As you may know, I have been practicing and studying meditation regularly for the past few weeks. Already I have learned so much from the practice that has benefitted my daily life this semester. Meditating each morning and night is quickly becoming a habit, which has recently been paired with my new essential oil diffuser (more info on that in my post about my new essential oil journey!).
As I have learned more about meditation, I discovered that the core of the practice is something that we all have ready access to, something that we all share: the breath. This didn’t sound particularly unique to me as I had done other practices before that focus on breath (different forms of yoga, for example) but there is one main difference that has made a profound impact on my daily life: breathing with intentionality.
If you think about it, are you often aware of your breathing? Much like blinking, breathing always occurs but is often something lost in the flowing current that is life. And our breathing often changes depending on circumstance, which is something that lies at the core of many day to day experiences.
In order to keep my thoughts from drifting during my meditations, I have had to repeat the following in my mind: breathe in, pause, breathe out. Not only does this keep my thoughts in one cohesive direction, but it also puts my focus on the act of breathing. Posture is another key element of meditation, with a straight spine helping return the focus to the breath. By maintaining strong posture, the breath can move freely through the body.
I start all of my meditations with a strong breath in and out, which helps to clear my mind and transition to the practice itself. During the meditation my breath returns to a normal pace, but is now the center of my attention. Everything else fades away, and I am truly mindful of my existence.
As I go through my semester I can’t help but think about where I was exactly one year ago. I felt lost, confused, doubtful, panicked. I woke up in a constant state of anxiety about where I was in life, feeling as though I was in a situation I had never anticipated (read more about my rise above struggle and how I let go of my expectations).
This year so much of that has changed. I feel like a completely different person, emerging stronger from the roadblocks that I faced. Each day I find my mind naturally charged with positivity (even laughing over small mishaps, and always looking for the positive spin on most situations). The emotional weight that I carried has been lifted, and meditation has provided me with a routine space and place in which to reflect on this.
Nowadays the ‘smallest’ things bring me a feeling of pure joy, from my first sip of coffee in the morning to singing along to my favorite song. Meditation has brought me a new technique of complete situational awareness through breathing that I have been able to use in my day to day life. While working I will keep a strong posture and envision revitalizing breaths, which allow me to reflect and remain in the moment.
I have felt more grounded over the past few weeks, as my meditations have brought me joy at the beginning and end of each day. I will continue to write about my experiences throughout my journey, and reflect on where I have been and where I am going. 🙂
©2017 The Wise Willow and Alyssa DeBella. All rights reserved.