This introduction to mindfulness course has been written as a gentle introduction to a range of techniques that will allow you to build a habit of mindfulness in all that you do. We will cover a variety of subjects and I will show you how to use the tools to incorporate them into your daily life.
Mindfulness is something that we can learn and something that we can add to all areas of our lives, from our thinking, our actions, our planning and our behaviours. It can help to reduce worry and anxiety as well as help us to take control over all areas of our lives, as we learn to observe, process and act from a mindful perspective.
I hope you find the things I share with you here helpful and I have included some resources that will help you to take your practice further, should you wish.
About the author
Hi, I am Jacqueline ‘Jacq’ Munro and I am a complementary therapist and trainer from Glasgow, Scotland. Therapies are my second career as I left business management and returned to University as a mature student, but the first moment I started learning about therapies I knew this was what the rest of my life was going to be about.
I offer a range of treatment including reflexology, hypnotherapy, tapping, coaching and retreat days. I love working with people on a physical and emotional level and approach all my work in a holistic way. I am passionate, committed, funny and opinionated and I use all of that to help my clients get the very best out of their treatments.
For the last 8 years I have been offering Reiki shares and Meditation classes and have run Mindfulness courses as weekly classes, one day courses and now online. Almost all the techniques I have compiled or developed for this course; I use myself. I know the value of being mindful and being present in your own life, as easy as that sounds, it really isn’t.
Please enjoy this course is whatever way makes sense for you, explore, have fun, try new things and above all practice. The only way we get better at anything is practice.
I am available if you have any questions, feedback or comments so please do get in touch with me at email@example.com
Enjoy the course and thank you for supporting my business
- What is Mindfulness
- Mudras/Hand Balances
- Being Mindful in your life
What is Mindfulness?
The dictionary definition of mindfulness is:
1. the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.
“their mindfulness of the wider cinematic tradition”
2. a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.
Mindfulness is the art of ‘going inside’ and being aware of the present moment and your place within the present moment. Mindfulness is about acknowledging our thoughts, our feelings and our reactions. About feeling where in our body, we are reacting and taking note of the thoughts and memories/associations that present themselves in the moment. It is important to connect what has prompted these feelings, emotions and thoughts and honour them as part of the here and now.
Mindfulness is about accepting the things that are present within is and allowing them the space to ‘be’. When in a mindful state we can hold the space for ourselves to give space and presence to all that exists within us. This means that things like anger, jealousy, hurt, judgment and more are allowed the same space and presence as joy, love, compassion, acceptance and more.
Through the act of being mindful and being able to acknowledge and accept all that exists we can then simply and easily let it go if it does not serve us in that moment. It also means that we can start to see patterns of behaviours and learned behaviours that we use as a ‘reaction’ when, in fact, we could be responding instead. Mindfulness is an opportunity for us to observe the rive without having to jump in and experience it.
• Fight or Flight
• Pointless arguing
• Under pressure to make a move
• Assessing the situation (honestly and from your perspective)
• Staying Calm
• Acknowledging the feelings/emotions/thoughts/memories you are experiencing
• Non Judgement
An important thing to remember is that thoughts are not fact, feelings are not real to anyone but you, memories can be modified, and behaviour is a choice
Tuning in – acknowledging – accepting – letting go
This course will help you to choose to be mindful, to appreciate everything you create in life. Once you start practising mindfulness your awareness of the ‘inner you’ develops so that you can really live in the moment and experience joy and happiness whenever you choose to.
You will also develop a perspective that serves you first and foremost and in doing so you are more available to those around you as you are more powerful within.
We will talk about language throughout the course. Language, and particularly the language we use on and with ourselves is one of the most powerful vehicles of change we have. The words we use when doing ‘self-talk’ can build us up or tear us down and more importantly it creates the world we inhabit.
While breathing is something, we do all the time without paying any attention to it, it can often be the cause of us feeling out of sorts, lethargic, brain fuddled, tight and tense. This is because we are often not doing it right!
Breathing is controlled by the autonomic nervous system and is one of the last things to stop functioning when the body is under threat, however it is one of the first to be affected when we are in ‘fight or flight’ mode. In today’s modern world we are often in ‘fight or flight’ mode much more often than is healthy for our body. Repeated and long-term stress can make our breathing shallow, erratic and under par.
Deep breathing is one of the simplest, quickest ways to get yourself rebalanced, focused and centred and it can be done anywhere and costs nothing.
Some of the benefits to deep breathing are:
• focuses the mind inwards
• increases oxygen in the blood
• removes stale air from the lungs
• relaxes the body
• allows emotions to be acknowledged
• can help to release pain in the body
• can enable you to achieve a state of peace and calm
• can slow down brainwaves
• can harmonise the left and right hemispheres of the brain
• can help you tap into your creativity
• can help to expand your awareness of your surroundings and your place in them
These following breathing exercises are carried out in different ways but are effective at creating a state of mindfulness, calm and focus.
In my experience taking 3 minutes out your day and doing some deep breathing can turn your whole day around. This simple technique can be done where you are or you can go somewhere more private and do it, it literally takes a couple of minutes.
If you are feeling a little frazzled and need to reset to calm the stop what you are doing, close your eyes (if it is safe to do so) and take a long, slow breath in through your nose, hold for one second and gently blow out through mouth. Repeat 2 more times.
If this does not fully calm you then repeat the sequence 2 more times until you have completed 9 breaths in total. As a tool for everyday life it can be extremely powerful at reconnecting us, grounding us, focusing us and letting us remove ourselves from drama that does not belong to us.
4-7-8 breathing technique
• Breathe in through your nose for the count of 4
• Hold the breath for the count of 7
• Release the breath in a slow and steady way, blowing gently through your lips for the count of 8
This is often referred to as nature’s tranquiliser as it is so effective at slowing you down, calming the mind and body and re-harmonising your whole energy.
Use this technique when you want some instant, deep relaxation, reconnection to self and grounding. Can be used at any time of the day but best used when you are switching off, are in a space to appreciate the relaxation or when getting ready for sleep.
This recording will help you to do it the first time
4 = Physical, Emotional, Mental, Spiritual
7 = The seven main chakras of the body Root, Sacral, Solar Plexus, Heart, Throat, Third Eye, Crown
8 = The infinity of life – what you put out you receive back
Alternate Nostril Breathing
1. Sit in a relaxed, supported position so you will not need to move
2. Your left hand should be placed comfortably with the palm open and facing upwards
3. Place the tip of the index finger and middle finger of the right hand in between the eyebrows, the ring finger and little finger on the left nostril, and the thumb on the right nostril. We will use the ring finger and little finger to open or close the left nostril and thumb for the right nostril.
4. Press your thumb down on the right nostril and breathe out gently through the left nostril.
5. Now breathe in from the left nostril and then press the left nostril gently with the ring finger and little finger. Removing the right thumb from the right nostril, breathe out from the right.
6. Breathe in from the right nostril and exhale from the left. This completes one round of breathing.
7. Complete 9 rounds for a short and effective mindfulness practice that can be done almost anywhere
8. If you would like to build this into your daily routine, then do 3 times a day – the first one being before you get out of bed in the morning and the last one when you get into bed at night.
This focused meditation is a great exercise to get you grounded and re-connected to your physical body. The physical body is our densest energy and once we are connected and present at this level of vibration we are also grounded and present.
I will guide this meditation but you can do this on your own at home in your own way, either by recording yourself talking through the instructions and listening to that, or by just talking to yourself in your head as you go.
During the mindfulness meditation take notice of colours, sounds, songs, words, symbols that may come into focus as well as thoughts, feelings, etc. These can often be our blocks, our resistance, our worries and are often the best starting place for any work we may want to do on ourselves
To start: when taking a deep breath always breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth
- take a long, slow deep breath and close your eyes
- take the middle finger of your dominant hand and place it in the centre of your crown. Hold for about 10 seconds taking all your focus to this spot. Notice what you notice, what you think, what you feel. Are there any sensations in your body? Is there any resistance?
- Take another long, slow breath and move your finger to your third eye, this is the spot right between your eyebrows on your forehead. Hold for about 10 seconds taking all your focus to this spot. Notice what you notice, what you think, what you feel. Are there any sensations in your body? Is there any resistance?
- Take another long, slow breath and move your finger to the tip of your nose. Hold for about 10 seconds taking all your focus to this spot. Notice what you notice, what you think, what you feel. Are there any sensations in your body? Is there any resistance?
- Take another long, slow breath and move your finger to the tip of your chin. Hold for about 10 seconds taking all your focus to this spot. Notice what you notice, what you think, what you feel. Are there any sensations in your body? Is there any resistance?
- Take another long, slow breath and move your finger into the well at the bottom of your neck where it meets the body. Hold for about 10 seconds taking all your focus to this spot. Notice what you notice, what you think, what you feel. Are there any sensations in your body? Is there any resistance?
- Take another long, slow breath and move your finger onto the centre of your heart – a good spot to use for this is the top of your cleavage. Hold for about 10 seconds taking all your focus to this spot. Notice what you notice, what you think, what you feel. Are there any sensations in your body? Is there any resistance?
- Take another long, slow breath and move your finger to the centre of your stomach. Hold for about 10 seconds taking all your focus to this spot. Notice what you notice, what you think, what you feel. Are there any sensations in your body? Is there any resistance?
- Take another long, slow breath and move your finger to your belly button. Hold for about 10 seconds taking all your focus to this spot. Notice what you notice, what you think, what you feel. Are there any sensations in your body? Is there any resistance?
- Take another long, slow breath and move your finger to your groin (top of the pubic bone). Hold for about 10 seconds taking all your focus to this spot. Notice what you notice, what you think, what you feel. Are there any sensations in your body? Is there any resistance?
- Take another long, slow breath and place your hands together in front of you as if praying. Now put all your focus on your hands. Hold for ten seconds. If using this technique in the morning, then use this time to set your intention for the day.
- Finish with a long, slow deep breath and open your eyes.
This recording will help you to do it the first time
Often people see meditation as a difficult process as we are often told that to be good at it you need to be able to sit still in one position and clear your mind of everything. In reality that is not the case, and while we might work towards that kind of practice it can take years to get there, but it is the practice itself that is important.
A great introduction to meditation, is guided meditation, which allows us to be led and instructed on what we need to do. It is not important, however, that you listen intently, but rather that you let the words flow over you and let your mind wander and empty if it so pleases. The words will find where they need to go, which is your subconscious mind. Mindfulness allows us to go within and be at one with ourselves and meditation helps us to calm the mind, go outwith and become part of all that there is. Both are very powerful tools to have at your disposal.
This guided meditation I recorded a few years ago is for cutting the cords. This is a great meditation to do when you need to remove yourself from a situation, memory, belief or relationship emotionally and spiritually but not necessarily mentally or physically. So you are not removing anyone or anything from your life, but you are removing the attachments that are not serving you in the situation. Do this meditation daily for as long as it takes to feel the difference with the things you are cutting the cords with, some things will be instant and some will take some repeated work.
Guided Meditation Cutting the Cords
Mudras / Hand Balances*
The following hand balances are from an energy medicine practice known as Jin Shin Jyutsu, which is a Japanese healing practice that was brought to the West by Mary Burmeister.
These mudras are a way to connect to the innate healing that we have within ourselves, they help us acknowledge our behaviours and take responsibility for our own part in the world we have created. In so doing they start the healing process from within and allow us to seek and find the solutions we need to move forward.
*The word balance has been slightly mis-translated as we define balance in the West as 2 (or more) things being in equal portions. The word ‘harmonise’ is a better translation as it describes the necessary state of being for whatever circumstance we may be in.
These are carried out on one hand then the other alternating between the hands until you have covered all fingers. It is good practice to start with the right hand (past energies) and then left hand (present energies). Take the supporting hand and fully wrap it around the appropriate finger on the working hand. So, to start the thumb sequence take the left hand (supporting) and wrap it around the right (working) thumb. Continue from there and swap when you move hands.
Quick – hold the thumb for 30 seconds
Extended – hold the thumb, then the middle finger, then the pinkie finger for 30 seconds each
Quick – hold the index finger for 30 seconds
Extended – hold the thumb, then the index, then the pinkie finger for 30 seconds each
Quick – hold the middle finger for 30 seconds
Extended – hold the pinkie, then the ring, then the middle finger for 30 seconds each
Quick – hold the ring finger for 30 seconds
Extended – hold the thumb, then the index, the middle, then the ring finger for 30 seconds each
Quick – hold the pinkie finger for 30 seconds
Extended – hold the pinkie, then the ring finger for 30 seconds each
This recording of the quick hand mudra will help you start out your practice
Human Beings are much more connected to the energies of Mother Earth than we sometimes remember. Everything in our Universe has a vibration and we are no different. We all vibrate in the same general level as each other, however there is room for myriad variations. Our vibration can be affected by environmental factors such as light, noise, other people, comfort, space, security as well as by our own thoughts and feelings.
This means that we can change and effect our experience in the here and now by altering it through vibration. One of the most effective ways to do this is with sound.
Tibetan Singing Bowls and Tingsha are great tools to use in your mindfulness practice as they are designed for the purpose.
Each singing bowl will resonate at a different musical note, with the handmade ones being within a range of a note and machine-made ones being an exact note. We are often drawn to different notes at different times and for different reasons. Making a singing bowl ding and sing is an art and I would encourage you to find a class, sound bath, or practitioner who can do them justice. I will share with you how to use the tingsha as these are much more accessible and a great introduction to vibrational work.
Using the Tingsha
Hold them loosely in front of you and sit in a comfortable position. Knock the tingsha together to get a ring and sit in focus (you may wish to close your eyes but it’s not necessary) and when you think 10 seconds have passed then ring the tingsha again. Continue this for 1 minute i.e. ring the tingsha 6 times
This exercise will allow you to focus on your sense of ‘being’ in the space you are in and the illusion of time. It can be fun to have a timer nearby to check how close you came to the time.
Once you have done the above exercise repeat it but increase the time between tingsha rings to 30 seconds and repeat 6 times
For the most advanced mindfulness practitioners the ultimate goal is to sit in meditative mindfulness and play the singing bowl on the same constant note for one hour. This is not something that can be achieved without years of practice, but it can be fun to try!
Try this practice with the recordings below before trying it yourself if you are in any doubt. However the very practice of concentrating and working out the timing is mindfulness in action and I would encourage you to continue with this in your own time. Tingsha can also be used to clear spaces, homes, offices as well.
Tingsha 1 minute recording
Tingsha 3 minute recording recording
Visualise the vibration that you are
This is a great exercise to get all your cells vibrating at the same frequency and to ground and reset yourself at the start of the day. It is also a really useful tool for noticing the things in your environment that are vibrating and effecting you that you may never have been aware of. Things like a clock, a fridge, the tv, or really any electrical thing that stays plugged in. These all vibrate and we can pick the different vibrations up and change our own frequency. Much like playing a lullaby to a baby is an attempt to calm and soothe it into sleep.
- Sit upright in a chair that supports your back with bare feet or at least without shoes
- Your feet should be flat on the ground where possible and your palms open and resting upwards on your lap
- Take 3 long, slow deep breaths and close your eyes
- Now take time to find the centre of your being, just take your attention inwards to your body and find, feel or just imagine where the centre of your being is. For some it is in the heart area, for others in the tummy or lower abdomen, but really it is wherever you feel it.
- Now focus your mind on this area while continuing to breathe at a slow and steady pace and start to feel the vibrations around you. What are you hearing? As you pick up the sound of something imagine you are feeling it instead.
- feel how it vibrates with your own frequency, does it feel good or not?
- If it does feel good then just visualise the cells in your body starting to match this vibration, and if it does not feel good then just visualise the cells in your body vibrating quicker and changing the vibration of the object. Don’t worry if this feels a little odd to start with, it takes practice, but we all have to start somewhere.
- Once you have either absorbed or neutralised the vibration continue to do this with the other things you can hear, then feel. This may take a few minutes or longer, but just go with it till you are in harmony with your surroundings.
- Now take your attention to the soles of your feet. Imagine the soles are vibrating with your signature frequency and start to visualise that passing through the ground all the way to the core of Mother Earth.
- When it reaches the core allow for each cell in your body to now welcome the vibration of Mother Earth as you bring that back up through the soles of your feet and into your body. You might have to pretend the first few times but you will start to feel it the more you practice.
- Now allow that vibration to align with every cell in your body and feel the joy, the peace and the oneness that comes with being in tune with Mother Earth.
- Sit with this feeling until you are ready to come back to full awareness.
- Once again take three long, slow breathes and gently open your eyes and feel yourself relaxed, calm and connected
- Do this each day or when you feel you need a really good grounding exercise.
- Stand up with your arms raised at your sides, elbows bent and with palms facing forward.
- Tilt your head and arms slightly so they are facing upwards towards the sun. Make sure your eyes are closed if the sun is out
- Imagine your arms and front upper body are a large solar panel that is taking in the goodness that the sun provides.
- Imagine your feet, legs, body and head are rechargeable like a battery.
- As you face the sun take slow breaths in and out as you absorb the heat and goodness from the sun.
- Imagine the energy the sun in providing is being absorbed by the solar panel and is raising the charge in your battery. Visualise the levels of charge from your feet being raised up through your legs, up your body and up your head to the crown.
- Once the charge is complete gently lower your arms and do one last, long, slow breath in and out. Tilt your head to the ground and open your eyes.
- This should take no more than 2 minutes and as well as being a mindful practice it is also a great energy boost during a busy or stressful day/situation.
(originally in Hinduism and Buddhism) a word or sound repeated to aid concentration in meditation.
a statement or slogan repeated frequently.
Mantras have appeared in many religions throughout the ages mainly due to the fact that they are often chanted for spiritual significance or to invoke a state of spiritual connection. They may or may not have a syntactic structure or literal meaning. They also help to form new habits and new behaviours.
In Sanskrit a mantra is believed to have spiritual powers just in their chanting. Buddhists use Mala beads to do mantras 108 times. The 1 stands for God, The Universe or your own Higher Self, 0 for the emptiness and humility in spiritual practice and 8 for infinity and timelessness.
Using the mala beads you count one as you say each mantra while turning the beads with the thumb in an anti-clockwise direction. Having repeated the mantra 108 times, you have completed one round and in some cases you would turn the mala beads around and start again.
The wearing of the mala beads reminds the wearer of their place in the cycle of birth and death and their ability to influence that cycle through spiritual enlightenment.
We use mantras all day every day even if we don’t realise that we do. The voice in our head often repeats the same mantras we were taught as children or the ones we have learned from our peers or from society.
Affirmations are a type of mantra and it can be easy to make these a part of your daily habits – all it takes is repeating them for 21 days and a new habit is forming!
Look at the list below and note any that you have used more than once:.
Here is an example of some mantras you could use in daily life
• all of life comes to me with ease and joy and glory (access consciousness)
• smile, breathe, go slowly
• I am, I can, I do
• I am open to receiving all the abundance on offer to me
• Today I choose joy
• Thank you, I forgive you, I release you, I love you (ho’oponopono)
• I am that I am
• I honour myself
• I am capable of anything I set my mind to
• Om gam ganapataye namaha (removes obstacles/new beginnings)
• Om hreem shreem hara hara swaaha (abundance)
• Om shanti shanti om
Now write some mantra’s you would like to introduce into your life in a notebook and start to change your language by repeating and practising them every day.
Energy Ball Meditation
This is a great way to end your day and visualise what you want to achieve the next day. It is also a great thing to do first thing in the morning to set your intention for the day ahead
• Sit with your feet on the ground and your eyes closed. Raise your hands up as if you were holding a small ball in front of you. Now choose a subject you want to attract more good things to i.e. work, relationship, another person, situation, etc. Imagine the ball you are holding is full of energy (which may be full of light)
• Feel that light come out of the back of the ball along a cord into your heart area and through the body and out your back. As it exits it splits in two and spreads over your back up to your shoulders and then back round the front into the other side of the ball
• Feel the ball expand and grow as you continue to hold the thing you are focussing on in your mind. Now feel that light come out of the back of the ball along a cord into your heart area and through the body and out your back. As it exits it splits in two and spreads over your back up to your shoulders but this time it is like a very large shawl that covers your head, shoulders upper back and lower back and comes all the way round the front of the body and back into the far side of the ball.
• The ball expands again, and you can move your hands to expand the energy. This time when the light comes out the ball and into your heart and out your back feel the light split in two and cover the whole of the back of your body from head to toe like a large cloak. Feel it come round to the front of the body and back into the ball.
• The ball is now full of energy connected to whatever you were focussing on.
• As you hold the energy ball see, feel, sense, know, imagine that energy start to leave the ball as tiny golden threads that are floating on the breeze and are being carried to whatever they need to land on.
• Each golden thread will land on a thing, place, event, person or object that is part of the thing you were focusing on. Have faith that each of the elements needed to create your outcome is being bestowed with a tiny golden thread right at this moment.
• Take a long slow deep breath in through your nose and out through your mouth.
• Gently allow you hand to rest on your knees and when you are ready open your eyes
Here is a recording of the meditation in spoken word to help you the first time
An attitude of gratitude
An attitude of gratitude means making it a habit to express thankfulness and appreciation in all parts of your life, on a regular basis, for both the big and small things alike
Gratitude is something that we take for granted but when we take the time to be mindful within our gratitude it can transform our thinking, our feelings and our environment. We start to see the world in a different way, we start to see the good in all things even when they don’t feel good at the time.
• Having an attitude of gratitude in all situations really does make you think differently. Using a gratitude journal or gratitude jar will help you to note how you are seeing/feeling things as they happen, how you see/feel them when you reflect on them, and how you see/feel them when you look back at them as memories
• Having an attitude of gratitude lets you see the solution before the problem. Being mindful about what our triggers are means that we are able to ‘be’ more present within our reactions and turn them into responses. As you become more aware of what your triggers are and being ‘in’ them rather than responding to them will help you work out why they are triggers and if they even belong to you
• Having an attitude of gratitude is infectious. The people around you will start to note the way you see/feel/respond to the world around you and will see how little other people’s business bothers you. They will want some of what you have – peace, calm, power and control
• Having an attitude of gratitude helps us to stop ‘future projecting’. This is one of the most damaging and limiting behaviours we have as humans and is very common. Have you ever said ‘when I am thin’, ‘when I qualify’, ‘when I get some money’, ‘when I move house’, ‘when I get x, y or z’ – there is no future there is only NOW
Being mindful about the things we experience in life lets us see the world around us differently and the more we do it the more it changes. Being ‘in’ each situation allows us to expand into the full potential of what is possible.
How to make a gratitude journal
- Buy or use an empty notebook that you can dedicate to your gratitude practice
- There are gratitude journals available to buy but a blank or lined notebook is fine
- You can spend 5 – 10 minutes in the morning writing down all the things you are grateful for that you have in your life or that you encountered throughout your day
- You can wrote freehand and just let your thoughts out, and it may be that you choose to do it every day or just as and when you feel like it
- Have fun with it – it is perfectly okay to write ‘I am grateful I never screamed at that woman in the supermarket who bumped into me’ there are no rules except the ones you make
- you can start off with a list if its easier. Write down 10 things you are grateful for in your life and if that is too many start with 5 and build up
- Look back on your gratitude journal on days where things feel a bit low or flat and it will remind you of how much you have had in your life and experience to feel good about
How to make a gratitude jar
- Find an old unused jar that you can get your hand in and out of
- Cut up some coloured or plain paper into small pieces (business card size)
- Each night write something that you are grateful for onto one of these pieces of paper, fold it in half and pop it in the jar
- You can also add to the jar any time something happens that you are grateful for – again there are no rules
- Let them build up and if at any time you need reminded of the abundance, love and joy in your life then take them out one by one and read them and remember all those time you were grateful for what you had
1. Write down something that has happened to you recently or you have been involved in that was uncomfortable, unpleasant or you wish hadn’t happened (it can be a tiny thing or a big thing)
2. Now write down the positives in the situation and what you may be grateful for. It can be daunting to think about that so you could try asking the question ‘what are the benefits in this situation?’ and see what comes up.
3. Take some time to reflect on the positives and benefits and how you may have to change your perspective to see the whole story in situations/relationships/experiences and more.
4. Try this with a few things and see if it helps you to see things from a different perspective and it might even change your mind of the incident/person/experience or situation altogether.
Om shanti gratitude ritual
Hold your hands in front of you at your heart palms together (as if in prayer). Speak the words of gratitude to each of the people you want to thank or speak out loud the thanks you give to those people/things/events in your life that you want to thank.
Now take your hand upwards on the midline through your third eye up into the air above you (hand should remain together) When you have stretched fully above your head open your palms and tilt your head to the sky and open your arms wide. Take in all the energy of the Universe as you pause for a moment with your arms wide open.
Now bring your arms slowly back together and join your hand together again. Bring them back down to heart level. At this level turn them out and downwards and take them down the midline of the body and when at the feet open them wide and receive all the energy of Mother Earth – while connecting the Universal energy at the same time.
Hold arms wide open for a short pause. Then take your arms slowly back to the centre, join hands together and come back up the midline and at the heart turn the hands upwards again.
You are now back to the starting pose – to finish say On Shanti then drop your hands gently.
Other ways to be mindful
Making mindful decisions
There are many times we come to make decisions and we are not sure what we trust, what we feel and what would be best. Here are some ways to learn to be in your own energy when making decisions, and with practice these can really make you more aware of how and why you come to the decisions you do.
When thinking about whether or not to do something then imagine that you were doing it or had said yes – now close your eyes and say in your head ‘yes I am going to do xxxx’ and does that feel heavy or does it feel light?
If it feels heavy then this might not be the thing for you or you may need more information before you proceed.
If it feels light then you are ready to proceed with it.
When thinking about the thing you want to decide on close your eyes and imagine you are full of lit up fairy lights. Visualise the whole of your body filled up and there are hundreds of tiny fairy lights all lit up.
Now imagine doing the thing you are deciding on and see how many lights stay on.
If less than 50% of the lights stay on then walk away – but of course you are always free to make a decision whichever way you want to so it might just help you get nearer an acceptable answer.
This is such a simple one but we often forget about it. When deciding on a way forward or whether or not to do something then toss a coin. But here is the magic, almost always by the time we have picked either heads or tails we already know which one we want it to land on. So it doesn’t really matter where it lands as just knowing where you want it to land makes the decision for you.
Asking other people’s opinions
Have you ever done that thing where you ask someone else’s opinion of what you should do and then they have not given you the answer you want to hear so you ask someone else? I know I have. Well the fact that you are asking with an outcome already in mind (even if you are not aware of it) means that, in fact, you have made the decision, you just don’t trust yourself enough to commit to it. But now you have this awareness, the next time you find yourself doing this you can be mindful of the fact that you are more in tune with the outcome you want than you had, perhaps, realised.
Meditation – 10 minutes a day can make a real difference
Deep Breathing – for a few minutes each day whenever you need to connect back to your own intuition and gut instinct
Put some music on and just let it wash over you or just start moving to it, it doesn’t need to be dancing, just feel the music and move to its rhythm and find your flow
Go outside in nature and just ‘be’ / walk barefoot / lie on the grass / make shapes out of the clouds
Take a mindfulness shower
You can do this in the shower or you can do it as a visualisation exercise.
Let the water of the shower cascade over your head, down your body, over your legs and feet and then down the plughole. As it does this imagine that each droplet of water is infusion with a golden light of positive energy, potential and abundance. As it falls over you imagine it filling your cells, muscles, tissues and fibres with all that positivity. Feel yourself being energised and motivated by all this potential. And as that is filling up your body, imagine that all the sleep, toxins and old beliefs are being washed away. Imagine them cascading off your body and down the plughole and returning to Mother Earth to be reused as needed. Just stand for a couple of minutes and feel the energy flow over you and notice and areas of tension of discomfort in the body, notice your thoughts and where they are taking you, and check them if needed. Once you feel energised simply turn off the water or imagine you are doing so if you are not in the shower and get on with the rest of your day in a more positive and energised way.
Create a morning or evening ritual
A morning and evening ritual can be very useful to help establish a routine, calm anxiety, return a sense of control and help with sleeping and waking up.
For evening work out a time to switch off all appliances, phones off – jammies on, clean face, brush teeth, brush hair, lay out clothes for tomorrow, get bag ready for tomorrow, put out change for bus/train, read 1 chapter of your book, do 3 rounds of deep breathing, lights out, sleep
For the morning work out a time to wake up, maybe meditate, do yoga or stretching, shower and dressed, breakfast and morning chores then into your day.
The value of a routine will only show itself once you are in the routine and it is the familiar, repetitive, regularity that will help you to find this value and also allow any blocks, anxieties or other feelings show up for what they are.
Some other resources
Buddha Doodles www.buddhadoodles.com
Notes from the Universe www.tut.com/inspiration/nftu
Oracle Cards Online www.colettebaronreid.com/use-colettes-free-online-oracle-cards-app/
Calm app – www.calm.com/
Headspace app – www.headspace.com/
Copyright © 2016 by Jacqueline Munro
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