Taking Some Time for Yourself
A spot of meditation…
Article by Aaron Shuttleworth
It will take one minute and will potentially change your life. It did mine.
Stop what you’re doing, find a quiet place with a straight back chair. If you’re reading this hopefully you’re in one already. If you’re on the subway hopefully you have a seat.
Take five deep breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth. As you exhale on the fifth, gently shut your eyes and feel the weight of your body dissolve through your points of contact; bum on the seat, feet on the ground.
Close your mouth and breathe through your nose. In and then out, focusing all your energy on the out breathe.
Keep a count in your head. “And one…And two..” Until you reach ten, then slowly open your eyes again.
Congratulations, you just meditated. Your shirt is still pressed, the bottoms of your Louboutin’s are still red. You haven’t teleported to a commune in India and you still have to deal with that fucking intern when you get to work.
But maybe, just maybe you’ll be a bit calmer when you do.
Meditation has always been viewed as something of an enigma, a mystical practice from far off lands that was reserved in the Western World for hippies and goat herders.
We live in a society savagely overrun by quick fixes and endless distractions. We check our Instagram whilst watching Netflix, sexual gratification is available at the click or button or swipe of a finger. Hell, I’m sitting here writing this whilst I check my Facebook newsfeed.
Taking time for yourself, to do absolutely nothing, is a daunting concept. I’m not talking about the ‘Me Time’, where a book or the television acts as a distraction, but truly sitting and being alone with yourself. The good news is that if you’re just beginning, being alone and trying to will yourself to Zen nothingness probably isn’t the best option. The rise of the wellness industry has not failed to touch meditation, and apps such as Headspace and 10% Happier provide safe and user friendly platforms to learn from.
Figuring out why you want to meditate is half the battle.
Do you want to build deeper relationships?
To be able to focus more at a single task without getting distracted?
I started meditating to rediscover my value system, something New York has a habit of stripping away from newcomers who succumb to sensory overload. After sporadically chipping away for about a year, the buck finally dropped and much in the same way that people realise religion, charity or not eating gluten makes them better as a human, I realised meditation did that for me.
Next time you feel yourself going on a Mooch-esque rant about your co-workers auto-fellatial propensities, see if you can concentrate on your breath for a second, then assess whether you really want to go through with it. You may want to and who am I to tell you not to? But that couple of seconds’ pause will give you the opportunity to be mindful and aware, whether it’s before, during, or after the fact.