Sunday, March 7th, 2010
Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Susan C.
I’m a big believer in relaxing with our work. I’m not talking about laziness. I’m talking about finding your rhythm that allows for optimum levels of performance. Knowing when you need a break and knowing when to keep working because you are in the zone. Today we talk about: Using meditation to expand mindfulness.
This mindfulness meditation has its roots in an earth-based (pagan) spiritual path and was inspired by a short morning ritual in Yasmine Galenorn’s book Embracing the Moon. Ideally, it’s great to be able to do this outside, but it works just as well indoors, in which case, looking out a window can help to initially bring our focus to the natural world. One could do this mindfulness meditation at any point in the day, but it’s a nice way to start the day.
Let’s get started
Stand with feet slightly apart and knees gently bent, shoulders back and relaxed, take a few deep breaths and feel the floor or earth under your feet, supporting you, and notice your surroundings (preferably those outside the window).
If you are not already facing the direction of east, turn in that direction and greet both the direction and the element of air. The east is associated with the element of air, the season of spring, the morning, beginnings, and thinking. I usually ask that the cool, gentle breezes of the air to sweep away any cloudy or gloomy thinking, leaving my mind clear and fair. Visualize a gentle wind (or a stronger breeze if that’s more your style) sweeping away dark clouds or any kind of mental fog. The more you can visualize or feel this process, the more powerful it is. Thank the east and the air, and then face south.
The south is associated with fire, transformation, summer, midday, culminations, passion and creative energy. Welcome or greet the direction and the element of fire. Imagine the process of turning your heartfelt desires and thoughts into the energy or fuel that transforms the ideal into the real. Visualize the warmth of the sun and/or a nice, well tended fire that provides you with a steady source of energy to accomplish your actions, tasks and goals throughout the day. If you are feeling stuck or that there are barriers to moving forward in some way, see those barriers being reduced to ash (in a controlled and productive way). Thank the south and the element of fire, and then face west.
The west is associated with water, autumn, evening (twilight), water, harvesting/withering away, and emotions. Welcome the direction of the west and the element of water into your day. Visualize being near a body of water (it could be a lake, the ocean, a river, even a fountain), hear the water moving and feel it moving over and around you, cleansing and renewing you. I like to imagine a wellspring filled with joy, love, hope and laughter bubbling up in my heart and circulating through me. Thank the west and the element of water, then face north.
North is associated with earth, winter, midnight, the fallow season, and the physical body. Welcome the north and the element of earth into your day. Feel your connection to the earth, and visualize your interconnection with other beings and life forms as a network of deep, strong, intertwined roots that support and nourish each other and help us to bring forth the lives that are best for each of us. When I’m feeling particularly ungrounded or buffeted about by a lot of change, I visualize myself as a tall tree that playfully engages the crazy winds of change because it has sturdy roots that will support it. Connect with whatever earthy symbol or structure helps you to feel grounded and secure. At this point you can turn and face east again and see yourself as being in the centre of a circle.
The center is associated with the element of space/aether, the spirit, and either silence or the primordial sound “om”. Visualize being in a quiet, calm sanctuary or place that fills you with a sense of equanimity, acceptance of what is, detachment from outcomes (Yes, I know: easier said than done!), and an attentiveness—or mindfulness—to the present moment. When you feel that you have a sense of this, thank the center and aether, and remember to take these connections and gifts with you throughout the day.
What do you do to energize your workday? Besides coffee.
* It’s Spread-the-Love Day, when I encourage you to spread the word about Work Happy Now. You might:
- Forward the link to someone you think would be interested
- Link to a post on Twitter (follow me @workhappynow)
- Sign up for my FREE 10 Week E-Course and join over 450 people who have already improved their happiness at work. You will also receive a bi-monthly newsletter that gives you great tips and ideas on how to improve your career.
- Put a link to the blog in your Facebook status update
Thanks! I really appreciate any help. Word of mouth is the BEST.
* Evita over at EvolvingWellness has a brilliant interview about exercise. It’s so very important to exercise if you have an office job. The article is called Common Fitness Questions Answered by Fitness Expert Marta Montenegro.
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Image courtesy of gwgs