Monday, November 19, 2018

Meditate on This!!

I open my eyes give thanks to God for another day to try and get it right.  I take a deep breath and I try to cut out all the clutter that started immediately upon awaking. 
What am I wearing to work?  How many meetings do I have today?  Where am I on this or that project?  How are the kids, my family, my friends? What devotional am I sending out to my group this morning?  And so on, and so on…….

Something needed to change, that would allow me to focus first thing in the morning.
Now my morning regimen includes a ten to fifteen-minute quiet meditation.  I go into quiet reflection to clear out the cobweb of last night’s sleep but more importantly to bring peace before the roar of a busy day.  Besides being next to the ocean, it’s the time I hear God’s voice the clearest.  No, it’s not a conversational type of hearing, it is more to a knowing or nudging that allows me focus.
It is amazing how hard it is to meditate.  The effort it takes to tune out your own thoughts, let alone to just be still in the moment, is not easy at all.  I am not quite sure how Deepak and Oprah got so good at it! 
But I recently came across book by Justine Brooks Froelker called,Glorifying Him Through and In Our Self-Care, that offered some wonderful techniques to facilitate my morning meditation.

1. Color in an adult coloring book. -When I say adult, I mean don’t steal your child’s Barney one.  There are great coloring books at Barnes and Noble or even better your local neighborhood book store.
2. Use an app like: Head Space, OMG I Can Meditate, Calm, Mind Valley Academy 6 Phase Meditation or Oprah and Deepak’s app.  -I use my earbuds and listen to Abide through YouTube.
3. Watch a candle flame. -Pick your favorite scent and include sight, smell, and sound (or the lack thereof)
4. Use a scented essential oil. Rub it on your hands and wrists and sit quietly. When you get distracted, smell your wrists and refocus your mind.

5. Listen to the same instrumental song every single day.- It doesn't have to be some new age stuff either.  Pick an instrumental version of your favorite gospel, soul, or country song.  
6. Count your breaths, inhale 1, exhale 2, inhale 3, exhale 4 and so on. Only count to 10. Then start back at 1. Repeat for ten minutes.
7. A real-time feedback tool. Muse provides you with nature sounds for feedback, such as birds chirping when you are in the calm state.
8. Close your eyes, breathe and repeat your favorite, comforting Bible verse. -My favorite is a verse we recited every Sunday at the church I grew up in.  Psalms 19:14- Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.

Go ahead and give it a try.  Then come back and let me know if adding those few minutes of reflection to the beginning of your day helps you handle the chaos of the remainder.  

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