You must have heard about mindfulness meditation and its manifold benefits before but if you are like me who juggles parenting, housekeeping and a 9-to-5, you probably came up with tons of excuses not to practice it due to your already schedule.
Yes, research shows a plethora of positive benefits mindfulness meditation has on your health, your happiness, and even your personal finance and productivity! You might say, “What are you talking about? I already work more than eight hours a day and I’m still struggling with productivity. Now you want me to squeeze in another twenty minutes of meditation to my already hectic schedule? You’ve gotta be kidding me!”
As counterintuitive as it may sound, recent studies reveal that people who actually meditate found significant increase in their productivity. In this age of fast-paced lifestyle and ever-evolving technology, average workers are already finding themselves competing with machines in the workplace when it comes to productivity. It is for this that, in an article published in Huffpost, Ian Mills wrote, 21st century workers are now “turning to this ancient practice of meditation to help them focus and prioritise effectively.”
You Can Do Mindfulness Meditation on the Go!
If you are thinking that meditation takes hours to practice, with you sitting in a Lotus position with your eyes closed, chanting “ohm”, think again. Like technology, meditation has since evolved. In fact, meditation practitioners, like Purpose Fairy, says you can do it around 5 to 10 minutes every day!
The coolest part is, you can even do it on the go. Before I teach you how to do on-the-go meditation though, allow me to share with you some quick facts about mindfulness meditation and why in the world it is so important that we do it.
Wikipedia defines mindfulness as the psychological process of bringing one’s attention to experiences occurring in the present moment and this can be developed through the practice of meditation or other training and among its empirically supported benefits, according to the APA journal Psychotherapy, are stress reduction, focus, cognitive flexibility and many more.
If you are a working mom, wouldn’t you give everything to learn how to reduce stress? I would.
So anyway, as to how you can practice mindfulness on your feet, I recently discovered how to do what experts call mindfulness meditation on-the-go. For working parents like us, dedicating fifteen minutes to meditation every morning can be quite a challenge – we need to prepare breakfast, pack lunch and make sure the kids are all set for school. All we want to do as soon as we open our eyes is jump out of bed and dash right out into the kitchen.
We might get started early into ticking out items in our to-do list when we do this, but more often than not, we end up forgetting something or multi-tasking until we get things half-baked. Instead of saving time, we actually end up spending a few more hours if not days perfecting our work.
Mindfulness meditation need not be difficult or complicated. We can actually begin by consciously taking in a deep, full breath the moment we open our eyes in the morning while we are still in bed, paying close attention to how oxygen travels through our airways, filling our lungs with fresh morning air and stretching our rib cage to its maximum. When you do this, you can actually hear your rib cage stretch. Say a silent “thank you” with every breath you take. Sometimes I do this sitting at the foot of my children’s bed and I let my eyes scan the room until they rest upon my sleeping angels. I say a prayer of gratitude for the comfortable pillows they have under their heads and most of all, for giving me the chance to be their mama. They might have come through me but they aren’t mine. Such precious beings can only belong to something greater than me and their Creator must have counted me worthy for putting me in charge of their well-being in this life. Knowing this, I pray for guidance in providing them with the best care in the world. This need not take fifteen minutes. Four to five deep breaths would be enough.
If you have a vegetable garden like we do, since my husband and I find gardening very therapeutic and we like growing our own food, you can also continue mindfulness meditation as you go out and pick vegetables. There is something about the garden that makes you feel special and connected to the Source. Simply looking at how freely the grasses grow and the flowers bloom with little or no help from us is proof that something greater is at work.
Smile as you approach the plants (feel free to make sure no one’s watching first, if you’re afraid about what others might say) and silently ask for their permission to pick their fruits. I say it out loud to my long beans (or basil, or chives) and as I gently twist off their fruits from the vine, I whisper thoughts of gratitude in my head. I sowed seeds of these for fun, cultivated it for fun, but only God (or Life, or the Maker, whatever you prefer to call Him) could have made them grow to provide food for my family.
The best time to do this is at sunrise. You might just catch a glimpse of some sunlight captured in a dewdrop in one of the leaves. You don’t even have to have a Zen meditation garden to do this. You will have plenty of meditative moments in your backyard garden.
If you pay close attention to every move you make, you might even hear the plants “talking” to you, sending you short but sweet messages from above. One special message I received last weekend was a promise, saying, “You will always have a plentiful harvest.” Isn’t that a beautiful thought to start the day with?
Every moment is an opportunity to practice mindfulness meditation. The more we practice it, the more it becomes natural for us, like breathing.
Do you have meditation practices that you would like to share? I would love it if you leave your comments below. If you found this article helpful, you might like to share it with friends you care about. “Sharing is Caring!” Hit the Facebook or Twitter button on the side and make someone happy. Until next time!