Updated: Jul 10, 2019
I encourage you before reading on to just stop for a moment. Close your eyes if you are comfortable with doing so, take a deep inhale through your nose, hold it for a count to one, and then slowly, audibly, exhale out through your mouth. Repeat as many times as you like.
...did you do it? Great! Not comfortable with doing that or are you just feeling way too curious to pause? Great! Read on and then give it a go after. But do give it a try sometime...
The breath is at the root of everything I embody. First becoming aware of your breath, and then using your breath to move or steady your body or your mind. Beginning a daily mindful sit practice is my top recommendation for humans everywhere. It's your moment to yourself (moment is a loose term around here, the exact length of time varies from day-to-day, person-to-person), to reset or recenter or reconnect or rediscover.
“How do I start this mindful sit practice you speak of?” I encourage you to simply sit for a moment (see what I did there? You choose the exact length of time, 1 or 3 or 10 etc) every day. Start out slow. Let go of any expectations or preconceived notions of it looking or being something. Can you think of anything else you do in your day that takes just a couple minutes but you wouldn’t dream of not doing? (ie. Brushing your teeth, making or buying your morning cup of warm happiness, scrolling some kind of internet something, reading a chunk of your latest book or article, texting or calling someone you love.) Think of this practice as one of those things.
“But I cant stop my thoughts”. That’s okay. And normal. Release the pressure. Take a moment to literally pause and just breathe. You’re basically doing it right now as you read these words, after all. Thoughts will come and go. Allow them to come and go. Try not to get wrapped up in what the thoughts are, but simply labelling them as "thoughts".
"Do I have to buy a cushion or make a space?" Maybe. Maybe not. If you want to buy a special cushion or create a sacred space in your home to retreat to… do it! If you simply want to use what you already have, do it! (ie. A a chair in your kitchen or bedroom, the closed toilet seat, a pillow on the floor, the corner of your bed, sitting in your car or on the bus.) Anywhere works. Just try your best to breathe through any of the distractions going on around or inside of you. Connect to your breath: "I am breathing in" (on the inhale), "I am breathing out" (on the exhale).
Keep at it the next day, and the day following. But if you forget or skip a day, try not to stress and simply take a moment when you can.
Be well and just breathe,