How To Calm Your Mind

Cosmic Mudra Zazen

When did you last take a breather? Centre yourself? Feel calm?
It’s rare – unless you’re a yoga bunny or meditate once a day – to experience calm and balance. So many distractions, a never-ending ‘to do’ list and all and sundry calling on your time and your energy. Plenty of distractions.

So to help you go within and experience your true essence and some quiet time, here’s an easy exercise you can do first thing in the morning, last thing at night, and if you work from home almost anytime.

Centering and Balancing

Our life force or chi is the energy you feel pulsing through you every day. This spirit is the electrical energy that fuels the living matrix of your body. When you practice the exercise (see below), you’ll become acutely aware how your breathing influences your thoughts and your emotions.

Developing an awareness of the breath is crucial in stilling the mind.

Sit comfortably

So… either sit on the floor cross-legged on a pillow or cushion, or if you prefer in a chair. Sit upright with your back straight.
Imagine your head is touching the ceiling but keep it level. Feet on the floor, legs uncrossed. Allow your muscles to relax, without slouching and feel your abdomen pushing slightly forward so your diaphragm moves freely with each breath.

Now place your hands in what is known as the ‘cosmic mudra’ position. Put your lead hand (right if you are right-handed; left if you are left-handed) palm up in your lap. Nestle the other hand gently on the palm of the active hand so that the knuckles overlap and your thumb tips just touch. Making an oval.

Become still

Allow your body to settle into a comfortable position. Your back is upright but not stiff, your chin is slightly tucked in, the tip of your tongue resting gently against the roof of your mouth, just behind your upper teeth (prevents over-salivation). Breathe through your nose.
Then lower your eyes so you’re looking at the ground a few feet in front of you.

Discover your centre
As you do this your focus will start to move naturally inwards. Shift your attention to your hara… this is your power spot located 2.5 inches below the navel. It’s actually the centre of gravity in your body too. Allowing your focus to rest on your hara creates a sense of balance for the body and mind. As you breathe in, imagine your breath going down to the hara, then returning from the hara as you breathe out.

Be mindful of your breath
Become aware of your breath, how it feels in your nose, the back of your throat. As you breathe count 1 on the in breath and 2 on the out breath and so on up to 10. Then repeat the whole process from 1 again. If you get distracted, choose to let go of your thoughts and begin again.

If you do this for 15 minutes in the morning and evening you’ll find your ability to focus and concentrate dramatically improve. You’ll be able to find stillness among all the outer chaos in the world. And you can do this anywhere and at any time. Moving to your still point swiftly and with ease will positively impact your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health.

Happy breathing!

Female Executives – 5 Ways to Beat the Burnout

Can't shake this exhaustion

This podcast helps you beat the burnout with 5 top tips.

The run-up to Christmas is an especially fraught time – especially for many female executives who are also juggling a family, parents and husbands/partners! Paul and Gina discuss simple ways you can take stock of your work and home life, and take immediate action to avoid meltdown in the pre- and post-holiday period.

The most obvious symptom of burnout is often exhaustion—a fatigue you just can’t kick, even by taking a few days off. But there’s more to it than just being tired. You may even experience a loss of enthusiasm that often results in your doing the bare minimum, as well as a loss of faith in your abilities.  You may be short-tempered and even overreact to minor things. No matter what you do, you can’t get all of it done well. You could actually start making more mistakes than usual or begin allow things to fall through the cracks.

Listen to this podcast for some great instant tips to help you beat burnout!

 

Gratitude – it really works!

Just before our most recent podcast, Paul and I spoke together about the power of simply being in the moment. Of literally smelling the roses, coffee and whatever else turns you on. Of just looking around at all the things in our lives that we were thankful for. It stopped me dead in my tracks. Even more so when I tried an exercise he’d done himself to reinforce and connect with gratitude. When he described it to me, I can honestly say I had a moment of epiphany. It seemed so simple, yet so incredibly powerful, so I’d like to share it with you now:

Just take a sheet of A4 paper, and write the word ‘thank you’ over and over again… until a name comes up. Then keep writing again, ‘thank you’ over and over. Until more names come up. Like me, you’ll probably be quite surprised at the names on the list. You may find other words arise, not just names. That’s perfectly okay. Whatever messages you receive from your subconscious are very powerful, so own them all.

Then take some time out to just reflect on all the great things you have in your life. It could be good health, family, your children, a great job, getting fired from a job you loathed, being in a great relationship, or finally leaving a toxic one. Whatever you have to be grateful for, I can guarantee if you take just 5 or 10 minutes each day to remind yourself of all these wonderful people and situations, you’ll feel far more at peace with yourself – and the world around you.

The book Paul mentioned in this podcast is Moon Over Water: Meditation Made Clear, with Techniques for Beginners and Initiates

Total Focus on the Present

Learning how to focus can help provide you with a more relaxed state of mind and more energy. When you are practiced at pushing out your worries about the past and your concerns about the future you become empowered to take action in the here and now.

Once you can tap into the Power of Now, you’ll be able to take control of your life.