You may have heard the phrase: live in the present moment. But what does that mean? Well, we know what it feels like to be scattered, stressed, anxious, or depressed. Living in these states is the opposite of being present. It is said that anxiety is caused by worrying about the future, depression is fed by worrying about the past, and that worrying is about wishing for what you don’t want.
So what do you want? How about starting with stillness–a sense of calm to wash away the tension and dis- ease. If we introduce stillness, more peace and calm can enter.
We start with breath and focus.
I’m pretty confident that we all are looking for happiness and contentment in our daily lives. When we choose to step off the hamster wheel and turn off the monkey mind, we can find a true sense of happiness and be in the space to create even more.
My meditation class, which you can access here, is about providing you with the basics to calm your mind, start paying attention to your breath, and heal your mind and body.
There is a correlation between how you breathe and your emotional state. You cannot be breathing deeply and calmly and experience a state of panic. The body is the vehicle of the mind – where is your mind, and how is the body expressing that state?
Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, states
“the real practice in meditation is living your life as if it really matters moment by moment”
How are you experiencing your life, day by day, moment by moment? Are you in gratitude for all the blessings that surround you? Or do you focus on the negative or lack? Where do you want your attention to be? You decide.
So what is mindfulness?
A study on mindfulness meditation showed a significant increase in activity in the left side of the brain’s frontal area — associated with lower anxiety and a better mood –and the participants reported more positive emotions. Enhanced immunity was reported as a result of mindfulness as well; meditators produced more antibodies in response to a flu shot than did non-meditators. Meditation can make you physically happier and healthier.
Another study of monks who spent 10,000 hours in compassion meditation showed higher levels of gamma waves — high frequency brain activity involved in attention, memory, and learning. This study indicated that meditation benefits accumulate over time. This is a lifestyle choice, a habit of healthy living.
Breathwork, as explained by Dr. Andrew Weil, is the only function you do voluntarily and involuntarily. It is the only function through which you can access and influence the involuntary (autonomic) nervous system, which regulates the heart, circulation, digestion, and other vital functions. We have the ability to affect our health, in a positive way, through meditative practices!
This month I will be sharing with you my new online course – meditation 101, the basics. If you want to begin really living your life in the moment, enjoying the here and now, I will teach you the basics in exercising the power of your mind. Through simple tools such as breathwork, guided meditation, and visualizing, you will experience the power of presence. Remember, what you put your attention on expands. We can choose where to put our attention; it takes focus, dedication and discipline. The benefits are endless!