Have you ever been in the middle of one of these giant concerts where there are thousands of people? Where there’s lots of noise, you’re getting pushed and shoved, and your feet are getting a bit trampled? How does that feel to you? OK, so that’s the extreme of outrageous chaos. But many times when the kids have said mommy way too many times, we skipped lunch, and the house is a mess, our brain feels that same way. Unfortunately, the more times we do this to our brain, the less tolerance it will accept and reach for.
You know those days you feel it deep inside? You just want to snap or bite someone’s head off for the silliest of things. What if I could tell you that there’s a great way to bring serenity back into place even through all the chaos? Now, I have to be honest. It took me years to truly except meditation for myself, I just didn’t get it. But the day that I forced myself to do it, for 21 straight days, was the beginning of something absolutely amazing.
OK, let’s not get crazy now. I’m not telling you to tie your body up into a pretzel and focus on a burning candle… unless you want to, of course. Basically, meditation is taking all your focus and attention and placing it on one thing. And if you get really good at it, you won’t even hear all the chaos going on around you, but that’s going to take a few months. Here are my top five ways to silence the noise and come out feeling glorious:
1. Coloring books, but I have to have just the right kind of pencils. A true obsession.
For me, the pages that have the most detail are the most fun to color. I also love to connect the dots, once finished I color these up as well. My only challenge is that my daughter loves these also, so I have to make sure that nobody sees me grabbing for my book. Yes, I am admitting it here. I am a closet coloring book aficionado, like literally in the closet. But when I come out I feel great.
2. Guided Meditations
It’s so funny because throughout my career I have taken meditation by some of the greats, but I just never got into it. Then after motherhood, I decided to try the Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey Meditation Experience. It’s a guided 21-day meditation and this is what got me hooked. Each day I could feel my self become a little more patient, a little calmer. Small nuggets of serenity crept in. By the time it was over, I truly understood the benefits of meditation. I had clear thoughts and I had so much more patience and acceptance!
3. Breathing… This is not something to take lightly.
Once you get hooked on listening to your breath you can bring this peaceful experience with you anywhere, at any time. Here are 2 ways I like to do it. First, the 4 count breath: inhale for a count of 4 and hold your breath for a count of 4. Next, exhale for a count of 4 and again hold your breath for a count of 4. Repeat this for as much time as you have. You could do this once or 10 times, either way, it will impact your day. The next way I like to use my breath is to count how long I can inhale for and the same with the exhale. Then on the next breath cycle, I try to beat my score for both my inhale and my exhale.
4. Motivational Videos
Every morning I turn on YouTube to various motivational channels, and by the time I leave the house, I feel inspired and ready to go. Many times, I listen to it as I’m doing my chores in the house, and other times I just put on the headsets and listen to some of the greatest speeches ever given. Either way, I focus my attention there and finish off feeling better than ever.
I love to make jewelry, paint things, and re-purpose old things into new. I get obsessed with the detail and my entire focus and energy get drawn in until my masterpiece is created. This leaves me feeling inspired and refreshed.
What’s your delight or obsession? If you have to focus on it and can eliminate the excess mind chatter, you may have found your personal meditation experience. Just think about it.
Remember, meditation is about taking all of your focus onto one thing, and one thing only. This enables your mind to focus so that it can’t think of all the tasks of your day. I realize that your mind will drift back to your stuff. When you can train yourself to recognize when you have lost your focus and immediately bring yourself back, this is your SuperPower. The true exercise is bringing yourself back to calm on a drop of a dime. If you can take out all the mind chatter, your brain actually gets to reset. Once it’s reset, it will look at things with fresh eyes. And yes, my friends, patience will just become natural, and I know we all need a bit of that!