I have had the priviledge of doing a meditation session with Amy twice and I really love her approach. Her voice is gentle and accepting and she leads you through emotional and physical blockkages as she talks you through the meditation. I am very pleased to be able to share this meditation with you!
Guest post by Amy Phoenix
Interruptions to the delicate balance of life occur on a regular basis. Positive stress, negative stress, excitement, grief – stress is just part of the human experience. Parents, teachers, and caregivers experience stress unique to their situations. Do we have to experience stress or can we observe it, learn with it, and live from the thread of peace inside of ourselves that connects all of life together? Meditation can help us answer these questions and you can start right now, while you read (really).
Start by noticing your breath and how it feels for it to come in and out of your body.
Now, focus all of your attention on the sensation of breathing. You don’t have to do anything fancy with your breath, just notice. Stop reading for a few moments as you do this and continue to tune into yourself as you read.
As you feel your breath, notice how it expands beyond your lungs into your abdomen and touches all of the cells in your body. If at any point you get distracted by thoughts, sounds, or sensations just bring your attention back to your breath. This isn’t a competition between distractions and breathing, they occur simultaneously. It is about choosing to notice and feel the breath and body along with whatever else is going on in and outside of you.
Notice your body, too. How does it feel?
Allow your breath to penetrate any tension or other sensations. Notice how you feel as you continue to focus on your inner and outer experience. See judgments for what they are – labels for experience. The breath is an anchor. When we focus on our breath we are anchored to life, the earth, ourselves, each other – the breath is one aspect of life we all share. And yet, it is intimately personal, both bringing life into and cleansing us in each moment. We can go deeper into ourselves through noticing and feeling the life energy inside of our bodies.
As you breathe and notice how your body feels, go deeper and feel the energy inside of your finger tips. You may notice tingling or warmth, or some other sensation. There is an aliveness present within each one of us. Continue feeling this energy, this life in your hands, wrists, forearms, elbows, biceps, and shoulders.
Gradually move to each part of your body from the fingertips, to the neck, head, and down to your toes. Go slowly. Allow your breath to take you deeper. If your mind is questioning just how this can be beneficial, notice how you feel as you do it and bring your attention back to your breath. Even if you feel distracted or slightly frustrated you will notice a peace and relaxation present inside. This peace is always there, we simply get distracted from it. Meditation doesn’t bring the peace – the focus of our attention simply acknowledges its ever presence.
Continue this awareness and notice the peace you experience as go about your day, like an undercurrent flowing in a river. It’s always there to tap into. Notice how you feel and the affect it has on your experience of stress.
About the author:
Amy Phoenix, mom of five, trained meditation facilitator and recovering control-freak, shares a simple, practical experience for true relaxation and self-reflection to help you parent on purpose (instead of from reactivity).
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