When you speak about spirituality and meditation the first thought many people have is, “I don’t have time to meditate!” I understand. My schedule is full of obligations and duties leaving little time for quiet moments to myself. If often wonder how my career women friends with children cope, but I think there is an answer. An old friend of mine and I used to talk about “speed-meditations”. Little moments pulled from segments in our day where we would stop and reconnect with ourselves.
While speed meditating sounds like a contradiction in terms, and probably does not create the long term positive effects of a more measured meditation practice, what we found it did do was valuable. It helped us to stay centered in ourselves in the midst of crisis, other peoples odd energy, and our hectic lives. It was like stepping outside into the sun on a chilly day.
My friend and I developed this skill after many years of a more traditional meditation practice and that also may have had an effect on its success. However, I feel that even if you have not trained yourself to concentrate on a candle for an hour at a time that the thought process behind this practice, which I still do to this day, is useful.
A few minutes of deep breathing, calming thoughts and separating yourself from the tasks and people around you can be refreshing. Practiced at random times throughout the day you can gain clarity on people, places and situations that might confound you when you are in the center of them. I use this habit as a positive way to step away from my desk at work or my family demands and remember that I am a separate entity connected to a much bigger picture than what I’m experiencing in this moment. Each time I breath in I allow that fresh, life giving oxygen to bring me positive feelings and remove tension from my space.
When I do this I am often surprised by how tense I actually am and how much I don’t notice it! The nervous system is a powerful tool for healing and concentration, but it requires the switch be flipped into this calm state of being to unleash its power. The tool for flipping that switch is your breath! It’s that simple.
The next time you are waiting in line at the grocery store or the dry cleaners try this technique. Take those 5 deep breaths, focus on your body and find any tension in it. Consciously relax yourself and allow disturbing thoughts to drop down to the floor and away from you. Breath in peace and out stress. Repeat this at the next opportunity you have. I think you’ll be amazed at the results!