If I close my eyes I can hear the waves roaring off the wild Pacific coast of Mexico. It is my home, it is where I grew up and spent my pre-adolescent years. I don't get to go often, but when I do it's magical.
During my last visit, I took it all in. Even more so than other times. Maybe it's because I am getting older and I value the things that really matter. Sitting by the ocean in silence was more than soothing, it calmed my soul and helped me find peace.
I've learned that by sitting in silence and tuning into the moment, you release the guilt and regrets from the past, and anxiety and fear of the future.
I've learned that by sitting in silence and tuning into the moment, you release the guilt and regrets from the past, and anxiety and fear of the future. Most of us find it difficult to quiet our minds, yet by taking a few deep breaths and repeating a simple mantra - the stress takes a back seat and you are able to tune into your body, your breath. One of my favorite mantras is:
"I forgive myself for my imperfections," as I breathe in.
"I am doing the best I can," as I breathe out.
This positive thinking allows me to be gentle and kind with myself instead of spiraling into negative self talk about how I should have done things differently or any of the other unrealistic expectations I place on myself.
I started practicing these breathing and meditating techniques during high levels of stress
mostly caused by my reactions to a difficult co-parenting situation. I decided I had two choices, I could choose to be angry and feel like a victim or I could control how I reacted to situations by remaining calm and balanced. With these simple breathing exercises and YouTube meditations, I began to notice a difference in how I approached life. I started to feel joyful and grateful, and things didn't really bother me.
I now have a daily meditation routine that I try my hardest to stick to (and when I don't, it's OK too). I wake up, and before I do anything else, I listen to a gratitude meditation on YouTube while doing some light yoga stretches to wake up my body.
By mid-morning, I try to take a meditation break, this time from the Calm app (which I got free for a year with a credit card promotion). And in the evening, depending on the day I will do a longer meditation from either YouTube or Spottify.
I'd always heard about practicing meditation and gratitude, and it wasn't until a night of crisis when I was away from family and friends and thought I was going to loose my mind, that I found this gift. For me, sitting in silence with my thoughts was a nightmare two years ago, now it's my sanctuary.
I once read a quote that said, "If you own your breathe, nobody can take your peace." I can attest it is true, especially when you sit in silence and practice self compassion and love. Start where you are, and just breathe.