5 Minute Meditations to Do in Bed
I recently returned from 2.5 glorious weeks in Thailand. It was magnificent in every way you can imagine.
From the food, the stunning beaches, the ornate temples and mostly the kind and gentle Thai people, it truly was a trip of a lifetime. I am already ready for my next adventure!
However, since being back, I am suffering from a case of serious jetlag. (To be expected when you travel to the other side of the world!)
While it’s no surprise that I can’t keep my eyes open past 9pm and am waking around 4am, what is surprising is waking up with what my Jewish grandmother refers to as ‘having the shpilkes’ (pronounced Shpill-keys) also known as ANXIETY.
If you have ever woken up with a great amount of anxiety (or you experience it throughout the day) today, I want to share two simple meditations that you can use.
They each take a total of 5 minutes and can be done in the comfort of your own bed. They are wonderful to do upon waking, before you open your eyes and roll over and check your email. (I know you do it, it’s ok.:)
But first, I want to share something personal and a bit more serious about anxiety.
As a recent article in the NY TIMES shared, “CHANCES are that everyone on this planet has experienced anxiety, that distinct sense of unease and foreboding.”
It is something I have struggled with on and off for as long as I can remember. It started as early as kindergarten when I would get stomach-aches almost every day before school and has come in different forms ever since.
Over the years I have made a great effort to understand the source of it and become more of aware of it’s nature with the help of some amazing teachers, coaches and therapists.
Awareness and understanding can create great change.
In addition, I am constantly exploring and using meditations, tricks and techniques to help find peace when I don’t necessarily have answers or understanding.
I find both the search for understanding and the use of tools and techniques are equally as important. For me, it is a constant work in progress.
I share this because I don’t want you to feel alone if anxiety is something you struggle with. There is scientific evidence that some people are naturally more prone to anxiety, btw.
But more importantly, I share this because I think it’s important to demystify the idea that there is a PLACE that some highly spiritually evolved people are sitting in lotus position, not being affected by the flow of life.
This is simply untrue.
We are ALL bumped and bruised in life. We all experience pain, loss, worry, doubt and fear.
Life is intense and causes us to feel A LOT of sensation or anxiety based on it’s uncertainty and unknown nature.
As one of my favorite teachers Pema Chodren says, “Rather than being disheartened by the uncertainty of life, what if we accepted it and relaxed into it? What if we said, “Yes, this is the way it is; this is what it means to be human,” and decided to sit down and enjoy the ride?”
My hope is that we all learn ways in which we can enjoy the ride a little more, with all it’s many twists and turns.
As I lay in bed, I almost immediately started making a list of all the things I felt I needed to do now that I am back stateside. The list started making itself.
Unpack, do laundry, return to Bloomingdales, start taxes, start thank you notes… etc.
And on and on it went. I hadn’t been a wake a mere 5 min and already I could feel anxiety creep in.
So instead, while it was still dark and quiet, put you attention on you breath, by naming the inhale and exhale. Always a good place to start.
Inhaling, exhaling. Inhaling, exhaling.
And anytime your mind gets pulled to the list, simply notice to yourself, “Making a list.”
And anytime thinking of the list causes any tightness in your body for example, say to yourself, “Tightness, tightness…” and return to the breath.
This is the simple meditation practice of gently naming what is coming up from you as a way to deepen your awareness.
Once you feel a little more connected and your mind a bit more quiet, on the inhale, I added the mantra, “I am calm” and on the exhale “I am at ease.”
Inhale, “I am calm.”
Exhale, “I am at ease.”
And when ready, try adding the mantra, “I am here to create.”
Simply reminding myself of my power to create love, peace and ease in my own life and in those around me.
I recommend you simply focus on the breath the first few moments. If you add a mantra in too soon, it can easily become part of the other noise in your mind.
Let yourself slow down a bit before, then give yourself that beautiful sweet message you need to hear.
The next morning, my level of anxiety was a lot higher. It wasn’t so much about my to do’s but rather spinning out into the future with utter fear. The anxiety was jumping all over the map with thoughts like:
What if I waste my potential and don’t do all that is possible in my business?
What if something terrible happens to my husband?
What if something terrible happens to me?
What if I get really sick?
What if we never find our dream home?
What if we never get to go on another adventure again?
Depending on your state of mind while reading this, you are either thinking I am crazy or you have lay in bed and thought similar things. (My guess is that it is the latter.)
Funny that my what ifs would go down Dreary Lane.
But what if our what ifs went somewhere else? What if they took a turn down a more pleasing road?
So as I lay there, I started to ask myself different questions.
I find asking a question, versus using a statement can be a more gentle approach.
It allows your mind to play a bit and search for an answer rather than you trying to command it. This can be helpful if you are struggling to come up with anything positive.
So instead ask yourself:
What if I find the perfect person to help grow the business?
What if it is easy to find that person?
What if opportunities fall into my lap?
What if my husband and I live a long beautiful, healthy, vibrant life together?
What if we find our dream home sooner than anticipated?
What if today is really better than the day before?
All of these WHAT IFS are possible, aren’t they? Perhaps not guaranteed, but allowing yourself to see that there is another way to look at the same situation can bring about a great amount of peace.
I recommend this meditation any time you are feeling anxiety about some bigger issues in your life, BUT are still in a semi relaxed state that you have access to asking yourself these questions.
Sometimes if we are feeling super tense, it’s hard to even connect.
I’ll be back next week with the story of that time a baby elephant stepped on my toe. (This sounds like a set up for a joke, I wish it was!)
With sweet love,