Final episode of this articles series about time management: take time to meditate, take time to relax.
There are actually many ways to meditate in a mindful way: gardening, tidying, doing the washing-up, or any other activities where you can focus on what you are doing.
One of my favourite is sorting out lego bricks!
I did not realised until recently that sorting out lego per color, per shape or per box set, is actually a form of mindfulness meditation! Should I thank my children for giving me that opportunity quite often? I am not too sure about that, when I enter to their bedroom and I discover a carpet covered with lego pieces of all shapes and colors I have to say that I don’t feel very relaxed…
I try to get my kids to tidy them up but I am not really successful and they rarely put them back in the right box… So sometimes I decide to go for a lego mindfulness meditation and I have to admit that I quite like it!
It is similar to a mindfulness meditation in the sense that I do focus on what I am doing at that exact moment when I pull a 2 by 4 blue brick, I only think about that 2 by 4 brick and in what box I am going to put it. Basically when you manage to control the flow of your thoughts in one single direction, you’re not far from a true meditation. The awareness of what you are exactly doing,of what you are exactly thinking is called mindfulness.
Along with lego-sorting, activities like gardening, cleaning your fridge, any sport activity, when you are focusing deeply into the action of the very moment, letting go all every-day and annoying stress-full thoughts,you’re doing good to your body because you are relaxing and letting your all system being physically and mentally efficient. And when you start practising meditation for real, with the purpose of controlling your thoughts in a manner that is going to heal yourself, it can become a quite powerful way of overcoming stress, then going further and seeking happiness.
As I explained in my previous article, I believe that changing things little by little in a conscious way is working much better than trying a miracle solution that is going to change your life in 30 days… That does not going to happen, after the euphoria of the 30 days, you’ll get bored of it and not interested or too tired… So my approach to meditation is the same, I am trying all of the free 10 minutes mindfulness meditation that you can find on youtube, one after one, learning a lot of different technique and prompts, at the mean time learning how to relax. And I feel good after a 10 minute relaxation like that, sometimes I even just put a timer (if possible with a soft bell that rings when time is up) and practise focusing on breathing, on the different parts of my body, and acknowledging any random thoughts when my mind drift away, allowing myself to come back to breathing and body awareness. And that is pretty much about it for now. I know there is much more about relaxation, mindfulness and meditation, but I will advance further once I feel I am mastering these simple techniques. It can take years and it’s not a problem.
The thing is, taking time to have deep breathe on its own is already ready good for your body. We live in a super-fast world and we literally forget to breathe and allow plenty of oxygen to fill our lungs, then our lungs and respiratory system to feed all of our cells with that oxygen. So breathing plenty a few minutes here and then during the day or at night in your bed is already a very good practice with healing consequences! But don’t stress about not doing it either, take your time to think about it, do some search if you are not yet convinced that meditation is good for you. If you find that yoga, relaxation, meditation and all of the sort is not for you, remember that doing a mindful activity is as good for you: DIY, car washing, cross-words, counting cars passing, wandering in nature, cooking…
Now it’s time to sleep, tomorrow is another day for Super Busy Daddy, plenty to do, plenty to not do…