You are always in a way of being. Yet, very often you are blind to your way of being, as I am blind to mine.
You might find when you move between activities, conversations or situations your thinking mind is still in the previous activity, conversation or situation and not fully engaged in the current one. For example, when working from home you move your body from the office space to the home space, yet keep thinking about work. Short practices that create awareness of how you are being or that help you become ‘present’ in the moment can be very helpful.
To function at your best, it can also help to take some time every day to relax and to let go of any unnecessary physical tension held in your body.
I offer here recordings of some short practices that may help develop self-awareness, get present or relax.
Repetition and reflection are key. I invite you to use each practice multiple times so that it becomes familiar. Each time you practise, take a moment afterwards to reflect on the impact of having done the practice. Three out of four of the practices take less than two minutes and can be done anywhere, even when other people are around.
Once you have listened to a recording a few times you will have learned the practice and be able to access it anytime and anywhere.
Feel free to download the audio files to use on your devices. (Right-click the ‘download audio’ text and choose ‘save link as’.)
How are you right now? – 2 minutes to being aware of your being. In less than two minutes you can become aware of aspects of your being you have not noticed. Without awareness, there is no choice. Practice this self-awareness exercise before meetings, at the start of the workday, at the end of the workday, and any other time you think or feel it might be useful. I have written more about this practice here.
The wiggle your toes exercise will have you present in the moment. It’s perfect for the moments before a tricky conversation or before doing deep thinking work. (My thanks to Colin Boyd for teaching me this practice, it is one I have found immensely useful before giving presentations when I am feeling nervous.)
A four breath micro-relaxation. This quick relaxation can be done anytime and anywhere. Try it on busy days between emails, video conversations and other tasks. I also find it useful when I particularly need to pay attention when listening. (Just be careful not to sigh when you breathe out if you are listening to someone!)
A deep whole body relaxation. The recording is 8 minutes long, perhaps allow yourself a full ten minutes. The relaxation can be done anywhere.