Do You Feel Like a Duck on the Water?
Spring is on the horizon and with spring comes ducks on the water, swimming gracefully, smoothly, and rhythmically. But when you look under the water, those same ducks with their webbed feet are padding as fast as they can. In our beyond-duck-paced world of work, family, friends, email, smart phones, and social media, the metaphor feels like a fit.
Groomed and together, we move in high speed through our days. Beneath the surface, we may be doing everything we can to keep it all together, keep up and keep moving forward.
This is where mindfulness makes her entrance. This is how we can learn to be “sitting ducks,” in a different sense of the phrase. In my recent duck research, I also learned that ducks often sleep sitting in the water. So hold that image and take these tips into your fast-paddling days.
Periodically throughout the day, stop paddling.
Get up from your desk twice a day and take a walk for 10 or 15 minutes and outside if possible. Be mindful of your conscious steps and your breathing, and notice if your mind is more clear when you return.
Turn off your phone and computer.
Twice during the day, take five minutes and turn off your phone and computer. Then find a comfortable sitting position and close your eyes as in a starting meditation posture. Become aware of your breathing. Follow your breath, the inhalation and the exhalation for five minutes. Let the intruding thoughts drift by as if on a floating cloud. After the five minutes, stand up and stretch before you return to your work.
Create a morning ritual before your day begins.
Whether journaling for 10 minutes, reading daily affirmations, meditation, or prayer, follow this morning plan just as you do with your dressing routine. Experiment for one week and see if you can hold to the ritual. Whatever you choose, complete the activity BEFORE turning to look at your phone or computer.
End the day with a ritual too.
When you get in bed before you go to sleep, take another 10 minutes to review your day. Take the day in reverse and discover what events and interactions had meaning for you, what might have brought confusion or upset, what you might have learned or accomplished during the day. Register the feelings that bring you positive energy. With any troubling thoughts of the day, mentally write them on a sheet of paper and tear the paper up. Then connect to your breathing as you go to sleep.
Stay connected to the present.
Most of all, as you paddle to keep up each day, stay present and connected to the current moment as much as you can and bring your focus back to the moment when you stray to past or present. After all, ducks paddle forward for the most part and that is also where our lives are going!
To schedule a mind wellness retreat/experience, contact Laurie Morgan Silver.