I am an introvert and homebody, but also fidget like crazy and my mind can go off as if pulled by wild horses. I struggle with traditional meditation methods and have found (as usual) it is necessary to find what works best for you.
Often we get hung up on a single way to approach things. Really the best plan is to focus on what the outcome and intention are and work backwards from there. What else can get you there?
In this case of meditation my intention would be calming my mind, finding greater peace and mindfulness in the everyday that is usually chaotic.
If this is you too here are three ways I bring more calm, zen and peace into those chaotic days without sitting on a cushion, firing up an app or setting a timer.
3 ways to calm through active forms of meditation
Whether you choose a shower, bath, swim or face washing connect to the water and be fully present in what you are doing.
By having an activity I find it easier to disconnect from stress, to do list additions and niggling worries.
Let yourself connect with all your senses and just take in the feel of the water on your skin, the sound it makes falling on you (or as you cut through it in a swim or moving your body in the bath), the temperature, the repetition that can clear your mind.
I do find my mind wanders in the shower (while I am zen-ing out), but instead of wandering to stress it wanders to new ideas and clarity that seems to come forward with ease.
Spend time outdoors – any place that takes your fancy – beach, trails for hiking, your backyard, a garden. Be there fully. Again the key is connecting through all your senses and being mindful.
Besides the fact that Mother Nature provides a huge bounty of things to take in and enjoy, being in nature disconnects you from technology, “real” life, stress and chaos and connects you to simpler things and a pace you can set for yourself.
Bonus points if you can do this barefoot – walking barefoot on the ground (grass, dirt, sand…) connects you and grounds you, moving from chaos to calm and being more centred and focused.
Walking meditation was the first positive experience I had where I realised my way was okay. I did not even know it was a “thing”, but just noticed how I felt doing it and the implications it had on my mood and stress.
Being fully engaged in a walk where you connect with your footsteps and surroundings is as effective as any seated meditation you might try.
Just as you connect with your breath (in and out) you can connect with your footsteps (left and right, step and land).
Variation – Go on a photo walk. I love to use a camera to focus on the surrounds and heighten my awareness as I capture details and things that make me happy. It makes you focus on what you are seeing and hearing and there is no room for other thoughts to invade. These kinds of activities are great for “do-ers” who find it hard to sit still and focus. You can be active AND focus.
Do you have any non-traditional ways to add calm and more mindfulness in your life? Do you have any of these practices in your life already?
Love and light,
After 5 years of IBOT at Essentially Jess it moves over to a new temporary home at Kylie Purtell. Come join in if you blog or like to read blogs!