There are plenty of times when I want to give up.
Give up exercising, give up eating well, give up loving, give up helping, give up smiling.
It is in those moments where I feel like giving up that I realize there is nothing to give up except perfection. I can exhale with relief.
All the things I mentioned above – health, love, generosity, and smiles – are important parts of life. Sometimes, however, one may get caught in a cycle of health, love, generosity, and smiles to the point of illness.
We can get caught up in living our lives with the highest of virtues that we often forget our limitations. We forget that we are human. Our bodies need rest. Our bodies need recovery from our daily activities.
Being mindful of who we are and what our limitations are allow us to take the rest when we need it and push into our growth areas as well.
Meditation is a practice that can increase mindfulness.
So what exactly is meditation?
Meditation is the act of practicing stillness and awareness of the breath. Meditation can be seated or reclined and with or without guidance.
To begin a meditation practice, start with a few minutes each day of deep breathing. Ensure your breath in and out are full and even. It may help to count up (ex: 1-2-3-4) while inhaling and down (ex: 4-3-2-1) while exhaling.
Experiment with your practice. Try adding music or a comfortable pillow. Meditate near a plant or in a quiet field. What may start as a 5 minute practice each day may increase to 15-20 minutes per day.
Please be mindful not to force extended meditation.
As always, please consult a doctor before beginning any new practices. Meditation does come with varied side effects.
For more information on the mind and meditation, check out Turning the Mind into an Ally.
All the best.