While I had high ambitions of making a lively video posting to rejuvenate all of you after the holiday festivities, I am obviously in need of some rejuvenation myself, as I am spending New Year's Day in bed with a cold. While snuggled under the covers in my pajamas, I am reminded of my favorite way to start the day. I usually only practice this in the morning, but today I have ample opportunity!
As this is the season for colds, flus, and all the repercussions of simply doing too much, here is a little gem that may help. While, yes, it is something more to "do", it is with the intent of reconnecting you to a state of clear, restful "being." One that doesn't need to accomplish, prove, perfect, change, let go of, or strive for anything. Connecting to that part of yourself, even if only for a few minutes a day, will create a lasting imprint--a memory that you can return to as you move through the vicissitudes of daily life. Tasting the peace inside of yourself is one of the best gifts that you can give to people and places around you. It's not found in some far away place, but right inside of you.
1. Try to catch the moment right when you wake up in the morning--that sort of pre-consciousness haze where thoughts and agendas for the day are still resting somewhere deep in the slumbering mind.
2. Instead of hurrying out of bed or starting to hash out your mental things-to-do list, practice resting in this pre-waking state.
3. Feel your body. Start with your feet, one at a time, and move up. You can even take one breath in and out, feeling each part of your body.
4. After you make it up to your head, feel your whole body breathing. Notice every part responding to the breath--each breath in a new or different way. You can even visualize all of the cells in your body breathing in and out. At first this may be a visualization; with attention and time you may actually feel it.
5. Listen to the silence around you (even if there are sounds), and the silence between each breath.
6. If you have a positive affirmation for the day (I like to repeat to myself a line from an e.e. cummings poem: "I thank you God, most, for this amazing day"), you can say that now to yourself, or else slowly get up and begin your day.
7. Try this on for 30-40 days straight and it will then easily become second nature. The whole process only takes about 1-3 minutes a day.
Happy New Year; and may you have many moments of tasting the stillness that breathes us all, always.
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