The Beauty of Sleep Part II

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Meditation - Payer - Mindfulness - Journaling - Focused Breathing - Relaxation or my favorite one - "Brain Time-Out". 

Whatever one might call it, this ancient practice has proven to be a link between Body and Mind. Physical and Spiritual. Yin and Yang. Opposing aspects of the whole. 

For many it includes journaling while for others it's a practice of simple deep breathing patterns . I have seen many ways in which people apply "Brain Time-Out". The right way to do it is your way, the way that gets your mind to relax and simply be.

For me, I do them all! At different times of the day, some more than others depending on how life looks like, but one thing I know: I miss it greatly when I don't create the time to give my brain a time-out. Have you tried not to think? It's almost impossible! Just thinking about not thinking makes you think, so how can we do it?!

Try them out and see how they feel. I was able to fully engage in this body-mind connection by starting with yoga classes. The guided meditation in it made it easier to find my flow. I then started journaling - a thought download at times where I would just rip the paper out and throw it away once I was done, other times recoding meaningful insights and experiences I had while pondering on specific subjects. Focused breathing and mindfulness came later on as I learned new techniques and applied them to labor and delivery. Who knew something as physical as giving birth could be led by the mind! 

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I first discovered the power of daily meditation while attending a Hypnobirthing class in preparation to welcome our first child. As part of the 6 week course I was advised to practice the hypnosis tracks and scripts 1-3 times per day, each practice varying from 5 to 20 minutes. Initially it was weird and it all felt very pointless, but I was big and round and appreciated the break and excuse to just "lay there and do nothing". Gradually, as I trained my mind to follow the guided meditation, I increased my ability to practice focused breathing and learned how to relax specific muscles groups. I then started to notice that I would come out of my meditation practices rejuvenated, uplifted and even inspired! As a first time mom these practices were paramount to chasing away the fear surrounding myths and the horrors of birthing stories I grew up hearing about.

Now think about this, if daily Meditation served as a tool to disperse fear and helped me focus even during labor and through the birthing process, how impactful could it be in the daily challenges and fears we face while doing life? Anxiety and stress coping mechanisms certainly come to mind when thinking in these lines. #foodforthought

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Later I used the same techniques and practices during the newborn stage where sleep was inconsistent at best but mostly non-existent. Over the years the practices of meditation has seeped into other ares of my life:

- Fitness as whole as I came to love and connect with my new body, ok, maybe I don't love all the flabbiness but it has grown on me {insert laughing emoji here for my cleverness}.

- To manage my emotions, especially negative emotions and taking ownership of my state of being. (Notice I did not say that this means that I no longer yell at my kids, let's just say that I yell less than my mother did, bless her heart.)

- In more recent years with post-partum depression, which is what led me to revisit this whole sleep deal and see it through new eyes to find the missing link I needed to improve my health. This is one area where naps were introduced to my meditation routine, 3-4 times per week, about 20 minutes. I start with a guided meditation track and usually within the first 7 minutes I'm so relaxed that I can't remember the rest of the track. By the end of the 20 minutes I feel rejuvenated and ready for the rest of the day!

- In my business practices. I use meditation, visualization and journaling on a weekly basis to find balance in my business and home life. Not perfect, never perfect, but doable. Manageable. Hopeful. All emotions that I'm able to create through my thoughts and experience in my body as it drives my actions.

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Want to join me this Summer at the place where my body and mind became one? Meditation - Laughter Yoga - Mindfulness - Spirituality - all in one like I had never experienced before.

Learn more about my WOmen's Health Retreat here

 

Namaste.