Throughout life, you may find yourself overworked, underworked, and in general, living in extremes. You can’t wait for the weekend and you’ve planned back-to-back activities and/or you’re going to do absolutely nothing. Both of which leave you feeling like the weekend wasn’t long enough. We’ve created an “on/off” way of being. We become so focused on the doing or not doing, we’ve lost touch with our internal ebb and flow and the interconnectedness of life. However, it’s in these moments, through observation and connection that joy, peace, and compassion await. Through modern-day meditation, you can access these moments by redirecting your energy from depleting thoughts and attention to balanced thoughts and attention.
Your Power is in Your Presence
Imagine a life where you only think about the present moment. You’re not worried, angry, or depressed about the past or the future. Maybe it sounds too good to be true but in actuality, your life is an accumulation of present moments. You can think about the past or future but it’s happening in the present moment. If you’re constantly giving your attention to something that’s not actually happening, it drains your energy and can create anxiety, irritation, and sadness. You can, however, take back your power by being present with your life as it unfolds.
To do this, begin by bringing awareness to your thoughts. Simply identify when you are thinking about anything that’s not directly in front of you. Try to be patient and have compassion for yourself as you learn a new way of being. Once you’ve noticed the distracting thought, sync into your breath and notice your belly rise on the inhale and sink on the exhale. You did it, you’re in your power!
It’s also important to designate time to reflect and learn from your past and manifest your future. Carving out time every day to write in a journal is a great way to release your thoughts, grow, and create.
Your Life as a Movie
One way to be an observer of your life is to think of it as a movie. If this is a new concept, it’s helpful to watch a TV show or movie that you can relate to on a daily basis. You may already be doing this. For example, if you’re newly in love, you may be more inclined to watch a romantic movie or if you’re looking for inspiration, you might watch a TV show that influences you accordingly. Of course, TV shows and movies are for entertainment purposes and so what you’re watching is a fast-paced version of what could actually happen. However, if you breakdown each scene for what it is, a moment time that perhaps you can relate to, you may be able to recognize the “scenes” in your own life. This can help you to become an observer rather than being driven by your emotions.
One way to help recognize the scenes in your life or to become an observer is to listen to peaceful music as you navigate what you consider mundane. For example, while you’re on a train going to work, you can sync into the melody of the music and observe your surroundings. You may feel compassion, joy, or sadness for the things you observe. In these moments you’re connecting to life. You’re being present.
As you observe others, consider observing yourself as well. Notice your emotions in relation to your experience and how they change depending on outside circumstances. Once you start noticing yourself from this perspective, the scenarios happening around you will have less impact on the way you feel and you can simply observe.
Eating without Distractions
Yet another opportunity to apply modern-day meditation is when you’re eating. When you eat without distractions, i.e. other people, electronic devices, or moving (walking, driving, riding) you are being present. In addition, you’re engaging your senses which crucial for proper digestion. Try it for one meal and notice how often you become distracted. You’re retraining your mind and body to slow down and enjoy life so have compassion for yourself because it takes practice.
Daily Meditation Practice
Having a daily meditation practice will help you drop into yourself quickly and deeply during the times you are practicing modern-day meditation. In addition, sitting with yourself for 15 minutes at the same time every day will help create space, provide clarity, and give you peace.
When you’re meditating you may find various thoughts coming and going, especially at the beginning of your practice. Each time you realize you’re having a thought, bring your focus to your breath and notice the rise and fall of your belly. You may have to do this repeatedly, however, over time, you’ll begin to notice more space between your thoughts which will allow you to become an observer of your experience.
Through the practice of meditation, whether it be modern-day or traditional, you’re increasing your ability to connect to life’s everyday moments. You’re creating stronger awareness for how your emotions influence your behavior and as an observer of your experience, you’ll be more at ease and feel more stable.
All material provided in this article is for informational purposes only. Direct consultation of a qualified Ayurvedic Health Counselor should be sought for any specific questions or issues.