I hold beautiful memories from childhood of my brother and I sitting on surfboards in the ocean. We would wait for what we deemed the perfect wave and elatedly surf toward the sandy beach. The goal in the moment was to experience the thrilling ride, and I can recall some memorable trips to shore. Yet, what remains in the forefront of these memories now are the moments in between. The countless minutes spent amid each set where the water calmed enough to gently carry us and we would talk about whatever appeared.
The mind is often compared to the ocean with thoughts rising and falling like the peaks and valleys of waves. Tranquillity moves below the waves just as serenity rests beyond our reactions. This eternal calm has the power to carry us with clarity along our path. Slowing down and mindfully taking deep breaths can connect us to this place, a space inside each of us, untouched by our evanescent emotions.
We can choose to rise each morning with a practice that has the capacity to impact our entire day. Gently wake and create a comfortable seat, offer the body aware relaxation and let the mind follow. Softly close your eyes and begin to observe your natural breath. Feel the chest and belly rise and fall with each aware breath. Count two exhales then begin to notice the pauses between each inhale and exhale; the small space that can easily be passed by as the mind focuses on the taking in and releasing of air. Be conscious of not holding the breath at any time, but simply experience your natural rhythm. Offer yourself six breaths like this; aware of all four parts: inhale – pause – exhale – pause.
As thoughts arise, and they will, let them be there, maybe even smile at them as reminders that you are alive, letting the mind create joy for the body. Then bring your attention back to your breath, mindfully experiencing every part of the moment. Let your thoughts float into your past by choosing to be in your now. Allow awareness of the breath to bring you into this moment. Where our attention gives, our being lives. Be patient in the process and choose to be in the flow of what is. Release the need to receive, and you will receive what you need. Know that calm is only a few breaths away.