I’ve actually been honest and truly trying to quiet my mind, listen, focus on breath and meditate the last few months.
And I do believe I’m getting better. Slowly. My brain moves a milliontimesaminute so even pushing thoughts in my head to a thousandtimesaminute is a success for me!
In the past the only time I’ve really been able to quiet my mind, somewhat, has been when I’m watching a fire (even in a fireplace, although prefered is outside) or floating in water or listening to rain or the creek (never needed the ocean or sand, that reminds me of HOT and HOT is not relaxing to me.) I also can tune out noise when sitting on the front porch with a cup of coffee listening to the birds, or watching a thunderstorm, or even watching the snowfall. I guess my key to silencing, like many I presume, has to do with nature.
Over the last few months I’ve made it a few steps further. When trying to meditate without being around nature the only way I’ve been able to remotely quiet my mind is by concentrating on my breath. And I know I’ve done a lot better at this over the past few months—-really focusing on taking super, duper deep breaths and slllllllllllllooooooooowwwwwwwing them down when exhaling.
I’m a shallow, rapid, heavy mouth breather. Because I’m overweight and out of shape and because of bad, poor habits. THIS I know I’ve already started to change. I breathe through my nose much more often and it, I believe, is becoming habit.
And I’m working on those deep breaths and slowing things down…
When trying to meditate the only way I was able to focus at all was to pay attention—-breathing in, breathing out…and counting. This works, yes. But it was all I could do.
Lately, in the last month or so—I’ve found a new way. I focus on the colors I see when I close my eyes. Sometimes it’s a flash of a color, sometimes a blob, sometimes just dots…but whatever I see when I close my eyes I tune in on that and focus….almost always this color I’m focusing on expands and then I end up needing to find a new focal point. No mantras. No visions. Just what I see when I close my eyes.
I’ve also found that this is the ONLY way I have been able to start to learn to ground myself as well. The whole visulaizing a tree and roots into the ground thing didn’t work. The putting up a barrier or a bubble around me thing didn’t work. None of these things—-all I would do is breathe in and out and pray and ask for protection. Now, I’ve added the colors to the mix. The color blob appears and grows and as I focus on it expanding, I push it down through my body—-feeling a warmth. Sort of like that relaxation technique where you tense up every muscle starting from the tips of your toes to the top of your head. Same idea.
I didn’t read this in a book. I didn’t have anyone tell me how to do it. I just trusted myself and went with it. And it works. For me. No idea how or when or where or why i discovered this technique, but it works for me.
The other week when I pulled up to visit my mom in the home, I parked the truck, had my hands on the wheel still, closed my eyes, prayed for strength and meditated and grounded myself before going inside. Not more than 3 minutes probably, if that long. I just took a conscious moment to myself to breathe and be in the moment before heading into an emotional battlefield.
Mom was looking out the window from the TV room. Later that night she said “yeah, I saw you in the truck before you came in, it looked like you were praying.”
Yep. I was. Praying. Meditating. Grounding.
And for the first time in years and years…it actually seems to help.
I’m learning. I’m listening. Now, to make this a regular practice and habit. (Ha.)