How many times a day do you stop and notice your breath?
I can’t say it’s something I do very often, but it’s a habit I’m trying to cultivate.
I used to meditate quite a lot a few years ago. I hope this doesn’t sound too clichéd, but I was travelling in Spain and a bohemian sort of chap, who lived out of his backpack, first taught me some of the theory behind meditation.
Before, it was an exercise I did to help with my stress levels but didn’t go beyond that.
Unfortunately, over the past year or so, I fell out of the habit of meditating. I know, of course, it’s more of a correlation than cause and effect, but it’s aligned with the time that my mental health started taking a turn for the worse. Most of my good habits fell away, as did my meditation practice.
I remember joking with my sister, saying that I didn’t like the sound of one of the coaches’ voices on Headspace, so that’s why I stopped using the app.
But the reality is, it was probably just an excuse as to why I stopped doing my practice. And here I am, a few months down the line, recommending Headspace or any other meditation app, guide or method that might help you find a bit more space and presence in your days.
With any habit, I struggle to integrate it into my whole life, rather than it just being an “obligation” to tick off in the morning/evening.
But like with most things that require practise, it probably has to start as a chore, an obligation and something we struggle with before we begin to see benefits reaped in our lives.
Meditation can be a secular practice. But for me, it also forms part of the rhythm of my prayer – meditative prayer is something that has been practised for centuries by many religions.
Do you meditate?
What do you do to cultivate presence in your days?