When you’re at work, do your thoughts stay at the office, 100% focused on all the tasks at hand? Or, do they drift back home and linger around the chores you’ve been itching to get your hands on—a mountain of laundry, the living room carpet that’s in dire need of vacuuming, or the empty fridge and cupboards that won’t fill themselves with groceries?
And once you’re home doing all the chores that nagged at you all day long, do you get satisfaction every second you spend going through each one? Or does your mind dart back to the office—tons of paperwork, looming deadlines, or your boss’s disapproving stare?
If you answered “Yes” to the last question of each paragraph, beware. You’re probably in a vicious cycle. Your mind and body is chasing each other in circles. Both are never—or at least, most of the time—in one place at the same time.
That’s not good. If you want to be on top of your game, your mind and body should be in tune. You should be in the present, constantly aware of yourself and reality. Because when you’re not, distraction, worry, and stress can easily creep into your life and throw you off. Your mind will become cluttered, and tension will inevitably pile up. When that happens, you’ll turn into a drifter, just passing through life but never really there.
Do you want that?
Life is about getting the most out of every day. And to do that, you have to be “present” in every moment as much as possible.
However, with all the demands of life, it’s a hard thing to do. That’s why you need a go-to tool to snap you back to the present whenever you feel like you’re drifting.
Meditation is free and it’s for everybody. It could be your go-to tool if you want to. All it needs is a bit of your time, effort, and patience, and it will anchor you to the present.
Moreover, meditation will hand you a trove full of priceless benefits, and each will help you become better physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. In other words, meditation will bring every aspect of your being to greater heights.
Like what young people love to say nowadays, YOLO! You only live once. So do your best to live it right. Strive to be present and savour every moment you have. Don’t let the past or the future trap you, and whenever you feel your life is out of balance, meditate.
Meditation and Exercise in One
When someone tells you meditation is for everybody, believe it. That person is telling the truth. Even if you are the most restless human being in the universe that the thought of staying still for twenty minutes scares you out of your wits, meditation is still for you.
Forget about your initial thoughts about meditation. Dissolve the image of mantra-chanting and cross-legged sitting in your mind. It’s not the one and only way to meditate. If you feel it’s not for you, then it’s not for you. There are plenty of other ways to meditate.
Walking meditation is one. It’s an easy mindfulness meditation technique that gives you freedom to move your limbs, open your eyes, and welcome all the sights and sounds of the environment. Instead of finding a quiet place to sit or lie down, inevitably resembling a statue in the process, you go out for a stroll to clear and calm your mind.
Walking Meditation How-To
Standing still is the first step. Consider this as the preparation stage of your meditation. Spend a few moments just standing. Notice how your body feels—your weight on the soles of your feet, the stability of your posture, and the manner in which your arms rest against your sides.
Take this opportunity to appreciate your ability to stand. It may feel strange but do remember it’s a skill you had to learn. No baby was born with the ability to stand right away.
Walk at a normal pace. Then slowly focus on your feet. Feel your weight shift from one foot to another. Pay attention to the sensations you feel: the texture of the ground against the soles of your shoes, the warmth of your toes inside your socks, and the impact each step makes on your ankles and legs.
Gradually, bring that sense of awareness up to the other parts of your body. Feel the sensations on your shins, thighs, torso, chest, arms, neck, and face. Notice how your skin rubs against the fabric of your clothes and how the wind cools your body. Observe how your arms sway as you walk. Be aware of your muscles, too. Know which muscle groups are getting most of the workout.
Keep on walking until your sense of awareness envelopes your entire body, from your feet up to your head. If thoughts creep up or sounds and sights distract you, simply disregard them and go back to sensing and feeling your body.
End your session the same way you started it. Stop walking and spend a few moments standing still. This time, feel the difference between being in motion and being at rest. Allow yourself to catch your breath and take in what you’ve experienced.