A tumultuous two years and yet things seem to be up in the air, with the stubborn virus that has got unleashed on the world, mutating and spreading its tentacles yet again.
Almost all of us feel overwhelmed and confused. But does it mean we should give up? Caution is reasonable limits makes sense to be sure. However, we cannot stop the flow of life altogether. We need to keep living life and enjoying the little joys in moderation.
What we focus on- that grows. So what do we focus on to discover our inner peace?
A few pointers here are in order-
1) Return to the breath – the one strategy that never fails in any situation, to center and ground an ‘up in the air’ and shaky inner space. Pranayama is more and more a necessary practice. If not the techniques, then a simple self-training in becoming aware of one’s inhale and exhale from within the stomach and chest as the torso expands and relaxes is an elixir one can always fall back on.
2) A customary routine – Even for someone as allergic to the seemingly constricting nature of routines; some sort of loose structure in the day proves healthful to the body and mind. It can be anything small like drinking water first thing in the morning, regular prayers for 5 min, etc.
3) Gratitude practice – A notepad on the bedside and a nightly ritual of writing down the nice things that have happened during the day, however, minuscule brings a silver lining to each day at its close. This takes one gently into a pleasant sleep.
4) Morning contemplation – As we rise, instead of setting our eyes on screens straight away, it can be wonderful for us to simply let ourselves drift – thinking of what is coming up in the day. Writing down whatever arises in the mind randomly has its good effects too. The subconscious is still quite powerful when we awaken and creativity is at its peak. We could use this to our benefit.
5) Body scan or mindfulness – During the day one can make it a practice to run the awareness all around the body from the inside first and then on the skin: stomach, chest, throat, pelvic region, face, head, arms, legs. This creates in us an awareness of pleasantness and discomfort that has risen and helps healing and joyfulness.
And lastly, stop following the news, if we keep following the media and its sensationalist reports all we will do is scare ourselves silly.
These are a few simple tips to enhance the quality of your thoughts and emotions, you can follow all 5 or just choose any 2-3 tips to slowly get into the discipline of mindfulness.
All the best to all of us as we begin a fresh new year and may each day be fulfilled by us being present in the moments as we live them.