Coming back to center when the world spins so quickly is difficult.
Here are five simple exercises to get you on track.
Over the years I developed these simple practices. Some of them have been with me since childhood.
Though they are quite simple, they prove to be very powerful. These are easy steps to bring us back to a present moment and quickly change our perspective. Sometimes this is all we need — something to wake us up and pull us out from the negative stream of thoughts or behavior patterns.
Stop. Look up at the sky.
Take in the colors whether they are a peaceful blue or shades of grey. If all you see are clouds? Merely watch the clouds moving. Take a moment to play a game of seeing shapes in clouds formations. Look at the sky and notice what you are feeling. Sit with it. Be still. Breathe.
Watch children play.
The younger a child is, the more naturally they play. Why? They are “present.” They can kick a rock or climb a tree, totally absorbed and content. They can use their imagination in such a magnificent way. If just left to their own devices with very little to play with they feel joy. You can read their emotions so easily as they are an open book! They have nothing to hide and care little about what others think. Notice your judgment if you have any and question why it came up as you observe their joy.
Choose a different path.
Take a path you’ve never taken before. Discover your neighborhood. Think of it as a trip to a
foreign land. Be a tourist in your hometown. Pretend. Notice the architecture, the smells, nature, and people. Even if it’s only walking on the other side of the road, try it. Look up at the buildings. Pay attention to what you usually pass by without noticing. Then, slow your pace a bit before entering your home. Take a breath and catalog everything you saw and felt on your path.
Mindfully prepare food.
Slow down a bit when preparing your meal. Gather the ingredients noticing textures, smells, colors, and sounds as you clean, cut and stir them. Pay attention to feelings that are with you and thoughts that are appearing. Are they distracting you from this beautiful meal? Do you feel gratitude for this meal?
What emotions are you putting into your food? When something goes wrong do you still feel grateful?
Honor and appreciate yourself as much as you can.
Sit in your skin. Notice your body, your skin, your arms, legs, and fingertips. Stretch your body. Relax your body — see how it makes you feel. Lay down and mentally scan your body head to toe slowly inhaling and exhaling with love and appreciation for every inch of you.
Watch your breath. Play with your breath. Hold it. Push it out with vigor. Listen to your body. Notice your mind becoming quiet.
These simple practices have helped me to slow down my spinning world and find gratitude in difficult times.
I hope that they will help you too.