I’m currently having a week in southern France in the middle of nowhere. I’m doing random up-keeping jobs; painting, cleaning, gardening… these small tedious tasks can often switch my mind on. If there is a mindpalace, I think I accessed it while power-hosing flagstones.
But sometimes my mind turns off, I am solely in this sort of ‘sleep mode’. The hum of the power-hose transfixes me and all I think about is spraying. This way, that way, this way. Total mindlessness, but is it?
This sense of sleep mode, is not too far off meditation. With a few adjustments this mindlessness can create a rejuvenating soothing meditative experience.
Meditation is a large part of mindfulness. It helps to create an ability to move on from anything to focus on yourself. An ability to soothe your mind and body and to harness and control the energy you have constantly flowing through you.
So does this mean; when you space out while you run only feeling the rhythm of your feet hitting the earth, when you paint and your mind drifts away with the gentle stroke of a brush, when you drive in the rain with your brain only focused on the road with a feeling of bliss, when you close your eyes mid yoga pose to just sense and feel, when you stare at clouds moving by in a state of what feels like brainless hypnosis… Does this mean that is mediation?
Yes, but only when done with a sense of energy and self awareness. Next time you get there imagine a calm flow of water through your body, a steady soothing fountain that probably feels like it starts from your heart. Make it swell with deep breaths and feel it rush through you in the exhale.
Remind yourself that you have your own energy, you are powerful, fill your whole body with energy, take deep breaths and harness it.
You could have experienced this already, in that case you know what it is meant to feel like. Try again, reflect, be aware of how you got there.
Try to get there again by your own determination and ability to relax, not just a bonus from a tired mind. The goal is to get there anytime and anywhere we like at least once everyday.
Control your mind, put it in meditative sleep mode and then spend a few moments focusing on your energy, on your body, all by yourself every day.
You don’t have to sit like you’d think to meditate, if you have to do yoga or run or stand in the shower, or stroke yourself with a soft brush to get there it doesn’t matter!
What matters is the small amount of time you commit to yourself, the self-love, the feeling of being fully in control, perhaps you get goosebumps, perhaps you feel as though you’re expanding beyond your body. Put your thoughts on yourself, on your breath and your energy. Be alive.
I saw meditation as unattractive, I didn’t have time for that, I didn’t get it. I just thought you sit and breathe. I think I finally understand it and I’d love to let you all know that while it is lovely to sit in a yoga position and hold stones and look all zen, meditation is entirely what you make of it and all about what you feel inside. It’s not about what you look like or how big and deep your breathing can be.
I prefer to lie in a starfish position on the floor – so if I find myself in ‘sleep mode’ while painting, or running, or doing yoga, I will actually stop what I’m doing, calmly get on the floor and spend some time with the ocean in me. The goal is to move this to a seated position, but currently that causes too many distractions.
Start working with your mind, that’s when your mind starts working with you.
Love your mind, love your body, harness your energy.
“Your body is beautifully equipped with natural self repair mechanisms that are under the influence of thoughts, feelings and beliefs that originate in your mind.” – Lissa Rankin
“Downtime replenishes the brain’s stores of attention and motivation, encourages productivity and creativity, and is essential to achieve our highest levels of performance and simply form stable memories in everyday life.” – Ferris Jabr