Between spending quality time with our children and running our households, there is often not much time left over to concentrate on looking after ourselves. It is easy to forget, though, that even five minutes of closing our eyes and clearing our minds of minute-to-minute clutter can go a long way towards recharging our mommy-batteries. With this in mind, here are ten 5-Minute Meditations; short, simple tools for keeping centered as we go through the day.
Meditation #1 ~ Cleaning the Table
Standing at the dining room/kitchen table cleaning leftover crumbs from its surface, think of the nice meal you just prepared for your family made with love. While rubbing the surface, relax your mind, close your eyes and mentally pat yourself on the back for all you've done today! As you move your arm in a circular motion, change it to a figure-eight pattern. Imagine yourself in the center of an ice-skating rink, gliding smoothly, gracefully, confidently and feeling the cool air of the rink caressing your face, and your hair flowing behind you in the breeze you're creating. You're dressed beautifully, moving with ease and everything is so very simple. Take this relaxing, peaceful sense of rightness with you as you breathe deeply and open your eyes.
Meditation #2 ~ Clouds at the Playground/Park
It's a gloriously beautiful day. The children want to go to the playground; you gather and head out. As they play on the slides, crawl through the tunnels, and swing on the swings, have a seat and lean your head back and look up at the beautiful blue sky. What images do you see in the white fluffy clouds? Select an especially complex cloud and watch its journey across the sky. With the sun warming your cheeks watch the cloud slip and slide mixing with some clouds, passing others, like you travel through your day. Entwining your life with some, while saving others for an adventure on another day. Life is good as you breathe in the sunshine and hear the air ripe with children's laughter.
Meditation #3 ~ Carpool Relaxation
It's been a long day. As you sit outside in the car waiting for your car pool taxi duty to begin, take a few moments to reconnect with yourself. Turn the radio to a rich classical music station and let your breath synchronize itself to the music. Breathe in to the sound of the violins and exhale as the wind instruments release their sweet sounds, calming your former personal cacophony of sound. Feel the music pulsate through your body and left your mood with each note. As your brief interlude ends with its last note, open your eyes and prepare for your next fare.
Meditation #4 ~ Morning Joy
It's morning. It's that wonderful ethereal time of day when the entire house is still quiet and all that can be heard are the sounds from outside. For just a few more minutes, close your eyes and relax. Embrace the sounds of morning - the distant sounds of the occasional cricket, the scampering feet of squirrels as they chase each other across the roof, the chirp of birds singing morning greetings to each other, all amongst the rustling trees. Use the sounds as a wonderful backdrop to envision your day, and let yourself plan and create your perfect day from the comfort of your bed. With a stretch, open your eyes and make your plan a reality.
Meditation #5 ~ Nursery Joy
As you sit in the nursery trying to inch your way out the door, take a few minutes to relax as your child is drifting off to sleep. It's your time to breathe from a long day, before you bustle off to complete the rest of the evening chores. The chair is so comfortable. Lean your head back and gently shut your eyes. Rock in the rocker for a few minutes. Forward and back, forward and back. Think of the gentle rocking motion of a body of water. Can you hear the water lapping at the shore? Let your mind go blank. All you hear is the sound of the waves and feel the soothing motion. Sit like this until your child is sleeping peacefully and you can quietly slip out of the nursery.
Meditation #6 ~ Computer Monotony Relief
Sitting at the computer for long periods of time can make you stiff and cranky. Break the monotony. Stand up and stretch your fingers and toes. Fingers to ceiling and then fingertips down each side of the body while reaching side to side. Sit down and while stretching your neck from - left shoulder, center, right shoulder, and back - gently close your eyes and listen to what your body is telling you. Is it still uncomfortable from your computer session? While breathing deeply, working up your body from toes to scalp, tighten and release all the muscles of your body. When you get to your scalp, your body should feel refreshed, and you should be ready to begin a new work stint.
Meditation #7 ~ Just a Cup Away
The senses are simply amazing tools. The next time you drink your favorite hot drink - that cup of Brazilian coffee, the French vanilla cappuccino, or the exquisite chai latte - do yourself a favor and use all of your senses. Put your hands around your cup, feel the warmth emanating from within. Watch the steam rise from the cup as the aroma of your drink tickles your nose and the scent fills the air. Let the scent carry you to a place of pure relaxation. Are you in the tropics enjoying your Brazilian coffee? Or are you in a chalet in the middle of the Swiss Alps as you sip your steaming hot cocoa? Wherever you are, continue to use your senses until you are done with your cup of pleasure. Whenever you need a little senses therapy, remember it's just a cup away.
Meditation #8 ~ The brook Is Waiting for You
You've made it into the bathroom all by yourself and don't have to supervise anyone for the next few minutes. The only room where you can have a little privacy during the day - just a few minutes worth - take just five of those minutes to rejuvenate your mind and body to get you through the rest of the day. Sit on the side of the tub or on top of the toilet seat. Turn the water on to a trickle and listen to the sound of the water running into the sink. Imagine the sound of a babbling brook. It's talking to you, telling you the secrets to relaxing every inch of your body as the water flows. You simply have to listen to what it is saying. Rest your head on your knees and let the sound flow over you. When you're done, stand, stretch, wash your hands with cool water and remember the brook is waiting for you whenever you need it.
Meditation #9: Raking the Leaves
The nights are getting colder, but today as you stand in the sun, it is still warm on your back, with just a hint of chill in the air. Think of the contrasts, between the cool of the breeze and the warmth of the fall colors around you. Red, brown and gold leaves dance on the wind, and fall at your feet, waiting to be raked up. Remember diving into a pile of leaves as a child, an autumn rite of passage, one of many rituals which kept the year spinning. Imagine that you are again in the pile of leaves, surrounded by the warmth of red and gold, and feel the warmth within you. Think of the rituals you create with your family, and the happiness they bring. Breathe in the smell of your harvest.
Meditation #10: At The Kitchen Sink
You've found the time to wash a sinkful of dishes - perhaps it is after lunch, maybe not long before dinner. A rack of clean dishes can be a comfort in itself, a job done, something else to cross of the list which never seems to end. When the rack is full, take a single glass and put it on a countertop, or the table, wherever sunlight can hit it. Look at the glow, and close your eyes, concentrating on seeing the light before you. Feel the warmth of the light, and let it spread slowly through your arms and shoulders, releasing the tension that comes with using those muscles all day, every day. Think of the warmth of your child's laughter, and let it warm the hands you use to color and comfort. Breathe deeply. Open your eyes and stretch.
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