LOOSE YOUR MIND & COME TO YOUR SENSES!
MINDFULNESS MEDITATION TOOLS FOR PEACE & INNER STRENGTH.
After going through long periods of unpleasant and pretty much excruciating mental activity. I have delved into various forms of self help tools such as yoga, affirmations, exercising, practising gratitude, reprogramming my sub - conscious mind and a whole bunch of other instruments. Yet over the years my experiences and my soul has always drawn me back to the practice of meditation, mindfulness meditation to be exact. Mindfulness has had a tremendously wonderful effects on all areas of my life, some areas more than others. These benefits could be seen in full effect especially when I was meditating consistently for long periods of time, e.g.1-3 hours a day every single day of the week. It became something that I very much enjoyed and still do, because of the healing, rejuvenating, uplifting and increase of vibrations my mind, body and soul became exposed to. Practising mindfulness gradually helped me to stay calm ( especially in intense situations) , energised, overthink less, detached from my experiences / thoughts / emotions / material objects /expectations and also aided me in becoming and staying more present.
At a certain point I was not reacting to external events but rather maintaining a neutral viewpoint to all that occurred around and inside me. There were times where I had no thoughts but felt immensely aware of myself and my surroundings. My senses had become heightened and I felt more connected to everything around me. There was a vast awareness that all was one and that life was just one continues musical composition of sound & vibration that was never ending. Where I began and where I ended became an illusion for I felt myself as everything and everyone, not just as an individual called Marcia. There was a certain period of time where I was meditating religiously ( 2 - 3 hrs a day ) and this really helped me a lot to stop put meaning or labels on things, events and people. Once this started to occur, I realised that this was one of the habits that was causing me mental suffering.
Yes on this Earthly realm we live in, labelling is needed in order to have systems in place, to have a sense of structure, organisation and to understand things better. However we have been programmed to label, judge and put things in categorise/boxes for so long that it becomes damaging after a while. It becomes limiting and we start to create illusions in our minds that most of the time is just not true. The moment we automatically feed into that behaviour, we stop being aware of our power. We stop being aware that we have control over our minds and how we choose to use it. It’s important to not overdo it because balance is key. It’s important to pause before we label, judge and categorise things because the outcome is, that it causes so much pain not only to others but to ourselves. Most importantly mindfulness helped me realise that nothing was good or bad, but the way my mind categorised, labelled, judged and perceived it would put in a box called “GOOD” or “BAD”. Whichever box my experiences ended up in would pretty much determine my emotions. I was basically causing my own suffering & joy without realising it and blaming it on external events.
The funny thing is that we all do this and there is nothing wrong with it. In fact I believe that it is a survival instinct of ours that was very much needed in the beginning of our existence on Earth. However if we are to become the masters of our reality, we have to become more aware of when we are overdoing it, in order to live a more balanced and rewarding life. After a certain period of practising mindfulness I actually started to become detached from my thoughts and my emotions. I was not putting all my energy into overthinking about things or running off deep into my emotions and letting that affect me anymore. But rather I was using that energy to simply observe what was occurring without analysing and holding onto my feelings about it, whether they were “good” or “bad”. I remember my closest friend at the time picked up on the change of my energy. When I met up with him, he said I so calm and even appeared a little cold/distant to the world because I wasn’t reacting emotionally to things happening around us like he was. It became easier for me to let things go and just know that all was well.
The positive side of how I was meditating, was that it just made me so much happier, calm, clear in thought, blissed out, euphoric, connected to the all, less anxious & worried. My stress levels had reduced so much, an increase in creativity had occurred and my senses had become more heightened. Eating,listening to music and something as simple as watching the sun glisten through leaves became something of a magical event. I was living more in the present rather than constantly worrying about my future and pondering about my past. However personally for me, the reality of mindfulness meditation brought upon a strong awareness of my problems ( or what I perceived to be problems at that time) but I wasn’t really addressing them. I would observe them and then let it go without taking the time to heal my wounds. I would meditate 2 - 3 hrs a day for weeks and become extremely detached from the world, sort of like a monk. All I wanted to do was meditate all day and make art nothing else. I wasn’t depressed or sad, I was very happy with my state of being. However I just didn’t see the benefit of this destructive human nature we were living in. I was already aware of the (let's be honest) bullshit rhythm of society that we have constructed for ourselves, but meditating intensified it. It intensified the awareness that Earth herself was fine, it would sustain itself through anything, but the people living on it were the problem.
My heightened sense of awareness and elevation of consciousness made me realise that yes I was connected and one with everything. Yet at the same time I was also the cause of not only my own problems but also the rest of humanity’s, because I was living and contributing to a society that was damaging ourselves and our home. Although I was using meditation to enhance my creativity and anxiety, it also became a way to escape from the cruel reality and harshness of the world. It felt like bliss when I was in a place of no thought, no distractions, no obligations, no responsibilities or outside influences. Just pure consciousness. It wasn’t until I started using the art of mindfulness meditation in my life constructively, that things started to evolve even better than it already was. And that’s the key with this and any type of self help tool, you have to actually implement them practically and productively within your everyday life. Just doing it for the sake of doing it will not benefit you to the fullest. Or just knowing about it but not having experienced it will leave you unsatisfied, just another common denominator. Once you live, breath, embody and implement meditation, that’s when you really reap the rewards from it. I am so very grateful to have come across it back in 2013, for it changed my life and saved my mind on so many occasions and I strongly believe that it can do wonders for you. Try it for 30 days and let me know what you think, for this is not something you can master in a day or a lifetime. But trust me when I say this, you will never regret taking that first step towards inner peace. Below are various techniques that you can use whilst meditating, feel free to try them in order to see which one(s) helps you to clear your mind the most. Thank you for being here with me, may you be blessed. Much love!
Breath is God hiding in plain sight, as you meditate focus on nothing but the rhythm of your breath. The moment you become aware of your breath, you become aware of the present moment. It literally brings you back to yourself. Try a breathing technique called the 444 rule. This is where you breath in for 4 seconds, then hold for 4 second and then breath out for 4 seconds and repeat. This is the technique that has benefited me the most. It instantly stops all my mind chatter, raises my awareness and grounds my energy.
Listening to meditation music is another way to enter deep states of meditation. As your mind wanders from thought to thought, bring the mind back to the sound of the music and concentrate on the vibrations of the musical composition. It not only helps to calm your nerves but takes attention away from the noisy brain, balances emotions, improves concentration, helps you sleep better and puts you in a deeper state state of meditation. Some sounds that I like to listen to are ambient noises like the sounds of nature, ambient music (these are entirely instrumental), Binaural beats, Indian flute music and classical piano compositions. Remember you don’t only have to listen to this type of music whilst meditating, I recommend it for studying, plane rides or even soothing babies/young children!
Loose your mind and come to your senses, how? By focusing on one sense at a time e.g. sound, taste, smell, touch. So for example sound, if you are meditating and there are birds chirping, listen and concentrate solely on the sound of the birds chirping. If it’s raining focus on the sound of the rain. You could even light a candle and just focus on watching the flame burn out. Put all your energy and focus on what you see and nothing else. Mindfulness can be practised at anytime of the day, so if you are eating don’t be on your phone at the same time. Instead pay attention to the way your food tastes, how it feels in your mouth as it touches your tongue and makes contact with your taste buds. Of course you are going to keep wandering off with thoughts and distractions, but the main thing is to bring your focus and awareness back to your senses.
A personal one of mine, is visualising my aura expanding and contracting as I breath. What you want to do is lay / sit down with your eyes closed and in a comfortable position. Once relaxed imagine a golden aura or force field around your body, now it can be any colour you wish to have. I like to pick a colour matching each of the chakra points, so If I’m working on my throat chakra it will be blue and if it’s my heart chakra then I will envision a green aura around me. As you breath in, imagine your aura contracting in and absorbing into your body and as you breath out imagine your aura expanding out of your body. It’s also good to imagine your aura becoming stronger and bigger as you breath in and out. This technique always makes me feel so energised and awake after meditation, It’s almost as if my chi / life force strengthens. I love how my concentration is solely focused on one thing which makes it easier for me to fall into deep states of meditation.
Burning essential oils is a great technique to help whilst meditating because the oils have different properties that will benefit your overall wellness. Oils such as lavender & Chamomile can improve sleep. Eucalyptus, Lemon and Pine can aid in increasing your energy, whilst peppermint can soothe migraines / nausea and headache pains. So whether you are burning oils or rubbing them onto your skin, they will help centre, ground, focus the mind and clear your energy.
Another technique is to use a regular dust mask and put a couple drops of essential oil inside the mask. Put the mask on and breath in the essential oils. It will cause you to breathe very deeply. The core fragrances that I like to use are peppermint and Eucalyptus. An average two drops of peppermint and two drops of Eucalyptus does wonders. Try not to put in so many drops or it will become overpowering and a little bit too strong for you to breath in.