Well…it’s not exactly breaking news that life feels a little crazy right now. Though Haven on the Lake is currently closed, the health and well-being of our community still means everything to us. We’re here to support you in navigating this time with greater ease and less stress, which is why we’re offering virtual classes (Facebook.com/HavenColumbia) to help you stay active.
We’d also like to shine the spotlight on centering practices you can do at home. Enter the power of meditation: a tool that’s free, accessible to everyone, and requires zero equipment or experience! Meditation may be an ancient practice, but it’s far from “woo-woo.” Science shows there’s no shortage of healing benefits, from reduced anxiety to enhanced emotional well-being.
Even more good news: There’s as many ways to meditate as there are meditators! We encourage you to get creative and open up to the possibilities — there’s no “wrong” way to meditate. Whether you have five minutes or an hour, giving yourself extra TLC in times of stress helps you find a way back to greater peace and harmony…which also benefits everyone you encounter! 😉
Eternal enlightenment is not the goal here — paying attention to the present is! Simply sit still and observe your thoughts, without judging or analyzing them. Do your best not to “reject” anything about the experience at hand; practice being with the moment, as it is. Most of all, be kind to yourself and breathe! Here’s a great guide to mindfulness meditation from Mindful.org.
Feel like your fuse is running short? Loving-kindness meditation is a wonderful way to reignite compassion for yourself, your loved ones, and humanity at large, if you want to really go for it! You may be surprised by how quickly loving-kindness meditation evokes the warm fuzzies and transforms your entire mood (which can then shift the entire energy of your household!). Here’s a great guide to loving-kindness meditation from the Greater Good Institute.
Choose something — anything that uses the five senses — to focus on. You can light a candle and focus on the flame, or imagine a flame burning in your mind’s eye. Perhaps bring your awareness to your breath, a glass of water, or the sound of a gong. This style is particularly beneficial when you’re in need of some brain power. Here’s a great guide to focused meditation from VeryWellMind.
This type of meditation is somewhat similar to focused meditation, except your object of desire is a mantra, which literally translates to “a tool for the mind.” Embracing a mantra (either by speaking it, chanting, or repeating it in your mind) can calm you, energize you, or help you move in the direction of a particular intention. Here’s a great guide to mantra meditation from Yoga Journal. Also, here’s a few quick examples to stir up your creativity…
- I am safe and protected.
- I am loved, I am love, so be love.
- I am enough.
- Inhale the future, exhale the past.
- Every day in every way, I’m getting stronger.
Ever felt a meditative state wash over you while working in the garden or walking on the beach? More than likely, the answer is yes! There are endless ways to find peace in action, and all you have to do is tune in to the sensations of the physical body and breath. It can be as simple as slowly putting one foot in front of the other, and bringing awareness to the earth (or carpet — whatever works!). The beauty is that anything, like washing the dishes or dancing like nobody’s watching, can turn into a movement meditation. Here’s a great guide to movement meditation from One Mind Dharma.
Hopefully, one of the above forms of meditation helps you find calm and balance amid the chaos. Though social distancing is still happening, we’re still in this together. Wishing health and happiness for you and yours!