Awareness of how I was living from the core fear and other core motivations of my Enneagram type was the first step in learning to live with more peace in my life. Naming and acknowledging those core fears was the start of releasing the power they had over me. It’s an ongoing daily process. Incorporating mindfulness and meditation has been a huge step in living from a place of peace and purpose instead of constantly reacting out of my core fear and core weakness.
I know that beginning a meditation practice can feel overwhelming. When you work full time and are trying to take care of your family, finding the time to set aside 20 minutes for meditation isn’t always possible. Trying to find even 10 minutes during our day can be challenging if we are getting children up and ready for school or if we have babies, toddlers, or preschoolers that don’t always sleep great. Or maybe the stress of your job or life in general keeps you from sleeping well making the next morning a struggle to get up even a few minutes early.
But mindfulness and meditation does not have to take up a lot of time! There are some simple and short practices you can do throughout your day that take only two -five minutes that can help us recenter our thoughts and minds. These are especially helpful if you find yourself in the middle of a stressful situation.
- Box Breathing – Sometimes called 4-Square Breathing, box breathing is simply counting on the in-breath, holding for the same count, breathing out for the same, and holding for the same count. You could breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, breathe out for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, and repeat a few times. You could do it for a count of 5. This can help you recenter and calm your nervous system.
- Pause. Breathe. Look Up. Find the Beauty. – I first read about doing something like this in K.J. Ramsey’s book The Lord is My Courage.
- Step outside & pause.
- Take a deep breath.
- Look up and around you & look for beauty. (Don’t over think this one. Beauty can be found just about anywhere if we really look.)
- Take a few deep breaths to recenter as you shift your mind to what you see.
- Grounding meditation – I can’t remember where I first learned about this practice, but it can also help you recenter without taking up too much time. This can be done anywhere, but if you are able to step outside I think that brings an added bonus to it.
- Stop. Take a deep breath and bring awareness to what your physical senses are sensing.
- Notice what you can see around you.
- Notice what you can hear.
- Notice any scents you can smell.
- Notice what you can see.
- Notice what your skin may be feeling around you like the breeze or temperature.
- Deep Breaths – simply stopping right where you are for a minute to take several deep breaths can help you recenter your thoughts and mind.
Mindfulness and meditation doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Simply having an awareness of when our stress path is triggered and stopping for just a minute or two can help us bring our mind and spirit back to center so we can live with more peace and purpose instead of living out of our core fear and weakness.
Do you have any other mindfulness practices that are simple and easy to use throughout your day?