“Every day brings a choice: to practice stress or to practice peace.” –Joan Borysenko
Hello Spiritual Warriors!! And welcome to another issue of The Source and this week’s Calm Amidst the Chaos meditation video! It’s holiday time and you can feel it in the air… in our homes… in the workplace… in the stores… on the roads… and in our minds. This is the time of year where there’s a lot of self-reflection, judgment, and catching up. As we coast into a few weeks where we will spend time with family, friends, and co-workers – to share, reminisce, eat, drink, and make merry – our stress levels can rise, contributing to us not necessarily being our best versions.
We may find ourselves pretty vulnerable to people we haven’t seen or spoken to in a while. We will suddenly converge with groups that have been apart for a whole year. Each day may be filled with fears, tears, expectations, posturing, withdrawal, or uncertainty but this is our moment to bring our best version to the table.
Lead with LOVE this holiday season. BE present. Give the gift of your presence and your celebration of love!
Sometimes it can seem as if you can barely think during the holidays because of the non-stop, relentless flow of thoughts pouring into your our head. You start thinking about something really important and within five minutes, you’ve also thought about your dinner plans, other appointments you’ve made, your pet or your kids, a conversation you had with a relative, paying your bills, whether or not you set your TV to record a show, a trip you’ll soon be taking, and on it goes from the moment you wake up to the moment you fall asleep. The feelings of overwhelm impact our decision-making, our stress levels, our creativity, our emotional intelligence, our sleep patterns, and ultimately our health.
The answer rests inside. We have the ability in any moment to stop the swirl, re-connect to the calm deep within, and then step into the next moment with greater clarity, creativity, intuition, and ease. And all we have to do is breathe! Yes it’s that easy. A technique I’ve shared with you before and with hundreds of thousands of stressed individuals is called 16 seconds to bliss and you have everything you need to do it right now. So let’s try it together:
• Breath deeply in through your nostrils to the count of four and witness;
• Hold that breath in your belly to the count of four;
• Witness the breath effortlessly moving back up your chest, into your throat, and back out of your nostrils to the count of four;
• And now hold that breath out to the count of four;
• And now breathe normally.
That was 16 seconds – and in that quarter of a minute, as you observed your breath, you were fully present. Thoughts were pouring in but you were not engaging them. Your mind was not in the past…not in the future…you were right here, right now as if your personal ringer was on silent. We call this gentle process meditation – a gentle interruption in your non-stop flow of thoughts, fears, memories, grievances, projections, assumptions, and anxieties.
Practice 16seconds as you shop… as you wait on lines… as you check-out… as you prepare dinner… or cook a meal… as you drive or travel to your holiday celebration… as you ring the door bell… as you sit down to dinner… and if or when anyone says something that pushes your buttons.
Make sure to start your group meal with everyone holding hands… gazing into each others eyes… and practicing just BEing. Feel gratitude in the little moments and feel the love as you make eye contact. You can even teach your family and friends 16 seconds.
If you are spending the holidays alone, practice 16 seconds to bliss every few hours and you’ll notice a shift in how you feel, what you say, how you act… and what you think. As the musical group En Vogue once sang: “Free your mind and the rest will follow” …and it all starts with the first breath. Remember: we transform the world by transforming ourselves. I’ll see you in the gap!
Happy Holidays!!! Peace. –davidji