How many of you either feel you would like to meditate but you don’t have time, or that meditation just isn’t for you? In today’s increasingly busy world we can often find that every moment of every day is accounted for making it difficult for us to set aside time for caring for our minds and souls as well as our bodies, and there are those of us out there who are interested in exploring a spiritual path, but who feel that traditional meditation is not for them – or they’ve tried it and failed as their minds are too busy thinking about all the things they feel they should be doing!
Earlier this week I was reading a piece about type ‘A’ personalities. Now, the piece in question was written by someone who was clearly not a type ‘A’ – and that’s fine as we are all very different and it would be a very dull world indeed if we were all the same. However, they did seem to have an issue with type ‘A’s’ as the piece was fairly critical of how they felt some people with this personality type come across. If you’re interested you can read it by following this link: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/emma-brockes-column/2014/nov/18/type-a-personalities-overachieving-monsters. Or if you’re curious about what makes a Type ‘A’ or a Type ‘B’ – and where you may sit on this then Wikipedia has a good explanation – bearing in mind as it points out that this is a theory and not carved in stone – perhaps something we should all bear in mind! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Type_A_and_Type_B_personality_theory
But what really caught my eye in the piece was the fact that they latched on to the fact that in New York, some fitness centres are now incorporating meditation techniques into workouts so that the more driven type ‘A’s’ can actually get the benefits of meditation while in their spinning class and doing active type-A stuff, as opposed to sitting in the lotus position and chanting ‘Om’. The writer appeared to take the position that this was just one more type ‘A’ transgression, but all I could think was that this was a great technique for all of us, type A or not, who have difficulty either with the practice of meditation itself, or just in finding time to incorporate it into our busy schedules. Because the fact is, meditation can be any task so long as it is performed with mindfulness.
When we are mindful, we are totally in the moment – in what is known as either the ‘flow’ or the ‘zone’. We can be doing anything when we enter into this state – from running a marathon, to cleaning, to sitting in our spinning class – in fact we can be doing anything at all so long as we are totally present in ourselves when we do it. When we are present in the moment, our subconscious mind comes to the fore and can often present us with solutions to problems in other areas of our lives that have proved elusive, this is the opposite of daydreaming and we feel more relaxed as we feel the energy shift. Far from ‘drifting off’, we become more focussed.
If there is a task that you regularly do as part of your busy day, begin with this. Begin by noticing what you are doing and how your body feels. Then look at how you feel. What is your energy doing as you perform this task. Are you elated or frustrated? Tired or energised? Feel yourself in the moment. What is your body telling you about this? Believe it or not, this is meditation- a very active form of it, but a meditation nonetheless! As you become more proficient at this you will soon see the benefits – you’ll be more relaxed and better at solving problems. You’ll appreciate the purpose behind everything you do – not matter how mundane it may appear. And you won’t have to lose any time out of your schedule to get these benefits!
The fact is, our idea of what is ‘spiritual’ practice needs to be re-defined – no matter what our personality type or what our spiritual goals are. Being mindful, and present in the moment in our own day-to-day lives is what living spiritually is all about.
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