by Julie Jordan Scott.
Meditation: when you read or hear the word, what picture or thought comes to your mind?
Merriam Webster’s defines meditation as “to guide in contemplation”. In that simple definition there is nothing creeping in about “one should do it this way” or “it’s a must do to meditate in this manner.” Washing my hands I repeat to myself silently “Contribution”. Later, as I smooth lotion into my skin I repeat with my eyes closed “Contribution”. As I take a drink of water I repeat my entire life purpose statement which includes the word “contribution”.
I have been using this practice for the last few weeks as I heard a theme surface repeatedly in conversation. “I want to meditate” followed immediately by “and I don’t have enough time” or “How can I fit another “thing” into my schedule?” I have some excellent news and some more excellent news.
There are several simple methods to integrate the quiet mindfulness of a meditation practice into the reality of a filled-to-the-brim daily life. I am not going to tell you that you simply must schedule 30 minutes to an hour in meditation by waking up earlier or staying awake later or you are never going to experience the still quiet that is available through the quiet centering of your being.
Further, Merriam Webster takes us one step deeper in saying to meditate is “to focus one’s thoughts on: reflect on or ponder over”. This is what I have been doing throughout my day when I nourish my body with water or moisturize my body with lotion or whenever I feel myself have the most minor inkling of moving to the side of scarcity or ill feelings. Have I followed the practice each and every time in perfect, serene order?
No. And as I have continued anyway, I have noticed solutions to challenges rising effortlessly into my consciousness. I have felt more calm and quiet. There have been moments that I have not felt calm and quiet. And it’s perfectly ok. I continued anyway. I have noticed that I am able to get more accomplished in less time with less angst in relationship to the stuff that is usually not so favorable in my eyes.
It is such a simple tool to use and so exceptionally powerful. It doesn’t take any time away from your tasks at hand: in fact, it seems to magically inject your day with extra moments of time. Here are the steps to follow to begin integrating this brand of meditative reflection into your daily life:
1. Choose a word or theme in your reflective focus time. Use a word that you want to experience in your life. If you have a life purpose based on a theme or on who you are being as I do, you may want to choose one of those words. I have been really focusing on the “Joyful, Jubilant, Soulful” aspect of my Life Purpose Statement in the past week. You may want to use one of these words: Freedom, Prosperity, Love, Growth, Spirit, Gratitude.
2. Discern when you want to intentionally and actively focus on the word in some daily activity: for me, it is when I nourish my body with any sort of liquid be it lotion or a drink of water or lip-balm or washing my hands or during showering time.
3. Be ready to forgive yourself when you forget to use the practice. Just pick it back up the next time you are washing your hands or putting lotion on your skin or taking a drink of water. As you incorporate the practice and it becomes more natural you will forget less and less. Allow yourself to not get it right! Its perfectly alright.
4. Expect nothing and simultaneously expect absolutely anything! That’s right. Don’t have the mistaken belief that now all your troubles are gone! You have found THE perfect answer so nothing will ever flare up again. What this tool will do for you is give you the ability to go inward for peace within your crowded day. Ironically, its in the not expecting anything that your greatest rewards may be found. And then again, maybe not!
5. Stick with the practice for at least 21 days. Not 3 not 5 not 8. Please give it 21 days to become a part of your daily life experience. If this sounds like too much then please stick to the practice for the next hour and then the next hour after that and then the next hour after that. In other words, stick with it. Its as simple as that! Reflect, ponder, meditate.
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