I wish I could say my most masterful habit were meditation. I want it to be. I work toward it. I'm not there yet. With a huge body of irrefutable knowledge around how helpful meditation is for our bodies, minds and spirits, I often wonder why it is so difficult to get between the flow of thoughts that are much more persistent than my ability to stop them. Sometimes it feels like I'm crossing a huge highway with six lanes of traffic flying by in both directions and I'm trying to find that opening between cars to deftly slide between to get to the other side safely. There's that red car that is so close to the bumper of the blue one in front of it. It carries that nagging message that I have a client deadline today. Maybe I should get up and take care of that. No, I'm here to meditate. I think I see an opening over there...no, missed it. Here comes the car that has those concerned thoughts about my daughter on her semester abroad. Is she being careful? Safe? Oops...lost that opportunity to slide between the traffic. My attention goes to a cute ivory convertible passing in front of me with the question about what we're having for dinner tonight. Should I get up and pull something out of the freezer? Seriously?! Stop it.
Getting between those cars...or thoughts...often seems impossible. But when you can, when you do...ahh...what a lovely place to be (if even for a moment.) I know getting between the thoughts, in the quiet still place where all that is really lives, is what makes me calm. Makes me centered. Makes me the most authentic me there is. Medical minds have said it reduces stress hormones, calms blood pressure, and boosts our immune systems. I just know I love it when I do it.
So how do we cross the highway to safety? How do we master the practice of meditation? In our consumer-driven world, Nike has elevated the three simple words that just may be the key to this spiritual path: Just do it. I have found meditation to be all about letting go. Let go of your thoughts. Let go of your expectations. Let go of your fears. While I love to sit and just ponder the space in the middle of my forehead right above my eyes and see where that third eye takes me, sometimes that doesn't work to settle my mind and open my awareness. Sometimes I need a guided ritual to help me focus on that sacred space.
Here's what I do. If you are wrestling with the incessant flow of the cars and trying to get between them safely, maybe trying this can help. I close my eyes and focus my thoughts on these words to distract me from all of the hundreds of other thoughts during this meditation...
Receive healing energy from the universe.
I focus on an opening on the very top of my head as I imagine these words and a stream of white light coming into my body.
Trust your intuition.
I focus on my third eye...that space on my forehead above my eyes.
Sometimes it helps to smile.
Be impeccable with your word.
I focus on a spot on the front of my throat.
I focus on the center of my breastbone and imagine light pouring from my heart to all corners of my body.
you are worthy.
I imagine my center, below my chest and above my belly button.
I move my attention down below my belly button and imagine the creative energy tracing an infinity symbol.
with family, friends and the Earth to balance your life.
I bring my attention to the base of my spine and then allow the energy that I've drawn all the way through my body to flow into the Earth.
If you are thinking, "that sure sounds like a Chakra meditation," you're onto me. I do often connect the colors of the Chakras with each focal point as I go, but other times I just allow the phrase to take me between my thoughts. If you aren't familiar with the Chakras, no worries. Use this personal ritual however you find helpful. I find these seven mantras to be far more soothing than the constant chatter that I allow to happen in my mind so often. If I get stuck on one phrase in particular, I allow that to be the focus of the rest of the meditation and allow myself the luxury of staying there.
While these words are certainly thoughts in themselves, they are far more freeing than ruminating on that work project or imagining where my daughter might be walking alone in Paris. And sometimes, now more often than before, I look around in the middle of these phrases and realize I've magically made it across the traffic to safety. And I breathe out.
I am thrilled to have Kelly join our writers here at Focusing Inward. Her rich spiritual life journey will add a wonderful new dimension to our blog! Thank you Kelly for being a part of our resource to help others journey inwardly and discover their own treasures. ~ Laurel