I am essentially homeless, that is to say, I’ve picked up all my things and done the unthinkable: I left home. While I have had the time of my life, flying around to new places, meeting new people, and trying new things it doesn’t come without the cons of traveling, especially as a single woman. Going insane while you’re away from home is really uncomfortable, and it’s pretty much bound to happen, if you go from a pretty normal day-to-day routine to something completely new everyday it takes a toll. How do you stop the stress and homesickness? Learn how to meditate in any situation.
You don’t need to be a Buddhist monk or a yoga practicing vegetarian to get your om on. Meditation does not have to be such a structured kind of practice, what’s important is breath, mental shedding, and posture (if you can). Maybe some of what I describe isn’t rightfully meditation, but I’m not one to stay inside the lines anyway.
Breath is key in how to meditate when busy–we often get in our defensive fight or flight breath without even realizing it. These shallow breaths come from the chest, raising our shoulders up while deeper rhythmic breathing comes from the diaphragm, which doesn’t raise your shoulders and is similar to when you sleep. If you can consciously realize how you’re breathing, then you’re already at step one. Slowing down and taking deep stomach-filled breaths of air can help calm you down and get all that oxygen into your body.
The awareness of breath can help you calm your mind as well, by focusing on your breath in and breath, your mind tunes out a lot of that extra garbage like “I hope tomorrow is better than today,” or “I can’t believe I said that” or “I don’t think she likes me”. Focus on how your chest lifts and falls, how your lungs fill with air. If you’re on the go, it’s so easy to do, while sitting on a crowded bus you can breath in and out and feel your surroundings, notice the sensations around you and work with them. Is your room full of noise? Make that part of your practice, feel the seat beneath you, the heat from the sunlight, the keys under your fingers.
What’s the point of all that crap? Shifting your thoughts from the relentless barrage of random worries about yesterday and tomorrow into an acute awareness of what’s actually going on at the present moment. You’ll realize how much you miss out on once you begin to become centered, how you spend your days worried about things you have no control over, like whether it will rain next week or not. There are so many benefits to doing this, even though it might be near impossible at first, as Jake puts it (from Adventure Time) “‘Sucking at something is the first step towards being sorta good at something”.
Posture is great, it helps realign your slumped back, and can give you more bang for your buck, when you meditate. Sit straight, with chair at first or not, lay, or kneel with proper posture. This is if you can actually squeeze in the time to practice meditation. Even just 5-10 minutes every morning can create a difference.
I love this TED talk about mindfulness and meditation, it’s super inspirational, short, and it might say it better than I can. Enjoy!