Sometimes it’s hard to focus on coherent thoughts or to “clear your mind” as many people think they have to do when meditating. So do some math, or practice your ABC’s, and test your memory skills in a callback to childhood road trip games. Couple these activities with a slight attention to your breathing to help bring it to a calmer state - adding extra beats on the inhale/exhale and in between portions as you go along.
If doing computations feels too overwhelming, counting can sometimes help. Start at one and just count out loud or in your mind, slowly pausing between each number for a beat. You might notice those beats will be quicker, probably unconsciously matching your breathing pace, at the outset. Use that moment between each number to give yourself space to start adding those pauses between inhale and exhale - but don’t hold your breath, just let it flow as naturally as you feel able between breaths. And if you should lose count? No big deal. You can start over, or start back from the last number you remember. There is no end goal, just count for as long as you feel is necessary.
If you’re not familiar with the game, "Going on a Picnic" is a game where everyone in a round takes turns saying “I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing an Apple” or anything that starts with A. The next person has B and will say “I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing Buttons and an Apple” a la the 12 Days of Christmas song pattern. It can be a challenge as the letters and chaotic word/item choices accumulate.
Doing it by yourself, you can use the same breathing techniques described before to add pauses where appropriate in your narrative of this Appealing Bowling Ball Circus themed picnic. If you reach Z and are not quite feeling ready to stop, no reason why you couldn’t start over. There’s various ways you could increase the challenge level to help yourself better focus - starting at Z and going backwards, or adding adjectives or other descriptors that start with the same letter as your chosen word: "Appealing Apples", “Jittery June bugs”, “Laughing Lions”, etc...
The most important key here is, if you “mess up”, it’s ok, just start over or “cheat” and start where you remember. Or just make up new words for that letter if you can’t remember what the heck you used for M, or change the calculation you’ve started doing to something a bit easier. You’re in charge and no one is losing if you change the rules!
Meditation Yoga Charms
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