Thinking harder doesn’t solve problems. Creating headspace does.
This working from home bizzo has seen the English language adopt a new phrase: Zoom fatigue. And with a sample size of me, I concur – this sh*t is real! From work and homeschooling to catchups with family and friends, our screentime has ballooned (as has my waistline) and my eyes have never been so stingy and dry.
And that’s just the physical side effects. Without the twice-daily commute and alone time in the car, I’ve definitely noticed, come 5pm, my head is so chock-full with thoughts, tasks and deadlines I can barely string together a sentence.
It’s at this point I realise the alarm bells have been ringing for some time but I’ve only just bothered to look up and see what the fuss is. Oh yeah.
GET OUT OF YOUR HEAD.
But if we’re not in our heads, then where can we be? Here, in our body. Back down on Earth.
Here’s a grounding body scan meditation you can try to relax, unwind and clear that mental mud. xx
– MEDITATION –
Grab your headphones, settle in and enjoy.
Get yourself set up, nice and comfortable, wherever it is that you are.
Perhaps doing some gentle stretches to start things off. Tilting the head from side to side. Feeling the lovely stretch up the sides of the neck. Rolling the shoulders backwards three or four times… and then forwards.
And if it doesn’t feel too odd, try rocking your body; gently swaying from side to side as a way of preparing for stillness.
And if you’re laying down then you might like to move your hands and feet in a circular motion a few times one way and a few times another.
Just feeling into what the body is experiencing with these gentle movements.
And when you’re ready just becoming centred and still, readjusting yourself into your preferred meditation position.
So, I invite you to make contact with the breath now.
Taking a deep refreshing inhalation… and a long cleansing exhalation.
Really feeling the chest open up and expand as the oxygen comes into the lungs. And allowing gravity to pull your muscles downward as you expel all the air out of the body.
Repeating that a few more times. Breathing in that energising in-breath. And on the out-breath allowing the body, and the muscles, to sink further and further towards the earth, allowing gravity to do its thing.
In times of stress, busyness or anxiety, feeling grounded and supported by the earth can help us relax, unwind and give us the headspace to navigate difficult situations.
And so, with your breathing returned to its natural state, what might be helpful now is to visit each part of the body and consciously invite gravity to connect it down with the earth.
We’ll start with the most obvious place: the feet. For as Thich Nhat Hanh said, it’s the feet that kiss the earth every time we walk.
Allowing the feet to sink into the floor, imagining if you can, or getting a sense that, they are rooted into the earth.
Then, feeling the underside of the thighs and the bottom making contact with your cushion or the chair… Allowing gravity to draw this base towards the earth, creating a sturdy and solid foundation. Feeling supported by the earth.
Moving upward a little to the pelvis and stomach. Allowing these body parts to yield to gravity. Taking a breath and letting the tummy hang loose. Giving permission for everything to relax and soften and be supported by your base. Your foundation.
As you’re sitting here breathing, you may be able to detect the ribs and the chest expanding and contracting. Moving in and out. So, on the exhale, as the chest contracts, let the gravity centre you, and root you further towards the earth. Imagining that out-breath is like a chord travelling downward, plugging into the earth, like a tether.
So, next, we’ll move up to the shoulders and the arms and surrender these to gravity. Letting them hang and drop, very comfortably and loose.
And finally, reaching the head and the neck. Noticing if there’s any tension… in temples, the jaw, the eyes. The neck.
Allowing the shoulders to support the neck and the head.
Allowing the chest and the ribs to support the shoulders and the arms.
Allowing the pelvis and the tummy to support the chest and the ribs.
Allowing the legs, the buttocks and the feet to support the pelvis and the tummy.
And allowing the earth to support your entire body.
Feeling that gravity attract you further down. Down, down, down towards the earth. The earth that is here to support you. And gravity that’s holding you here in place.
So, have a little check-in with the breath, once more. Perhaps, for you, it’s flowing a little more freely now. Or maybe it’s not and that’s okay. Whatever your experience, is completely valid. It will be different every time you meditate.
So, for now, I’ll leave you to go on with your own unguided practice and finish up in your own time.
See you next time.