and supporting your physical needs, begin to make out your list. As your mind starts to worry about how Aunt Julie is going to get a long with Cousin Mary, gently bring your thoughts back on making out your list. By keeping your thoughts focused on your current activity, you are doing an Activity Meditation. It is important not to judge your mind for wandering, it happens to everyone. Simply acknowledge the wandering thought and gently return to your activity. You will find you are done with your list in no time and less likely to forget something!
With list in hand and on the way from the car to the store, try a walking meditation. All you need to do is focus on the sensation of your feet as they touch and lift off the ground. If you start to think of the long lines or your mind is already picking out peppers, gently return your focus to the sensation of your feet touch and lift off the ground. Of course, you are also watching where you are going. You have two minds. One can be focused on the sensation while the other is watching where you are going, just like one mind can be driving the car while the other is annoyed at the driver that just cut you off! You will be calm and peaceful instead of dreading your shopping chore!
As you get your cart and are ready to actually shop, use this time to do your blessing meditation. As you walk by people in the isle, feel love in your heart and send out that love to people as you pass them. You don't need to say, "Bless you my child!" This is done silently and without making contact with the person. I do recommend you intend that if they don't want a blessing, the love you sent go wherever it is needed. This meditation is a gift that both the "blesser" and the "blessee" benefit from as you experience the love as well as the person on the receiving end!
As you get into line, practice the observation meditation. Watch the body language of the people in the different lines. Pick a line where people seem more relaxed, even if it is longer. Surrounding yourself with anxious people is not worth the few minutes you will save by running to the shorter line. As you wait in line you can add a breath meditation by simply paying attention to the sensation of the air coming in and leaving your body. Notice how the air feels as it comes in and leaves your nose or mouth as well as the sensation of your chest rising and falling. You will find yourself more patient as you wait and you might actually find someone nice in line to talk to!
The most important meditation you can do next is to enjoy the party. When thoughts come up about how much work is waiting for you at the office or how long clean up is going to take, let them go. Worrying isn't going to make the work any less, yet it will lessen your enjoyment. Do a quick check in, come back to the present moment, and enjoy your summer party! A party that is fashioned out of the peaceful, calm, and loving energies created by your meditation moments will not only run smoother, the peaceful energy will surround your entire event and be an extra special gift for all of your guests to take home with them.
Cindy Griffith-Bennett, author of Soul Soothers: Mini Meditations for Busy Lives, Soul Soothers Meditation CD, Soul Expansion Meditation CD, and co-author of Voyage of Purpose: Spiritual Wisdom from Near Death Back to Life lives in the beautiful Finger Lakes Community of Skaneateles, NY with her husband, David Bennett. Cindy and David's book tour through the North Eastern United States starts in September. For more information about her books and future book tours, visit SpiritualSimplicityBooks.com or on Facebook at Cindy Griffith's Giving Back Page.
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