I am sitting in a shopping mall as I write this post, Midvalley Megamall to be exact. Mystery Man is wandering somewhere. It's a Saturday. Need I say more. There are people EVERYWHERE. Everyone seems to be so engrossed in conversations, shopping, socializing, eating, dating and everything else you could possibly do in a shopping mall. Truth be told, it does feel a little odd to be here after 2 months. So much has changed and everything is happening at lightning speed. Alright, I'm dizzy now! Even the people around me are passing by like wind. Am I too slow to process all these or people around me are ridiculously fast? 'Breathe M, breathe!' Aahh, much better! My head is clear now and let me get to the point. I'm sure everyone around here has pre-planned their Saturday before setting their foot here and had a rough idea of what they wanted to accomplish while being in the mall. So the pre-planning is a past and their agendas are the future expectations. What about NOW?
No matter how much we plan for the days ahead and hopefully expect for a better tomorrow, the only thing for sure is this minute that we have in hand. It's 12.53 p.m. and I wonder how many people are aware of this moment. Not the time on the watch but to be totally at present at this moment in their life. It's natural for us human beings to be caught up in a million thoughts of the past and the future. There are times when you really hate the present moment and feel better to dwell in the past. We have all been there. 'Happily ever after' is totally absurd. Not impossible but more likely to be impractical. In this case, we tend to lose touch with our present moment and eventually left disappointed. Fret not, I'm here to share with you a simple exercise to make you feel better even when you're a little under the weather.
WHAT DO YOU NEED?
Yourself, a mat and a silent corner.
Probably a metronome app on your phone would make life easier. It's alright if you don't have one. You can manually count in your head. Without a metronome, you are free to control the pace of your breath.
* I use Metronome Beats.
LET'S PRACTISE...1. Sit comfortably on your mat .
2. If you are using a metronome, set the BPM to 3.
3. Close your eyes and take a few gentle breaths to calm yourself.
4. When you're ready, INHALE for 5 counts. Follow the metronome beat while you mentally calculate.
5. Then HOLD you breath for 5 counts.
6. Finally, EXHALE for 5 counts. You have to exhale very slowly in order to complete the 5 counts. Could be challenging at first but not impossible with determination and focus.
7. Repeat steps 4, 5 and 6 for another 5 to 8 times.
Nowadays, I practise this without a metronome. Probably because I'm able to 'zone out' myself from the rest of the world when I need to. I have realized how this easy yet calming breathing practise has enabled me to declutter my mind, stop dwelling about the past and worry about the future. A good time to do this will be before you sleep. It relaxes you completely before bed time. Try this out and tell me if it changed they way you feel about yourself. I wish everyone of you to feel more connected to your PRESENT SELF.
8 March 2014.