In last week’s Recharge class, I taught a simple breathing technique and exploration to help prioritize and recognize what’s important in your own life. It came from a discussion that I had with my meditation teacher, Harshada Wagner, a few years ago and feels even more relevant than usual around the holidays.
Basically, you can break down categories of questions and things in your life like this:
Emergent+Urgent—These are tasks with deadlines. These are every day fires and robotic chores. Have the bills been paid? Did we send a Christmas card to that person? Go to the grocery store. Pack the kids lunches for school. Your child just threw up on you (ahem, Erin) and you need to clean everyone up.
Important—Why do you have a job? Do you enjoy spending the money you earn?
Precious—These are things that if you lost, your life would be diminished.
Sacred—What would you care about if you had an hour to live? A year? What matters?
On bad days when we are embedded in emergent and urgent tasks those things that are precious and sacred have to scream for attention. However, you can learn to recognize when you’re stuck in the first two layers and how to break through them. It’s about perspective when things are on fire. Take about 5-15 minutes and do the following:
+Lay on your back in bridge prep pose. (Knees bent, feet flat on the floor.)
+Place one hand on your belly, one hand on your chest.
+Close your eyes. Find stillness.
+Feel your breath move in the body. Just bring the awareness to the feeling of breathing.
+While you remain focused on the breath, notice any thoughts that bubble up (without judgement, without needing to change them, without needing to hide from them). Just acknowledge those things regardless of how significant or insignificant you think they are. Many of these things likely fall into the emergent and urgent categories—those tasks the brain thinks need doing to protect or provide for what is precious and sacred.
+Visualize something sacred. Notice how that makes you feel. Let it fill you up.
As you come out, and bring movement back into the body just notice any shifts in your awareness or approach to those things you face in your every day life. Sometimes just a few minutes of allowing yourself to bare witness to what’s happening and put that into perspective of what’s truly sacred is enough to greatly shift our overall outlook and well-being. And that’s what Recharging is ultimately all about.