“I don’t suffer from my insanity — I enjoy every minute of it.” ― Sherrilyn Kenyon, Dance with the Devil
It has been a little while since I posted something. Work has been absolutely manic with a major change programme in full spate. Add to that the week’s holiday at the end of October, and it feels as if I have skipped the end of the summer and have landed with both feet in the middle of winter; looking around thinking where did that month go?
Anyway, I have been continuing to practice mindfulness, even in the midst of the pressure and work. With everyone rushing about, trying to deliver against deadlines, it has been difficult and at times; I have had to take only a few minutes during the day to be present.
Even 3 minutes, yes, 3 minutes are enough to bring yourself back to the present moment. And this is where the three-minute meditation came into its own. I have practised this in the office and even first thing in the morning or at the end of the day, whilst in the car driving – through stopped in a traffic jam I might add.
So what is the exercise?
The Three-minute Breathing Space meditation
Step 1: Becoming aware
- Deliberately adopt an erect and dignified posture, whether sitting or standing. If possible, close your eyes. Then, bring your awareness to your inner experience and acknowledge it, asking: what is my experience right now?
- What thoughts are going through the mind? As best you can, acknowledge thoughts as mental events. Don’t judge them. Just see them as thoughts.
- What feelings are here? Turn towards any sense of discomfort or unpleasant feelings, acknowledging them without trying to make them different from how you find them.
- What body sensations are here right now? Perhaps quickly scan the body to pick up any sensations of tightness or stiffness, acknowledging the sensations, but, once again, not trying to change them in any way.
Step 2: Gathering and focusing attention
- Now, redirect the attention to a narrow ‘spotlight’ on the physical sensations of the breath, move in close to the physical sensations of the breath in the abdomen . . . expanding as the breath comes in . . . and falling back as the breath goes out.
- Follow the breath all the way in and all the way out. Use each breath as an opportunity to anchor yourself into the present. And if the mind wanders, gently escort the attention back to the breath.
Step 3: Expanding attention
- Now, expand the field of awareness around the breathing so that it includes a sense of the body as a whole, your posture, maybe even your facial expression or how you are sitting as if the whole body was breathing.
- Aware of the whole body, moment by moment.
And that is that as they say.
So go on. Give it a try. What have you got to lose in that busy; hectic; full on the day ahead of you. 3 minutes is all it takes.
I leave you with the following quote:
“If you are depressed you are living in the past.
If you are anxious you are living in the future.
If you are at peace you are living in the present.”
― Lao Tzu