So every morning before I start the day, or sometimes after yoga, I take about 10-15 minutes to get centered, and take deep, slow breaths. There are days when I have a phrase/thought/verse I continuously repeat to myself to help keep my mind focused and not drift.
I started doing this about a month and a half ago because:
- I have a tendency to stress myself out by constantly filling my day with too many things and feeling guilty if I don’t accomplish it all, and taking time to be still helps counteract that.
- I have a compromised gut and digestive system, and deep breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system which increases healing.
- Deep Breathing is great for increasing lung capacity and reorganizing your cells for optimum use and health (especially for the brain.)
The other day was an especially special time for me though. I had just finished yoga out on the dock. It had been breezy and cool when I began, but the sun suddenly came out and it got really hot. So I was sweating.. big time. But I sat on my mat, closed my eyes, and tried to focus on my breath. Deep, slow inhale, deep slow exhale. Really gentle.
But of course my mind kept returning to that fact that my back was on fire, and I had sweat dripping down my thigh.
But then all of a sudden, my mind started drifting to these thoughts of “This is a gift. Your family is a gift. Your mother is a gift. your father is a gift…” etc. And it was so beautiful, so natural, and totally not of my doing. I did not think about this beforehand, didn’t read an article about it, it just came about in my mind.
I moved from the gift of my family and home to the gift of my body. I began from my toes and repeated how this and that were g i f t s. And if I came across a part of my body that I was self conscious about, I would just repeat it until I felt whole again.
This practice was extremely therapeutic and needed, as I have been going through some difficulties lately. God wanted to remind me of how everything I own and everything I am, is a gift. From the breath in my lungs to the simple thoughts in my head.
I would love to share this meditation with you so that you can also feel complete peace and gratitude. Of course, please alter it to fit your personal life and current situation. I am simply providing mine as a starting point.:
Get comfortable, if it’s too strenuous on your back to sit up straight, lean against a wall, sit in a chair, or even lay down.
Close your eyes, quiet your mind, and gently ease into a slower, deeper breath.
With each inhale and exhale, repeat this to yourself.
“My family is a gift.”
“My father is a gift.”
“My mother is a gift.”
“My sister is a gift.”
“My brother is a gift.”
“My husband is a gift.”
“My house is a gift.”
“My creativity is a gift.”
“My intelligence is a gift.”
“My drive is a gift.”
“My health is a gift.”
“My past is a gift.”
“My future is a gift.”
“My present is a gift.”
“My toes are a gift.”
“My feet are a gift.”
“My legs are a gift.”
“My stomach is a gift.”
“My thighs are a gift.”
“My curves are a gift.”
“My fingers are a gift.”
“My hands are a gift.”
“My arms are a gift.”
“My chest is a gift.”
“My neck is a gift.”
“My face is a gift.”
“My hair is a gift.”
“My skin is a gift.”
“My beauty is a gift.”
“My mind is a gift.”
“My thoughts are a gift.”
“My self is a gift.”
“This is a gift.”
and wherever you wish to end, slowly return to normal breath. Focus on your breath, on your body. Feel the heaviness and sink into the earth, into yourself. Slowly open your eyes and acknowledge this beauty of life you so often overlook.
If you really listen and understand what each phrase means, you get struck by how powerful it is. How it is not by what you have done, or your capability, that you have been blessed. It is all a gift.
There is so much beauty, and endless room for thankfulness. Maybe today take some time to realize it. You are a gift.
Hope you are consistently filled with love and light.