If we have learnt anything lately, it would be that being mindful can be tricky when you have a lot on your to do list. With the big move we did over a really short period, the days all rolled into one. We would literally open our eyes and hit the ground running. In the beginning of the transition, I remember hoping that at night I might fit something mindful in, yet instead I was so tired my eyes couldn't even see the phone to put on a guided meditation. I knew that I couldn't put mindfulness off until the end of the day and had to make room for it, even if there was SO much going on!
We get a lot of parents come to us who are moving house, travelling, having babies, running businesses and households. We also have teachers tell us that there is no chance of mindfulness in mainstream education mainly due to being time poor and data requirements. We know what it feels like to think that mindfulness is impossible during times when there is something huge happening in your life. Yet, we truly believe there is always a way to be mindful no matter what is happening around you. We can all agree that children pick up on that manic energy, so to be the best parent or teacher we can be, mindful practices are at the top of the to-do list.
So how can we slow down without changing our routine or schedule?
If you are conscious that these are the times when it is most needed, your body and mind will thank you for it. Your brain uses up 25% of your total energy each day. If you are using your mind to race through what needs doing and against the clock, you are going to be a lot less productive than if you take some moments to slow down. Taking these moments will actually increase your productivity and reduce overall stress on your body. When your mind is racing, you get tired and burn out a lot quicker! It makes a lot more sense to slow down, take some mindful moments and move forward in a semi-centred and grounded fashion.
Here are 3 ways that helped us slow down (even when pushed) --
1. Ground your feet on the floor. Take a deep breathe in through your nose, drawing air in from the base of your spine all the way to top of your head. Hold it at the top of your head for a few secs. Then relax on exhale. (This is a technique from Dr Joe Dispenza to begin his meditations) Repeat 3 times.
2. Ask yourself what you are doing right NOW? Actually doing. Focus on it. What can you see? Hear? Smell? Feel? You don't have to be doing anything specific, it can literally be at any moment in your day. This is a great one for times when you are 'doing' a lot. A coffee or tea first thing in the morning without going on your phone and actually focusing on the smells, taste, warmth etc is an amazing way to start your day off mindfully. It will ground you for whatever the day holds.
3. Use the EFT accupressure/tapping point on your chest which is located just below the hard ridge on your collarbone (feels almost sore to touch). To centre and calm yourself, gently tap on it for as long as needed using 4 fingers. State the affirmation I AM CALM & PEACEFUL or I AM CENTRED & GROUNDED while you tap. So simple, and practicing this shifts your awareness to the present very quickly.
We will be having Slow & Mindful Mornings for the mumma community monthly at Whole Beings. The next one is Tuesday 14th from 6.30-7am. Please send us a message if you would like to come along. We really want to spread the word about how simple mindfulness is and how showing up for daily practice opens your mind and allows life to flow a whole lot easier. Your children or students will organically pick up on your relaxed energy and become calmer and happier too!
Elysia & Nat xx