From Aug 5, 2013
I know you’re busy. I do. I know you’ve got a hundred things on the boil, so to speak, and I think you’re amazing for doing all of it like you do.
But tell me something, with all of what you’ve got going on, when did you last take a few moments to simply breathe and relax?
“Yes, I know I should breathe and relax. I wish I could. But who has the time?”
Time? What’s time?
Let’s do it now. Come on, I’ll help you. It only takes between five and eight minutes. I know, I’ve timed it.
Let’s do this thing. Seriously, I mean it. Let’s do it right now. Yes? Are you on board?
Right so if you have something literally boiling go turn it down or off. If the phone rings in the next few minutes let it ring. You can call them back. Anything you were about to do can wait another five or ten minutes. That’s not long. Anything else? You can just leave it for a few minutes, you really can – or if it’s super quick and it’ll bug you, then quickly go do it now and come straight back. But no excuses. Are you willing to dedicate around 6 minutes of your life to yourself? I hope so.
Yes you can go pee first.
Ok ready? Don’t just read this, actually do it. This is a moment just for you. Take it.
Sit comfortably, straighten your spine but keep your back relaxed, uncross your legs, place your feet on the ground (or sit on the ground).
Bring your attention to your breath. Just observe your breath for a moment without trying to change it in anyway. Notice that your body is drawing air in and pushing air out and you don’t have to do anything to make it happen. Don’t rush yourself. There is time for this. Just notice your breath coming in and going out for five breaths or so. Then carry on reading.
Now place your hand on your belly, somewhere on or around your belly button. Take a slow, easy, deep breath in through your nose (or mouth if that’s difficult). When you are full of air pause for a moment and then slowly and easily breathe all the air out. Do this again at your own pace, in and out. Try to breathe into your belly rather than your chest. So instead of your chest rising and falling, your hand on your belly will gently lift as you breathe in and fall as you breathe out. You can watch it. Belly breathing signals to your body that all is well. In your own time now, take three or four deep, slow breaths in, pause and breathe out.
Now turn your attention to your body and become aware of any areas which are tight or painful or uncomfortable. Turn your attention to each one of these areas in turn and talk to it directly (aloud or in your head) as though you were reassuring a small child. Say this to each part of your body that is calling for attention, “It’s ok. Everything is alright. You can let go now. There is nothing you need to do right now. You can just be.” And allow that part to relax. (If this sort of thing is new to you and you feel a bit silly, try it anyway now and see how your body responds.) Say it as many times as you need to, to as many parts as need it. When every tense or sore part of your body has been reassured, carry on reading.
Now in your own time take another three S L O O O O O W, easy deep breaths in, pause and out. Each time breathe out all the air you breathed in.
And bring your awareness back to the present. Become aware again of yourself sitting here, in your body, in this room.
Using your name, thank yourself for this moment of care.
How do you feel now?
I’m so glad for us both that you joined me. Off you go, back to your day again. I hope you have a good one.