Let’s face it. The news is depressing. This world can be harsh place. I watch the news daily or read the paper and it’s a downer. The terrorist attacks that happened in Paris on Friday had me questioning humanity, and how easy it is for some to take a life or hundreds of lives.
Imagine that people got dressed up in the city of love and lights. Le gay Paris. They planned to break bread and drink wine, see a rock concert and meet up with friends. Who thought that this would be their last night of fun and gaiety in this world class European city? Not just France, but the turmoil in many countries in the world need hope and prayer.
As I watched the news Sunday afternoon, many vigils, prayers and moments of silence where taking place to mourn the victims and the loss of family and friends. That is when I truly knew that prayer, calm and quiet is what we need in these troubled times and it is how many people get through such times. Being calm and quiet creates serenity in body, mind and spirit. This is why I pray and meditate. Not just world turmoil, but personal turmoil. Being still, calm and quiet can be of great benefit when going through stressful situations.
I was first introduced to meditation by Tenille Willliams, my Kundalini yoga master. One night I received some very bad news about some loved ones. It had me feeling anxious and so out of sorts. I wanted to crack open a bottle of Merlot to deal with my emotions of anger and disbelief. Instead, I went to Tenille’s class. Before we started our session, I told her how I was feeling. During her class she focused on breaths designed to quiet the mind and calm my racing heart. She said affirmations aloud, making me feel so much better. As I left Tenille’s studio, I knew that this too shall pass. I truly felt peaceful. Meditation works.
Here are some simple tips to meditate to calm the mind:
- Find a place with no distractions. If you are a parent of little ones I know this can seem challenging. Ask your spouse/partner to take the wheel for a bit and watch the fort without you. If you’re a single parent, ask a trusted neighbour/friend to watch the kiddos for five minutes. That’s all it takes. A mere five minutes.
- Sit up or lie right down. Let your body be completely comfortable and at ease. Your limbs, neck and back should be completely relaxed.
- Close your eyes and try not to think of the past or future. If your mind starts to wonder about bills piling up, the job you can’t face another day of, the argument you had with your spouse or mom, stop immediately. Bring you mind back to the present. Pretend you have a third eye in the middle of your forehead and keep the focus on it. Just like prayer, and talking to God, you don’t want your mind to wander about other things in the midst.
- Keep things simple. Just breath deeply. Pretend you are smelling a fragrance you like, and then exhale through the mouth, making your abdominal balloon out. Be in touch with your body. Put your hands on your stomach to feel the effects of inhaling and exhaling in the present state.
- Repeat affirmations. Continue affirming positive thoughts.
- I am loved
- I feel peaceful
- I am beautiful
- I experience calm and serenity
- I am successful in my endeavours.
- I am joyful
- I am kind
- I am strong in all situations
Repeat such affirmations over and over. Again, if your mind begins to wonder try to bring it back to present.
I hope these tips help you to find solace in difficult times. We can’t always control our difficult situations, but we can control our reaction.