One of the simplest techniques to induce a state of calm quietude is to extend the exhalation. This is a great way to wind down at the end of a busy day or prepare for sleep. Enjoy this audio relaxation written and recorded by Katherine Mair, M.A.D. Creator.
You’ve never seen anything like it. It really was awful. I’d been putting off dealing with it but there’s only so long you can let your four year old get around with an enormous clump of knotty hair engulfing her head.
I had no idea where to start. So I simply sat and started. Fortunately I’ve recently devised a pain free approach to getting the knots out. It involves painstakingly and gently teasing the hair apart quite literally a strand at a time.
It took almost an hour. Surprisingly, instead of it being a dreadful ordeal, I found myself completely present and entirely focused on this single banal task. Working through one strand at a time, each strand in turn took my full attention.
This is what people call Mindfulness. To be fully present with whatever you are doing and experiencing it in a state of non-judgement. Strangely enough it is the banal tasks that can lead us to this state.
Try it. Pay close and purposeful attention to what you’re doing, one step at a time, and each step in turn – whether you’re stepping into the shower, brushing your teeth, washing the dishes, hanging the washing, putting the rubbish out, or walking to the bus stop.
It might seem a bit mad to honour the banalities of life, but you might just find a little more balance if you do.
Recently I decided to experiment with one of the simplest techniques there is to help us create space, cultivate clarity and foster a sense of calm.
I stopped and took 5 slow breaths 5 times a day for 5 days.
I put a reminder in my diary. Each time it went off, wherever I was, whatever I was doing, I stopped and took 5 slow breaths.
Sometimes this meant I was sitting at my desk working and I sat up, closed my eyes and did the exercise. Other times I was with my daughter, so simply stayed attentive to her and our interaction while breathing slowly and purposely for 5 breaths.
I have found it makes me feel more present. On those busy days where I had so much to do, I felt less frantic and more purposefully focussed.
Perhaps you’d like to give this a try. If you do, I’d love to hear what the effects were for you.
Breathe In. Breathe Out.
This 12 minute audio relaxation is based on the tense and release technique. Enjoy.
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