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Monday, November 28, 2011

Monday Meditation: You Have A Body

During the holiday season, it is easy to become disconnected from our bodies and bodily sensations and be distracted by all of the items on our "To Do" lists that need to be completed as we prepare for time away from work and for holiday travel and family gatherings.

Does this sound familiar? Take a moment and ask yourself if this is happening to you right now. Are you modifying or reducing your workout routine to buy time?
  • Time to shop for gifts;
  • Time to gear up your inventory or holiday services to accommodate the seasonal push;
  • Time to plan a family trip to get away or visit family for the holiday.
I know I am doing all of the above and have definitely sacrificed my exercise routine to do so. I have had a pain in my lower back and my neck that I keep hoping a few spinal twists every three or four days will alleviate. My mind is a complete flurry of, no - not visions of sugar plums,
but of the seemingly impossible amount of tasks and projects that I need to get done before December 25th!

Hence, this meditation appealed to me because I need to take a break and remember that I have a body that cannot be ignored. It's time to acknowledge and take action against the unpleasant muscular tension in my neck and back. It's also time to appreciate and revel in the comfort and sensation of my favorite, worn, soft cotton t-shirt against my skin.

Are you ready to stop the nonsense of living as though our bodies have their own mind, and give them some concentrated thought and attention? If that's a "yes", then read on!

Let's Meditate!
1) To prepare, stretch out on your bed or the floor. Scan your entire body beginning at your toes and ending at the crown of your head. Take into consideration every segment of your body, between and including your joints. Stop at each section and contemplate it for a brief moment. Notice any physical sensations or areas of tension.
2) After the body scan, sit on a cushion or chair keeping your back straight yet relaxed. Calm your mind by observing your breath.
3) Shift the focus from your breath, to another part of your body. Choose a spot that is easy to feel, like your neck or your knee. Focus all of your awareness on that spot. Try to merge with any sensation you may feel. Observe the sensation without judging it as pleasant or unpleasant.
4) Is the sensation a tightness, a burning or a tingling? Is it a combination of many sensations? Do they change over time? Keep your awareness on the spot. If thoughts intrude, gently return your focus to the spot.
5) If time permits, switch to another part of your body and repeat the same exercise. When ready, end your meditation. Try to bring this mindfulness of your body into your daily life.
Ahhh - it's sort of like a body massage done mentally...and the benefit is it costs less, and you don't waste time traveling to the masseuse!

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