Making plans for summer vacation, e-mailing a friend, and editing a Word document: these are a few of the countless ways that we dwell in the realm of our thoughts.
The truth is, most of us, most of the time, live from the neck up. Sure this has its benefits. We can figure things out and get things done--regardless of how we're feeling. But it also has its risks. We can become disconnected from our emotions and our surroundings.
Because the to-do's of our lives emphasize thinking over feeling, it's up to you to shift the scales back to balance. A truly healthy individual lives just as much from her mind as she does her heart.
Here's one simple way that you can remember to feel life, rather than just think about it:
1. Take off your shoes (and socks if you have them on). Stand with your feet hip width apart, their outer edges parallel. It's best if you can do this outside on the grass, but it will also work indoors.
2. Find a long spine, with your chin parallel to the ground.
3. Slightly bend your knees and let your fingertips be heavy, dangling next to your thighs.
4. Relax your gaze and look out at a point straight ahead--preferably out a window or at a tree or patch of sky.
5. Feel the texture of the surface underneath your feet. Can your soles even sense the color(s) upon which you are standing?
6. Now, as you inhale, imagine breathing up the vibrant energy of the Earth through the feet from the ground.
7. As your exhale, sink more deeply into the ground, letting go of any tension in your body or mind.
8. Continue this for at least 10 slow breaths, with each inhalation and exhalation lasting for about five counts.
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