Below is one of the exercises I created a while back in order to improve my personal excellence by becoming more creative and self-aware, enhancing my intuition, and supporting myself in reducing my stress levels:
Find a comfortable space where you will not be interrupted. Set a timer for 15 – 20 minutes. Sit in an upright position with your legs uncrossed and your bare feet on the floor. Imagine a cord running down from the base of your spine and the sole of your feet all the way down into the center of the Earth. These are your grounding cords. They keep you present with yourself.
Take a deep breath in. Place your hands over the center of your chest. Feel your chest move up and down with each breath. Tune into the rhythm of your breath. What’s the tempo? Is it fast? Slow? Varied? Can you feel your heart beat? Make a mental note of anything you notice or jot it down if you’d like.
Now, while your hands are still in place and your focus is still on how fast or slow your chest is moving up and down, think about something that angers, frustrates, disappoints, or worries you. Notice what those feelings feel like inside your body. Is there pain or discomfort, tightness, stiffness, or soreness anywhere? If so, what’s the intensity of it? Did your posture change at all? If so, how? Do you notice any difference in the tempo of your breath? Is it faster? Slower? Non-existent (some people sub-consciously hold their breath when they are stressed)? Make a mental note of any changes you noticed or jot it down if you’d like.
Now, without judging those differences between Step 2 and Step 3 (if there were any), take a moment to think about something you enjoy that feels really, really healthy and good to your mind/body/spirit. What else does this thing make you feel? Try to pick something that makes you feel good about yourself or is comforting, kind, beautiful, tranquil, peaceful or something you really appreciate a lot or feel grateful for. Hold that thought for a few minutes as you continue to take long, slow, deep breaths in and out, keeping your attention on the rise and fall of your chest. As you breathe in, imagine you all the parts of your mind/body/spirit that felt discomfort, pain, tightness, etc., being filled with the energy of unconditional love. Imagine a more balanced state of harmony, cooperation, sharing, and reverence for life taking place within your body’s mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual operating systems. Imagine those parts of your mind/body/spirit that are stressed out, painful, nervous, or tense beginning to feel lighter, happier, and more peaceful as that happens. Continue this for about 5 – 10 minutes or as long as feels right to you. Make a mental note of any changes you noticed with that or jot them down if you’d like.
Did your posture change at all during this part of the exercise? If so, how? Do you notice any difference in the tempo of your breath? Is it faster? Slower? Non-existent (some people sub-consciously hold their breath when they are stressed)? How does your body feel on the inside? Did the pain or discomfort, tightness, or stiffness go away or subside at all?
Practice Steps 1 – 4 daily for best results.
REMINDER TO SELF: If you get interrupted by some loud noise or an intruder for some reason (like a child, a pet, or the phone ringing) during the middle of this exercise and it makes you more frustrated, come back to it later. In the meantime, remember to BREATHE and try tempering your passion for privacy with unconditional love, regard, acceptance, joy, and forgiveness! Go with the flow. Trust that all is in Divine Order and that the interruption happened for a higher purpose. Perhaps there is a better place, time, or prior planning you could do to prevent the interruptions from happening in the future.
The author of this article is Sarah Williams, who is a copywriter for a PPC agency in London, United Kingdom. You can follow her on Twitter on @SWilliamsLondon, connect with her on LinkedIn and say hi on Google+. She loves books, hiking and the online universe.