I"m in Cambridge MA visiting with my sister, Jenn. It has been a busy few months at work; relentless, really. I'm sure many other people can relate. I finally have a quiet bit of time to just rest and reflect. In reality, it has been 24 hours since I boarded the Amtrak to Back Bay station, ran out to a wonderful baby shower, dinner, etc, so I haven't had a chance to let my mind rest too much until this morning. I'm staying at a lovely B&B, and am now tucked away able to write my first blog in a couple of months.
It is a gloomy morning, but I am anticipating a nice day of yoga, planning a party and lovely meal with loved ones, so there are fun things planned. I don't have to leave until late Monday morning, also a bonus. Until this present project in process at work is turned into a completed project, I'll just have to make due with the occasional respite. I'll take it.
My suggestion for a gloomy day when you find yourself with a little extra time? First, let yourself feel it. Sometimes we roll through our days, and have the emotional ups and downs that we all have, aware or unaware of the reasons. If we don't let ourselves feel those feelings, they eventually make themselves known. I woke up this morning still feeling that emotional roller coaster. Instead of immediately rushing to "feel better", I thought about where those feelings had come from, trying to put some framework around them. Sometimes they are just there. However, giving myself a chance to connect the dots was very helpful this morning. The other point is that I actually had the time to clear my mind and do this!
I spent about 5 minutes meditating and clearing my mind as best I could. Trust me, even after many years of meditating and self-hypnosis, this can take some doing. After clearing my mind, I always ask if there is a message, thought or feeling for the day that will help. Today I got the message to be grateful for all of the other people who are working hard right along side of me. This is an important message as it took me out of feeling alone and left me feeling supported and, yes, loved, and grateful for those other people there with me in the trenches, day in and day out!
Easiest way to take those 5 minutes? Find yourself a quiet place to just sit. Turn off the TV or radio, set the alarm for 5 minutes. Close your eyes and begin to breathe slowly and deeply. Alternately, instead of breathing, just notice how your body is feeling and try to relax any spots that are holding tension by focusing your love and attention,one spot at a time. At first, your mind may wander. Just bring it back. If you have trouble clearing your mind, think of a clear blue sky or the sound, feeling or look of running water.
You will be amazed how fast those five minutes go. Remember, this is called a practice for a reason - because we get better at it as we practice. Some days are easier or harder than others. Be gentle with yourself. I promise to let myself have five minutes a day!