How much time do you spend each day for yourself? Can you commit to 10 minutes a day to spend time just “being”? Most of us are fairly busy and our days are filled with a career, family, friends, and recreation. It is important to take the time each day to practice doing nothing. There are many methods of practicing mindfulness. Today, I am going to discuss a daily vacation that can help add balance in our lives.
In Jon Kabat-Zinn’s book, Full Catastrophe Living, he discusses the practice of mindfulness breathing. This is one way that we can focus on the moment, let go of our many thoughts, and to keep our attention on our breath. To start, you want to lie flat on your back or sit with good posture (straight back and shoulders down and back). Begin breathing in and out, while paying attention to both the breath in and the breath out. Where do you feel your breath? You can focus on your belly, chest, or mouth. Kabat-Zinn describes this as “riding the waves of your own breathing.” As you practice, you may have thoughts that arise. Be aware of these thoughts, but only by observation. Look at them as if they are floating by on a cloud. If a thought is distracting, return your attention back to your breathing.
Finding the time to practice mindfulness breathing can be quite challenging. When I started this process I was a full-time professional, part-time MBA student, a wife, and a mother to two young children. At first, I would fit it into my day when I felt I had some free time. I was NOT practicing everyday because my time was very limited. Ultimately, I figured out that I could set my alarm 30 minutes earlier than normal, have a cup of coffee, and practice my breathing in silence since my kids were still asleep.
Through my Mindful Leadership class at the University of Nevada, Reno we had to reflect on our meditations and situations we faced in life. It helped me incorporate mindfulness meditation into my daily routine. It took me awhile to learn how to let go of my thoughts and to pay attention to my breathing. Sometimes, 10 minutes can feel like forever!
I want to challenge you to try mindfulness breathing for 3 weeks. Find out what time of day works best for you and try to practice for at least 10 minutes a day. Be open to practicing and please share your experiences on your daily vacation.
HAPPY BREATHING ~