There are so many easy yet meaningful ways to meditate in your daily life. Meditation is really just a state of being present and focused, while freeing your mind of distractions. Some of us do struggle maintaining a calm state of mind, yet it's so important to have moments of meditation so that we can be more aware of our own life and others around us. Not only will this practice allow you to have more peace and less stress, it facilitates greater focus and awareness in your ability to be productive and make mindful decisions! Here are some inspiring ways to meditate daily. Practice and enjoy!
1. Cooking & Eating
Cooking in one of the remarkable ways to meditate daily. I read an article recently that described baking bread as a form of meditation. The smells, the textures, the way the dough kneads, rises, bakes and tastes is all meditative. And why? Because there are so many beautiful sensory processes at work. Cooking involves all your senses: sight, sound, touch, smell and taste. It's easy to get lost in the rhythm of preparing food and in the enjoyment of eating it with the purpose of nourishing your body. Empty your mind while cooking or baking and focus directly on your sensory input.
2. Folding Laundry
I can't imagine many of us like to fold laundry or do any household chores for that matter. Instead of begrudgingly doing your household duties, use the time to meditate and create a greater sense of focus and appreciation. How does the fabric feel in your hands? Is it soft or coarse? Press a warm towel against your cheek, smell the fresh, clean scent and appreciate the blessings of modern technology and beautiful garments at your fingertips.
3. Taking a Long Walk
Walking is beneficial for many reasons. It clears the mind, gets your blood flowing and heart pumping. Walking is also a great meditative tool. You can be observant and appreciative while empty of judgement. Take in your surroundings: the trees blowing in the wind; birds chirping; dogs barking; and people passing by. Take in life that surrounds you without judgement or critical thought and breathe deeply.
4. Go without Shoes
I'm not talking about walking the dirty city streets barefoot and risking injury, but rather using any opportunity you can to let your feet breathe. There is a direct connection between your feet and your brain that gets lost when your toes are crammed in shoes all day. When your toes grip the ground and you walk with strong feet, your entire body becomes stronger and more aware of what's going on. Try standing in snow at your next opportunity and taking in all the feelings you experience- the cold, wet, squishy, slippery ice against your feet; or the poky yet soft grass in summertime, the hardwood floors in your house and soft carpet between your toes. It's incredibly meditative to let yourself roam barefoot!
Exercise is a special gift that only some people recognize. It wasn't until I fell in love with a barefoot fitness class that I realized the meditative magic that exercise has. You're in tune with your whole body- your breath, heart, muscles, movement and mental state. Many runners experience that runners high of just letting go and feeling free. Pick an activity that speaks to you, whether walking, running, hiking, cardio at the gym or group fitness or even the practice of yoga, and make it a priority as often as possible.
Prayer is a tool used for the spiritual and religious to gain a deeper connection with something or someone higher than themselves. Prayer and meditation can go hand in hand and generally prove to be very fulfilling and life-giving. If you're the praying type, pray and meditate in silence and see what speaks to your heart.
7. Catch Your Breath
And lastly, don't forget to go back to your breathing. If you find it difficult to focus and meditate daily, as most people do, focus on your breathing - the rising and falling of your chest, the visualization of bringing life into your body and how each breath is a gift. That is a good place to be in and to appreciate that each breath we take sustains us.
Meditation is a powerful tool that affects all parts of your life if you practice it daily. I know I need more patience in my life and meditative practices really help me be a calmer more productive person! Has meditation helped you at all? What are the ways you like to experience meditation?