We’re coming up on Thanksgiving, which is the beginning of the Holiday Season here in the US. Families will gather, too many people who don’t always get along will be stuffed into the same room, and Heaven help us if someone starts talking religion or politics! In the worst-case scenario, civility gets jettisoned and pies may get thrown.
I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be that way.
What would it be like if your family holidays (whatever, whenever they are, and wherever you are) were kinder, simpler, gentler than ever before?
It starts with you.
You control your own energy. You control how, and if, you respond to triggers.
How, you ask? Here’s part one of a little primer on what I call Spiritual Grooming:
Spiritual grooming is much like daily grooming: it’s what you do before heading out into the world so that you put your best face forward. You probably wouldn’t go to work or a business meeting without having showered. And you probably wouldn’t think of going on a date without having brushed your teeth in a few days. You do these things to make yourself feel better, and also for those around you to feel more comfortable around, and attracted to, you.
Spiritual grooming, for my money, is no less essential. With your daily ablutions, you scrub your physical surfaces, clearing away dirt, plaque, and any out-of-place odors. When you groom yourself spiritually each day, you clean up your energy so that you can put your best foot forward and not drop a stink-bomb.
The spiritual equivalent of a daily shower is meditation. Do some meditation every day, and you’ll feel much better about yourself, and others will, too. You’ll be more grounded, centered, balanced, and insightful. Automatically—because you have plugged yourself into the Divine Universe for support and recharging—you have reset your energy to the Love end of the spectrum. Just. Like. That.
Maybe you think this sounds great, but you already feel rushed. How could you possibly add one more thing—like meditation (surely this takes a long time)—to your busy, busy day, and that’s before the holiday frenzy kicks in?
If this is you, I invite you to take a breath right now. Just one, but make it a deep one. (Hint: breathe out first: you’ll have more room for the air and energy coming in.)
Easy and refreshing, right?
Guess what: you’re done! You can check it off your list for today. And it took all of 5 seconds.
Sure, you can make it fancier, or do more of it, but ultimately, that’s what meditation is: deep breathing to clear your energy and bring you back to the Present Moment.
Here’s a variation that’s a got a little more juice to it, and takes only about 30 seconds or less:
Wherever you are, standing or sitting, straighten your back, place your thumb on your pinkie finger and blow out to clear space. As you close your eyes and breathe in, repeat this mantra: “I am.” On the out-breath, repeat “The Light,” and then move your thumb to your ring finger. Do the same mantra with breath for each of your 3 other fingers on that hand. When you’re done, you’ll be filled with Light and a lot lighter, too.
This is the anywhere-anytime meditation. Kind of like the turtle who takes her house with her, you can take your sanctuary with you. No need for special tools, pillows, incense, cds. All you need is 30 seconds.
You can do this while you’re commuting to work. If you’re driving, breathe during the red lights or stopped traffic (a beep will let you know when the light’s green!). If you’re riding in a train or a cab or a carpool, it’s easy to take those few seconds to reset your energy.
During stressful moments, whether at work or in the family, simply close your eyes and take that one deep breath with mantra. This is a great tool for people who feel overwhelmed by crowds: Just stop, close your eyes and breathe in the Light.
Come back next week for more tools for surviving difficult times with grace and ease, and check out these blog posts for more examples of great meditations you can do, called the Divine Love Bubble and Breathing in the Stars.