Self-Love Dare: Do A Daily Pause Practice
Today, 8 years later, I meditate every morning for about 5 minutes, as a check in with me. I never ever leave the house without doing it. Once, about 5 years ago, I was in a hurry to get to work at my corporate job and I skipped the meditation. On the way to work I got a traffic ticket. I had to stop at the drug store because I forgot my tampons at home (ugh!), so I was late to work anyway. Later that afternoon, I turned a Vice President’s face red. And I got in a huge fight with my boyfriend. Lesson learned!
Over the years, I have added and subtracted other daily pause practices, some of which I have listed here as ideas for you to create your daily pause practice. It matters less about what you do and much more about how you do it and that you do it EVERYDAY. My daily practices have changed my life. I am able to do more, be more and create more because of them. They are just important to me as putting on my clothes, taking a shower and eating, because they are fuel for my spirit. No, I wasn’t taught the importance of these, society didn’t honor them, and my doing addict monster often tried to override them, but what those spiritual masters told me was true. I need a daily pause practice. It truly is the difference between my happiness and success and not. We all need a daily pause practice, and I dare you right now, if you don’t have one to create and commit to one, and do it everyday!
And if you do have one, I dare you to re-commit to it everyday, or ask yourself if there is a new daily pause practice that you need right now. Two months ago I added an hour a day of chanting to my daily pause practice, and it has elevated my life to a whole new level. Before I made that discovery I would have told you that you were crazy if you thought I was going to chant an hour a day. Today, I crave it like chocolate and can’t imagine my life without it.
Do A Daily Pause Practice
everyday, yes everyday
- Meditate. There are about a jillion ways to meditate, and I recommend you try a bunch to see what fits for you. Check out your local Buddhist organization. Get a meditation CD. Try Wayne Dyer’s meditation called Into the Gap. Try the tried and true method of closing your eyes, sitting and breathing and when thoughts show up, just see them as clouds passing through your head. Do a visualization meditation where you envision something you would like to happen in your life as if it is a movie playing in your head. Listen to your breath and count up to 8 each time you take inhale and exhale. Pick a time every day to meditate and stick to it. I think morning is the best time, before you do any work. It will center you and connect you to yourself. Also, try meditating in the evening before you go to bed. It’s a great way to relax.
- Mantra. Also known as affirmations, these are sentences or phrases that positively affirm something you want to call into your life or aspects of yourself that you want to change. They are always in the positive tense, meaning they never include words like ‘not,’ ‘no’ or ‘don’t.’ You repeat them at specific times throughout the day, and for a specific number of times. For example, for a period of a year, every morning while walking my dog I would say out loud “I love Christine” 50 times. Today I have an affirmation that is about 7 sentences long that includes the vision for my life and business. I say it every morning and every night.
- Journal. Whether you write or draw or both, get a journal and some pens or markers and put yourself on the page. Write out your thoughts, write a letter to yourself or ask a question and write whatever comes in response. Some people do this as soon as they wake up, before even getting out of bed, others every night before they go to sleep. The key is that it’s not like a diary where you just tell what you did all day, it is about getting deeper into what you are feeling and experiencing. It’s journaling to discover more about you or to get answers to questions you have. When it’s really working, it’s almost like someone else is writing through you. Some people call it automatic writing. It’s really cool!
- Chanting. Sound vibration is a powerful way to clear away all the yuck that can get stuck on you throughout the day. It also helps you get aligned to your center so that you can gain clarity about your life. It is also works to draw life opportunities to you, for as you chant, visions and ideas will start to fall into you, and the sound coming out of your mouth acts like a giant sonar machine attracting what you desire to you. There are lots of chanting CDs. Do a search for Kirtan music or Sadhana Mantra music and use your intuition to help you find the chant that is perfect for you.
- Walking. You don’t have to sit like a Buddha under a Bodhi tree to meditate. You can actually use walking, when you do it consciously, as a meditation. The idea here is to be totally present to the steps that you are taking one by one, literally feeling your feet hit the ground, step by step. As you focus on the steps, your thoughts will start to fade into the background, and often times the surroundings around you will come more alive. You can try this in nature and start to notice things about the trees, birds and sky that you never did before. You can also do it in the midst of a city and you will start to realize all kinds of things that you never saw before. Focus on the steps and your feet hitting the ground, and be aware of what happens inside and outside of you.
- Body Movement. Dance, yoga, trance dancing, ecstatic dance, five movements dance… using your body coupled with music or with breath can be a fantastic way to take pause. You can Google any of these types of dance and find events you can participate in your city. Or you can make your own practice like I did. About two years ago, I made my daily pause practice dancing in my driveway to three India Arie songs every morning for 6 months. The melodies would pu
mp through my IPOD and I would sing out loud from the depths of my heart and soul. I am sure my neighbors thought I was nuts, but I didn’t care. After that 10 minute pause I felt totally alive and ready to meet the world. Body movement like this opens your heart in a way nothing else can. Find music that opens up your heart and soul, and challenge yourself to move freely and fully to it every morning, without a care in the world to how you look or sound. It’s so freeing!
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