Seeing your breath in the dim light of crisp mornings. The sharp silhouette of leaf-bare brown branches against deep indigo star-filled night skies. During these darker months, it is only natural to turn inward, to become quiet and introspective.
Unfortunately, our collective experience of the holiday season surrounding solstice contrasts sharply with the natural inclination to rest and contemplate. Instead of being quiet, we often end up pushing our way through busy airports and shops, rushing around, consuming, eating and drinking more than we should, and obsessing about holiday preparations.
It is during times like these that we can lose ourselves in the “doing”. We lose the sense of just being, of stillness and quiet because we feel we are the “doer” having to accomplish the to-do lists, fulfill our obligations and remember all the details. This state contributes enormously to our level of stress, and, combined with the emotional excitements and tension, excessive eating, and rich food, it can de-stabilize our susceptibility and be a formula to get sick.
Solstice is the traditional time for stillness, quiet and just simply “being”. Anything you do to relax, center and allow yourself some quiet time is good for your health, and an excellent prevention for the flu.
My holiday gift for you is a meditation that offers you respite from the hustle-bustle of the holiday season. This meditation is the least expensive, yet most effective vacation there is. It is time off, time just for you: to replenish and nourish yourself. I invite you to give yourself permission to do NOTHING for 20 minutes: to not worry, nor think, nor plan.
It only takes that to experience your natural state, to re-source yourself by sinking into yourself, into the stillness that is at your own inner center. Even when you feel scattered and frenzied, at the very core of that agitation, is peace. A peace that remains undisturbed by your agitation.
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You may find it useful to imagine sinking into the ocean when listening to this meditation. The ocean is a good metaphor for life. Life has its storms, its tidal waves, yet even then there is stillness, the silent peace at the bottom. And even if the bottom is agitated, the water itself, the essence of water remains unchanged, remains itself. Your essence is not your thoughts, ideas, beliefs, possessions, emotions, or physical body. The essence of who you are is that which does not change, which was not born and will not die.
During the meditation, you will find that like a buoy, the ego resists, and wants to rise up, back into its tumultuous world of waves and storms. Your only preoccupation is to allow it to sink, to release whatever you are identified with. Bringing awareness to the movement of your breath — the moment of stillness at the end of the inbreath, and the moment of stillness at the end of the out breath — helps you acclimatize to stillness so that you can allow yourself to sink again. Sink into the deep, soft, enveloping warmth of your inner light.
Allowing yourself to come to stillness, to the natural silent stillness at your center, is allowing yourself to relax into this moment, with nothing else to think about, nothing else to worry about, no concerns. It is a mini-vacation that you can take whenever you like and may repeat whenever you feel caught up in the waves of life.
Judyann McNamara – ND, DHom, CCH
Originally a physicist and biomedical researcher, Judyann has had a clinical practice for over 15 years, has held conferences since 1984 and has been a teacher of courses in physics, health sciences, homeopathy, holism and spirituality since 1975. Visit her profile page in our professional directory to learn more