Day 9: The 3 step breathing space
How to deal with overwhelm
It makes sense to share what you know. Plus, I’m pretty exhausted, and this daily challenge isn’t getting the best of me - please accept my apologies!
Therefore, today I’m sharing a little from my day as a mindfulness and focus facilitator. My favourite sessions are the 20-minute Take-Offs, where people take time for a mindful moment, some time to journal and then set intentions in small groups.
Today’s theme for my session was ‘overwhelm’; because yesterday, despite having a free day, my to-do list got the better of me, and I felt out of control.
One of the simplest things we can do in these moments of overwhelm is a brilliant meditation called the 3-minute (or 3-step) breathing space.
Imagine it’s like an hourglass of awareness - broad, narrow, broad:
Notice what is going on with you right now. What thoughts, feelings, emotions or sensations do you notice in the body right now? Continue being open to this for a few moments.
As best you can, approach this without judgement. Let go of the tendency to want things to be different than they are right now. See if you can allow things to be just as they are right now in your mind and in your body.
Now gather your attention to your breath…where you feel it most strongly in your body. Perhaps it’s the rise and fall of the belly or chest. Or perhaps the warm and cool air on the nostrils.
You’re not trying to make the breath do anything special or be different than how you found it. Focus on the sensations of breathing.
If the mind wanders, as minds do, gently bring your spotlight of attention back to the breath and the sensations of breathing.
Now expand your attention to floodlight the landscape of your body as a whole. Bringing awareness to all of the sensations in the body.
From the top of the head to the toes to the fingertips… Sensations both outside of your body on your skin as well as those inside your body as well.
Once again, see if you can allow the sensations to be exactly as you find them, without judgement. You’re not trying to change them in any way.
Instead, try to bring a sense of openness to what you find here right now.
A sense of coming home to the body and allowing yourself to be exactly as you are…moment by moment…breath by breath.
How did that feel?
It’s my intention to share this as an audio recording at some point, but the need to recharge and take some time with my drawing board is the louder call right now!
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