Take a moment to tap in to the beautiful feeling of true relaxation. You may have felt this way when returning from an amazing holiday, when out in nature, or after a catch up with a treasured friend.
Lets explore for a few minutes, why that feeling is often so fleeting and more importantly, how we can permanently integrate a feeling of relaxation, of peacefulness, into our everyday lives.
I’ll use a restorative holiday as an example. While away we start to let go of every day cares and worries; mix up our routines and connect to the enjoyment of life- simple pleasures like great company, a good book, beautiful scenery and wonderful food.
We become much less distracted by our to-do lists, or by situations that might cause us frustration. In some ways we become our best selves.
As we release previous concerns we may even start to wonder why we let them bother us so much in the first place!
Because you are focusing on your holiday experiences (while on holiday- not now- keep that warm feeling with you!), to enjoying and ‘being’ in the present moment, any analytical parts of you automatically start to fall away and your body will respond by relaxing further.
Your breathing naturally becomes more fluid, less shallow.
Your muscles start to relax.
Your mind becomes more clear, more open.
You may even start to notice thoughts arising yet find you can more easily release attachment to those thoughts- you become ‘mindful’.
If you continue to let go you might even discover that passing judgement becomes much less necessary, as you realise that it only serves to take you away from both your current experience and growing sense of peace and joy. Now that is something to think about! :)
So how do we bring this peaceful, connected feeling back with us to our everyday lives, especially when feelings of worry, disappointment and even anger can so quickly seep back in?
The easiest way to do this is amazingly, by connecting to your breath and by employing concentrated focus in your current activity.
“When walking, walk. When eating, eat.” Zen Proverb.
Whether you are walking to your car or a meeting, driving to work or to visit a friend, waiting in line or to cross the road, writing a report or preparing your dinner- your breath is your constant companion.
How beautiful is it that we have been given the ability, the power, to bring it under our conscious control -inturn increasing our ability to be calm and present in this moment?
By taking time to concentrate on the in and out cycle of breathing, by intentionally taking your breath deep within – right down to your belly – and then releasing it fully out, you repeatedly bring your focus inward.
As your energy is literally drawn back to you, away from the never ending distractions of life, your awareness can also find its way to the here and now.
Through focusing on this simple practice consistently every day, you will actively promote a familiarity between your breath and your association to the quiet source of peace, compassion and love that has always resided within you.
(In traditional Japanese Reiki meditation practice this place is known as the hara- or tanden- where our ‘true self’ resides, and is located 3 finger widths beneath the navel).
As a wonderful side effect, the relaxation invoked by deep breathing actually promotes efficiency of many internal bodily functions (i.e. slowing heart rate, increasing digestive ability, and activating self-repair mechanisms) further encouraging optimal health and well-being.
Over to you. Do you have any questions? What is your experience with the benefits of breath work? Are there any tips you would like to share to encourage others? I would love to hear from you!
Would you like to learn how to meditate- WITH ANIMALS? They are the BEST meditation partners & teachers! For details on upcoming classes please click here, or visit the ‘LEARN’ tab on this website.