“…if a person could observe the stream of his thought for only one day he would see that there is almost no distinction between himself and a madman. It is just that the madman actually acts upon his thoughts, but the thoughts themselves are indistinguishable.” — Rabbi Shapira (1932, Warsaw Ghetto)
Coping with the stress of the holiday season? Finding your mind racing? Dealing with difficult situations or people? Trying to live more intentionally each day?
Here is a meditation I practice daily that helps clients and me quiet our minds and feel more peaceful, joyful, and lighter throughout the day.
Setting the Intention Using Meditation: There’s no magic to it. It’s a daily practice. Uncomfortable feelings might arise. Be gentle towards yourself. No judgment. Try starting with ten minutes.
The Meditaiton: “How to Quiet Your Mind in the Midst of Chaos*”
Step One – Awareness: Notice & pay attention to your breath. Become aware of your state of being. Observe your thoughts without judgment & visualize them “floating away.”
- Focus on your breathing: Might try saying “I am here” on in breath & “here I am” on outbreath.
- Pay attention to your “SIFT *”– S: sensations; I: images; F: feelings; T: thoughts. This helps us get in touch with and honor what’s going on for us at the moment.
Step Two – Gratitude: Think about who & what you are grateful for (ideas below – come up with what has meaning for you).
- I am grateful for abundance
- I am grateful for my daughter, son, partner, friend, etc.
Step Three – Intention: How would you like to Show Up? Set your intention, in a positive way (ideas below).
- Be present with lightness & joy
- Have compassion for myself first & then for others
- Eat light & healthy (or exercise 3 x’s week)
Step Four – Letting Go: Trust that your intention will happen without the need to force it on your end. Let things unfold naturally (ideas below).
- I will let go of worrying about how things might or might not turn out
- I will let go of trying to fix things I have no control over
- I will let go of forcing or trying to hard
*This meditation is inspired by Rabbi Shapira (1932, Warsaw Ghetto) as interpreted by Rabbi Dr. James Jacobson-Maisels and adapted by Cathy Quartner Bailey. SIFT language by Deepak Chopra.