Summertime generally means less structure to every day, more time outdoors and maybe be off the grid in nature. If you're used to connecting on-line for guided meditations or to meet with a community, you may find it helpful to have some short practices that you can easily lead for yourself whenever you get a few minutes.
Sitting in Silence
Often when we have a few minutes of unstructured time, we search for little ways to fill it- checking the phone, listening to the radio, tidying up....
Can you try just sitting for a couple of minutes with no agenda and no activity?
Where does your mind wander to? Notice what sensations come up for you. Maybe a tightening somewhere as you feel a pull to do something? Notice it and stay with it.
Does it decrease? Now what comes up for you?
Often when we're out in nature, we're there to exercise or garden or do home repairs or socialize.
Give yourself the opportunity to really notice something in nature next time you're outside or looking out your window. What senses can you use? How does it feel in your body?
Mindful Technology Use
Many of us still worked during the summer. And when you're working, you can still bring all your sensations to your experience. If you use a computer or phone, can you bring mindful attention to that?
What does the technology feel like on your hands?
What's the shape, temperature, weight, and texture of the technology?
What are the sounds?
What is your intention with the technology right now?
Can you stay with that intention and avoid distraction?
Moving can be another way to calm our nervous systems with short practices. Bringing mindful attention to our movement can increase our connection to our bodies and activate the calming nervous system even more. How can you bring mindful attention to your movement?
Move through the world lightly.
Imagine that your feet are kissing the ground gently with each step. How does it feel to move delicately? What happens to your thoughts as you do this? What do you notice in your environment? In your body?
Be where your feet are.
When you notice your thoughts or emotions going into overdrive, try to bring your attention to your feet. Where are they? Can you be where your feet are right now? Can you move with them?
Stay in your body while you exercise.
Can you take whatever your regular exercise is and try to make it a full body and mind practice? I love to swim in lakes. I also find this to be an opportunity for silence and focused attention on the breath and sensations of the water.
If you run, this may mean taking off the headphones and bringing your full attention to the sensations in your body and the world around you. If you do stretches or yoga, can you try to really listen to your body and move to the shapes that best suit it today?
Hoping can try out these short mindfulness practices tied with mindful attention to your movement.
Have a great Fall!