Om Shanti to Home Shanti
6 am – time to wake up; 7 am – getting kid ready for school; 8 am – making breakfast; 10 am – finishing household chores; 12 noon – making lunch...
Does this routine sound more or less familiar? It might to many of us housewives for whom each new day is quite like the one that just went by. The daily chores may not change. But what can is our state of mind. The same humdrum can still leave us fresh and enthusiastic if the mind is happy and relaxed. We could still have the energy to do something new and creative with our lives. The secret lies in spending just a few minutes daily to 'meet and renew ourselves'. So, what is the challenge? We feel too tied up in our chores that we either don't find time or lack interest or confidence to go out and live our dreams.
If given an opportunity, we would also want to do something other than just cooking and cleaning, right? Some of us might consider running a boutique or a beauty parlour, some might want to pursue an old hobby– singing, dancing or learning guitar. How can we bring this spark of life into our routine without compromising on any of the tasks that we are committed to?
“Meditation adds time to your day and energy to your body”, says Sri Sri. Keeping aside a few minutes to meditate daily can actually bring you a few extra hours to do all the other things for which you never found time. It works. You might be surprised to see how you are better able to take care of your family needs while also being more innovative in using your time to pursue other interests. When we meditate, creativity wells up from within. You start gaining interest in doing things that are creative.
As women, another in-born tendency in us is to communicate and make friends. Between friends, there is some fun, some gossip, some misunderstandings, some friendships last, some don't. How do you add value to these relationships? How do you make your presence so pleasant and uplifting that people enjoy and look forward to spending a few minutes with you?
Only a happy person can spread happiness and can be of help to others. This is where meditation helps. When our mind is clear and stress-free, we are our natural selves full of joy, enthusiasm and peace. Our personality reflects more confidence and people look up to us for help and support, and most certainly for good company! Seetha Prakash, a housewife says, “I started meditating a year back when my sister told me about it. Sahaj Samadhi Meditation gave me my own mantra to meditate and now with daily practice, I have started noting changes which have gradually come about. My mind is much more peaceful than before and I don't get angry with my children anymore. I even have lesser fights with my husband now,” she shares with a laugh.
Yes, this is possible. When you meditate, its benefits are not just for you to enjoy but others around you also feel the difference. Who wouldn't like it if someone said, “It’s nice to see you always smiling and so dynamic!”
So all set to meditate but can’t get started? Here are a few tips which might help you as a beginner to the practice.
- Choose your own convenient time to meditate. It could be early morning just as you wake up or when the kids and husband are away at school and work, or when everyone's taking an afternoon nap... find out which time slot is 'available' during the day and book it as 'meditation time'.
- Food can play a vital role in making meditation happen naturally. Include fresh fruits, vegetables, salads, juices and other natural products in your diet. Try munching on an apple instead of a cookie for snack. Besides keeping weight in control, such a diet helps increase prana (life force) in the body, which in turn increases the desire to meditate. You might want to try some of these interesting healthy recipes for a few days.
- Spend some quality time alone at a nice quiet place. Visit a park or garden. Going to places abound in nature is a good idea, as meditating there adds beauty to the whole experience.
- If you like chatting online, logging on to Facebook or Twitter to spend time, choose a guided meditation of your choice online and enjoy a deep retreat for 10-20 minutes.
- Meditation can be an opportunity to socialize. We anyway keep looking for reasons to meet our neighbours or friends, so let this be one. When you get together and meditate, the effect of meditation is much more. Also, it becomes easier to be regular with the practice when it is done as a group activity daily.
- Sometimes when you feel low and down, and the day doesn’t seem to be going well, use that opportunity to meditate and spend time just with yourself. Meditation helps us break out of the cycle of emotional highs and lows.
- You might find yourself dozing off or feeling restless at times when you sit to meditate. Try some chanting, yoga or Nadi Shodhan pranayama, which help you slip easily into meditation. You might also find it easier to meditateion easier after your morning or evening puja. After singing or listening to bhajans (devotional songs), you can simply sit with your eyes closed for a few minutes and experience meditation happening naturally.
So what are you waiting for? Try the above activities for 10-15 days. See if this works for you and feel free to share your experience with us. To start with, you can go through an online guided meditation, such as Hari Om Meditation or Pancha Kosha Meditation, where all you will need to do is close your eyes and glide into deep relaxation. But remember to stay committed and regular with this practice for best results. Happy relaxing!
Inspired by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's wisdom talks
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