Alter your head space

.: Number 3 :.

For many reasons, the cultural norm require us to spend most of the day indoors (in part due to a global pandemic, but who are we kidding this was going on long before that). You wake up and if you’re fortunate enough to have a job, you go right in to typing away on your computer or tuning in to a Zoom call. You scroll through your Instagram feed, turn on the news as it repetitively drones on in the background, blast a “Get Moving” playlist on bluetooth speakers. You guzzle coffee, take a workout class on your computer, sit in the middle of honking traffic. You are immediately immersed in stimulation overload. Even the food you eat can be over stimulating (sugar, dairy, meat, bread, even spices). And you can be sure that physiologically, your body was not designed to be constantly inundated with this degree of stimulation. Not to mention the fact that modern jobs require extended periods of sitting in front of a computer screen. If you are experiencing a repetitive negative emotion such as anxiety, this is simply your body giving you information about your environment as it relates to your inner state. It is feedback showing you that there could be an imbalance somewhere.

I find this moving meditation ritual is useful in the middle of the day, especially after you have been working or focusing on a single task, but it can be done at any time. If you cannot find a way to do this alone, you can simply tell your coworkers, children, or colleagues that you are going to take ten minutes to meditate. Every ritual can be performed silently with eyes closed, especially in a situation where privacy is not readily accessible:

Select a ritual time. But this walking meditation can be performed any time you experience the swirling of anxious thoughts, rapid breathing, or a pounding heart. Next physically step out of your environment. Exit the building or home and go outside. If you can access trees, mountains, large bodies of water, it is even more beneficial. But you don not have to go far out of your way. Simply observe how you feel when you are in the space versus when you leave the space. Inhale the oxygen outside, feel the sun or wind on your skin. Feel the ground under your feet as you take each step.

The ritual starts the moment that you exit and become aware of your physical and mental state. What is your posture telling you? How are you standing? Can you alter your posture so that you are not holding tension? Has anything shifted inside of you? Or do you feel exactly the same? Does your mind continue to go to a particular thought or topic? Where it is going? Ask yourself are you that thought? Or are you the being observing the thought? Locate the thought in your body.

Once you have found the location and the particular thought or thoughts, bring your awareness to your breathing. Begin a technique called the 4×4 technique: simply inhale for a count of 4, hold the breath for 4, exhale for 4, and hold the breath for 4. Find a pace that is comfortable and at each exhale visualize the repetitive thought forms falling off of your body and on to the ground. As they leave, your body feels lighter and lighter. Your breathing becomes easier, slower. Your body relaxes. Repeat this process for up to 5 minutes. It can be taxing to do the breath work while walking, so feel free to slow down your pace or stand still. After the five minutes have passed or when you feel the thought forms fully leave your presence, observe the energy of your body and your environment. Move through all five senses: What do you see? What do you hear? What do you smell? What do you taste? What do you feel in your body? Observe the effect that the breath has had on your body.

If there is still a place in the body where you experience tension, place a hand on that spot or spots. On each one, close your eyes and clear you mind. Imagine you can take that energy in to your hand. Pull slowly until the tension is inside of your palm and has left the spot on your body. Once you have collected the tension in to your hands, bring it to your lips and say “I alter the frequency of this energy.” Open your hands and blow gently. Visualize light and warmth extending to every person and thing surrounding you.

When you feel your nervous system slowing down reenter your space carrying this shifted state of consciousness with you. Know that you are able to tap in to this state at any time and place.

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