Mindfulness has become the new buzz word for people who are trying to escape the rat race their minds create and living more fully. It is a way to live one’s life more aware and connected in the present. By giving the “automatic pilot” the back seat, you can bring new self awareness and peace. Becoming more mindful in situations can allow you to feel more in control of your own reactions to the stimuli around you. It is a positive and empowering way to live. One important way to become more mindful is to pay attention to what you eating, how you eat, and what the triggers for overeating are. So many times we take eating for granted. This exercise is all about experiencing the pleasure of taking one bite of something you find enjoyable.
Before I would begin, I would use the big Exhale, clearing the debris from your mind, followed by three clearing belly breaths. These exercises are explained in the previous posts. Settle into a comfortable chair and then begin.

The food you choose should be something bite sized. Either a small piece of chocolate, a teaspoon of ice cream, a favorite sucking candy, something you will not be chewing. The object is to allow this delicious morsel to dissolve slowly in your mouth feeling the way your tongue, your throat and the inside of your mouth respond to the sensations. Your mind becomes the observer or witness. If any negative emotional reactions come up, send them away and tell them to take a hike. Bring yourself back to the positive experience of having your eyes closed and fully employing your sense of taste and the physical sensations of what is going on in your mouth. Experiencing the pleasure in the moment can elevate your mood. Since this food is something to be considered a treat allow yourself one more piece and evaluate your sensations the second time around. Does the second bite taste as good? Note in your journal if there is a difference. Have a good day!

In the previous six days I’ve shared breath exercises, a brief overview of the chakra system, and how to utilize color breathing with your meditation. Last night, after watching an episode of “Foyle’s War,”an excellent show about WW11 through the eyes of a British policeman, I was unable to fall asleep. My mind was racing with the images I had just witnessed, some violent in nature. It came to me, to let my mind wrap around color chakra breathing. Within a short while, less than fifteen minutes, I was asleep. Using these techniques, letting them become a part of your daily life can bring wonderful results!
Once you discover this new awareness within your own body you will never think of yourself the same way.

The exercise I learned from my first teacher over thirty five years ago was the one that changed the course of my life. I like to think of it as my Dorothy moment from “The Wizard of Oz,” when the Wizard told her she always had the ability to go back home. All she had to do was click here heels three times and say “there’s no place like home.”
Your human energy field is the same way. It has always been with you. Awareness is all you need to unlock your potential ability to heal yourself and those around you.

Begin by sitting comfortably in a chair, feet flat on the ground. Exhale all the stale air from your lungs, take in three clearing breaths breathing into the belly and exhaling gently through the mouth. Next rub your hands together as if you were starting a fire for about a minute. Close your eyes and gently pull them apart. Notice what you feel. Can you sense a magnetic pull, heat or cold sensations? Pull them a little further apart, still with closed eyes. Notice where you don’t feel them exerting a pull over each other. Bring them together and in your mind’s eye, see a ball. Feel the sides of the ball, and the top and bottom of it. What size is it? Is it a tennis ball or soccer ball? What color comes to mind as you hold your energy ball? If you don’t feel anything the first time, don’t give up. Everything gets better with practice. Namaste.

The last meditative exercise we did was color breathing by bringing the intention of a color to the various parts of our body. These parts of our body correspond to the Chakra system that had its birthplace in India thousands of years ago. See if these descriptions align with the organism that is you.

The word chakra in Sanskrit for wheel. You can think of them as funnels or vortexs of energy. The seven major chakras are three dimensional going through your body from front to back.
According to Barbara Brennan,”Chakras function as intake organs for energy from the universal life energy field. This energy is taken in and metabolized through each chakra and sent to the parts of the body located in the major nerve plexus closest to each.”

The first chakra called the root, is located between the legs in the sacral-coccyx joint. It’s color is red and it is associated with our life force energy. When we are sick this chakra is usually the first one to be depleted. The second chakra located below the navel called the sacral.Its color is orange. Its associated with our emotions as well as our sensuality and sexuality. The third is the solar plexus between the diaphragm and the navel. Its color is yellow. It supplies the stomach, intestines,gall bladder, pancreas and spleen. It is where we can have a gut feeling about something. It is also where we experience our place in relationships, as well as ourselves. This is place that emotional issues can plague or physical body from digestion to elimination. The fourth chakra is the Heart, its color is green. It is related to love and openness to life. The fifth is is throat chakra. It’s color is blue. It is also associated with our ability to hear and smell. It is where we give voice to who we are. The sixth is located on our forehead between our eyes. Its color is purple and it is the seat of our intuition and the place we perceive the world from. The seventh is our crown located at the top of the head. It’s color is white. It is the place of direct knowing, linking our personality and spirituality as one.
See which chakra is most active or least active in your body. I would love to show you first hand how to experience the energy within you.

Have you ever looked at a prism’s reflection and noticed how the colors line up? Red is on the bottom, next orange, yellow, green, baby blue, and deep purple. The Chakra system brought to us by ancient Indian masters, assigned these 6 color values to each part of the human body including white which emanates from the top of the head. The chakras can be thought of as vortexes spinning either clockwise, counterclockwise, back and forth, diagonally or being at rest.

Color breathing is a fun exercise that gives your mind a focus as you move further along the meditative process. Tomorrow I’ll describe the chakras system and their relationship to the body, mind and spirit.
To begin, I would start sitting comfortably in a chair, feet flat on the floor. Start with a big exhale moving the stale air out of your lungs using the sound Huh. Look at the first day and review the three clearing breath sequence remembering to concentrate on belly breathing and increasing your lungs capacity. Next take in a gentle breath seeing the color red as a ball of energy at the base of your spine. Notice if it is moving, or at a still point. As you gently exhale let the red ball fall back down to your feet. Visualize an orange ball under your belly button. Take one or two complete breaths and send the ball down to your feet and back to the earth. Next see a yellow ball in the center of your stomach, notice what it is doing. If you don’t physically see these colors, imagine them in your mind’s eye. Take two or three complete breaths and send the ball down to your feet and out. Next see a green ball at the level of your heart. Breathe into it a few times and send it out moving this time upward through your throat and out at your top of your head. Next, see a blue ball at the level of your throat. Remembering to note any movements. Let the blue ball float upward and out the top your head. Next see a purple ball, let it rest in between your eyes, breathe gently in and out and send it upward and out the top of your head. Lastly see a white ball at the top of your head. Breathe in and out and send it upward to Spirit.

I believe many of us are searching for a deeper sense peace in our lives. This short poem by Rumi speaks to our desire to feel communion with others and the Divine in this endeavor.
“The clear bead at the center changes everything. There are no edges to my loving now. You’ve heard it said there’s a window that opens from one mind to another, but if there’s no wall, there’s no need for fitting the window, or the latch.”

Bringing the Divine to your meditation, can help you relax as you call on your higher self, your faith or your spiritual practice to help silence your busy thoughts. By giving thanks for whatever is going right in your life before you start will help you move into a state of relaxation and peace.
Today’s meditation works well if you need a fast a power nap or if you wake up in the middle of night with insomnia. It’s best to do this exercise laying down either on a comfortable mat or in your bed. Lay on your back, and breathe in slowly feeling the air enter your nose, gently expanding your chest and existing slowly through your mouth. Bring your attention to your feet. Use your mind to sense the space under the balls of your foot. Think of this area as a drain and feel it open allowing busy thoughts and physical pain a way to leave your body. Next bring your attention to your ankles, sensing your ankles, breathing into them and exhaling through the feet. Allow your attention to be brought to your calves then hamstrings, relaxing your legs into the bed, breathing out through the mouth feeling the breath leave the bottoms of your feet. Take your next breath and sense your hips and your lower back sinking into the comfort of your bed, sending the exhale down your legs into your feet. Bring the breath up feeling your shoulders, your arms and hands, letting go of stress. Send the exhale downward again through your legs into your feet and into the earth. Feel the back of your neck, letting go, becoming more relaxed, letting tension leave as you continue breathing through your body and out your feet. Feel the back of your head, the softness of your pillow, letting go, letting go…. Know you are loved.

Making time for the practice of meditation in your busy day is the biggest challenge to self awareness and inner peace. Creating a space and specific time for your practice will help train your brain to look at this quiet time as well deserved respite from the responsibilities and stressors in your life.

The first cleansing breath exercise from day one is a good starting point for the exercises that follow it. The “Scudder Technique” is especially useful when you have had a stressful day and you are ready to shift gears into a more peaceful mental place. The third exercise is one that can also be done in a comfortable chair.
This exercise incorporates aspects of Tai Chi to ground you in your body so you can be more present and more aware of it.

It’s good to check in with your physical and emotional state before you begin. This can help give you a sense of progress as you move into each new day of your practice.

Sit toward the front of your chair.feel the bottoms of your feet, first the heals, the balls of your feet and your toes. Gently press your feet against the floor. Feel your weight evenly distributed on both feet. Sit on your sitz bones toward the front of the chair. Exhale and breathe. Lean to the right, and turn your head slowly to the right looking over your right shoulder. Sit for a few seconds and feel the weight on the right side. Come back to sitting in the center of your chair. Do the same looking over your left shoulder, leaning to the left then back to center. As you repeat this movement feel the right side fill, note that your left side is emptying. Come back to center, and look over your left shoulder leaning to the left. Your right side should feel like it is empty. Come back to center. Repeat the sequence again. Next inhale deeply. As you exhale blow the breath out through your mouth. Breathe in again and watch your breath move from your lower abdomen to your stomach up to your heart to your throat into your head and out the top of your head. Blow the breath out as if it was a fountain cascading over your shoulders. Repeat two more times. Note how you feel.

I would love to hear from you. Namaste

The Tao Te Ching written by Lao Tsu is over 2,500 years old. It’s wisdom speaks through the centuries to us today. Enjoy the rest of your weekend but keep in mind Number 9 of Lao Tsu’s essential Tao. “Better stop short than fill to the brim. Over sharpen the blade, and the edge will soon blunt. Amass a store of gold and jade, and no one can protect it. Claim wealth and titles and disaster will follow. Retire when the work is done. That is the way to heaven.”

The next meditation is the “Scudder Technique.” This is one to begin your work week with. Practice before Monday and it will allow you to de-stress when your normal pressures are back in full swing.

Scudder Technique- This technique was first coined by Janet Menken, the founder of Healing Touch. It is a gentle technique that can be done on oneself or another. It can reduce stress and promote relaxation.
1. Brush both your hands across your head three times, visualizing you are pulling off troubling or stressful thoughts.
2. Next, brush across your forehead three times
3. Let your hands come down your face then reach around to your shoulders. Rub your shoulders and your neck.
4. Rake your fingers up the back of your head and visualize pulling out negative energy. Repeat 2 more times
5. Take both hands and bring them down the center of your body beginning at your heart, down to your lap and upward off of you. Repeat 2 more times. Let your hands rest at your heart and breathe in.
6. 6. Take the right hand and start at the left shoulder, moving down to the elbow and then to the hands. Give yourself a hand massage. Repeat 2 more times.
7. Take the left hand and repeat the same movement, massaging your right hand. Repeat 2 more times
8. Put both the right hand and the left hand on the left hip and let the right hand move down the front of your leg as the left hand moves down the back left leg.
9. Give yourself a short foot massge. Repeat twice
10. Change legs and hands. Left hand moves down the front of the right leg, right hand moves down the back. Massage the right foot.
11. Breathe, close your eyes and check in with yourself.

For more information check out Healing Touch International