Here’s the second installment of meditations to do wherever you are and for whatever you’re doing!
I wrote about how to do a foundational practice meditation in Part 1: Morning Meditation.
And now onto Part 2: A meditation on the move!
If You’re Walking, Try Affirmations.
You might think that a walking meditation would suit when you’re, well, walking. But a standard walking meditation is usually done rather slowly, feeling each foot fall on the ground, and experiencing the body moving as a whole. That’s wonderful, and when you have the time and don’t want to sit still, a walking meditation can suit perfectly. However, if the reason you’re walking is to get from A to B, then give an affirmation meditation a try.
As you are walking and enjoying the surrounding scenery, so many tapes are playing in your head. Future list making, current worries, doubts, and all sorts of self-talk, so why not make the walk productive and replace one of those tapes with a mantra.
A mantra is Sanskrit for Man – mind, and Tra – instrument; mind instrument. Which encapsulates perfectly what a mantra is used for, it’s a point of concentration, just like the breath in a mindful breathing meditation. However in this meditation, there are some extra benefits due to the positive message slowly being absorbed into the repeated patterns of the mind.
The mantra you choose might not sit well with you at the beginning, but stick with it. Choose one that isn’t too grating, but that is slightly challenging.
A great affirmation for anyone is: “I accept myself exactly as I am right now”.
You could also try, “I like who I am.” Or one that some might find challenging; “I love myself.”
These are open affirmations that can support you, no matter what is happening in your life right now. When I used to walk the 20 minute route work, I’d say affirmations to myself the whole way. I actually chose two affirmations, as it kept it lively and rhythmic. One mantra on the inbreath, and one on the outbreath. To start with, I’d put some effort into keeping my mind on the affirmations, and then of course, my mind would wander, but it always amazed me that I could still hear the affirmation running in the background! It was like I had lots of different tapes playing at once. So as soon as I’d noticed that, I’d turn the volume back up on the affirmations.
Other affirmations to work with are: “I trust myself.” And “I look after myself.”
Keeping affirmations positive is very important. Don’t put in things which you don’t want in your mind, such as “I release the past”, or “I let go of that which no longer serves me.” Even though not directly saying “I don’t think about being fired/dumped” that is what they bring up. Use affirmations that affirm a positive, kind view of yourself, and a belief in a good future for you.
The great thing about repeating mantras when you’re walking, is that you still get to enjoy the walk. You get to feel your body and look around at the sights in front of you. The purpose of the affirmations in this case, is to set your mind to work on a task: Stay with the affirmations. It’s not about being completely absorbed in their meaning, but to take attention away from any of the other negative tapes that could be playing instead.
In a few short days, affirmations can start to work their magic. A feeling of being more supported, or feeling that everything is okay starts to settle in. As you keep going they will become part of your self-belief system. They also have a subliminal effect, in that when you walk a repeated route often, and use an affirmation meditation on that same route, you will find that the mantra will come into your mind as you walk it, giving you a dose of uplifting messages to see you on your way!
Affirmations are great for most types of purposeful walking, so why not use one on your next stroll; getting in a great meditation practice, and a healthy outdoor experience whilst you’re at it?