While I am away from my blog, I am honored to showcase a group of talented writers who have stepped forward with their unique voices in support. Every guest writer who is featured here is one that I strongly suggest you follow. Today, I am please to share with you this guest post from Amy from Peace 4 Parents and Innate Wholeness. I would greatly appreciate it if you would stop by her blogs and leave some comment love.
Interruptions to the delicate balance of life occur on a regular basis. Positive stress, negative stress, excitement, grief – stress is just part of the human experience. Parents, teachers, and caregivers experience stress unique to their situations.
Do we have to experience stress or can we observe it, learn with it, and live from the thread of peace inside of ourselves that connects all of life together? Meditation can help us answer these questions and you can start right now, while you read (really).
Meditation means awareness: to be aware of what you are doing, what you are thinking, what you are feeling, aware without any choice, to observe, to learn… Out of this awareness comes attention, the capacity to be completely attentive. Then there is freedom to see things as they actually are, without distortion. The mind becomes unconfused, clear, sensitive. -Krishnamurti
Start by noticing your breath and how it feels for it to come in and out of your body. Now, focus all of your attention on the sensation of breathing. You don’t have to do anything fancy with your breath, just notice. Stop reading for a few moments as you do this and continue to tune into yourself as you read.
As you feel your breath, notice how it expands beyond your lungs into your abdomen and touches all of the cells in your body. If at any point you get distracted by thoughts, sounds, or sensations just bring your attention back to your breath. This isn’t a competition between distractions and breathing, they occur simultaneously. It is about choosing to notice and feel the breath and body along with whatever else is going on in and outside of you.
Notice your body, too. How does it feel? Allow your breath to penetrate any tension or other sensations. Notice how you feel as you continue to focus on your inner and outer experience. See judgments for what they are – labels for experience.
The breath is an anchor. When we focus on our breath we are anchored to life, the earth, ourselves, each other – the breath is one aspect of life we all share. And yet, it is intimately personal, both bringing life into and cleansing us in each moment.
We can go deeper into ourselves through noticing and feeling the life energy inside of our bodies. As you breathe and notice how your body feels, go deeper and feel the energy inside of your finger tips. You may notice tingling or warmth, or some other sensation. There is an aliveness present within each one of us. Continue feeling this energy, this life in your hands, wrists, forearms, elbows, biceps, and shoulders. Gradually move to each part of your body from the fingertips, to the neck, head, and down to your toes. Go slowly. Allow your breath to take you deeper.
If your mind is questioning just how this can be beneficial, notice how you feel as you do it and bring your attention back to your breath. Even if you feel distracted or slightly frustrated you will notice a peace and relaxation present inside. This peace is always there, we simply get distracted from it. Meditation doesn’t bring the peace – the focus of our attention simply acknowledges its ever presence.
Meditation is the movement of love. It isn’t the love of the one or of the many. It is like water that anyone can drink out of any jar, whether golden or earthenware; it is inexhaustible. And a peculiar thing takes place, which no drug or self-hypnosis can bring about; it is as though the mind enters into itself, beginning at the surface and penetrating ever more deeply, until depth and height have lost their meaning and every form of measurement ceases. In this state there is complete peace – not contentment which has come about through gratification – but a peace that has order, beauty and intensity. ~Krishnamurti
Continue this awareness and notice the peace you experience as go about your day, like an undercurrent flowing in a river. It’s always there to tap into. Notice how you feel and the affect it has on your experience of stress.
Learn more about specific benefits and how to incorporate meditation into your life in The Benefits of Meditation During Stressful Times – Part 2. (Link will be live soon)
Amy Phoenix is a gentle yet direct parenting guide, healing facilitator, creator of Peace 4 Parents, and mother of four dedicated to sharing insights and practices to transform frustration and anger, heal the past, nurture conscious relationships, and experience the peace of the present. You can also find Amy on Facebook and Twitter.