I am excited to share with you some exercises to help you develop or create some kind of awareness. Why is that so important? Without awareness, you will not even know whether you are wasting precious attention on thoughts that are unhelpful and unnecessary.
Let’s quickly get started:
(i) Sit back on your chair and get into a comfortable position.
(ii) Clench both your fists, hold them in front of you and look at them. (they can be resting on your lap)
(iii) Clench them as tightly as you can. Imagine yourself directing your breath towards your fists.
(iv) Take note of the colours of your hand – the parts that have turned white, pink or even red, due to the changes in the bloodflow.
(v) Still looking at your fists, slowly open them.
As you slowly open them, you will feel the blood rushing back into your hand. Perhaps you see the colour…now it’s more evenly spread out. You may probably also notice your rate of breathing, and so on.
Why did I want you to do this?
Did you realize while you were doing the exercise, you had no other thoughts. You were absolutely in the present. If you would like me to guide you through the exercise verbally, go to my YouTube video and fast forward to 03:00.
After that, take note of what has happened to your hands, your body, breathing and even the muscles on your face. What did you sense? What did you feel?
After the exercise, you may have realized that you were completely ‘in the now’. That’s what it means to ‘be present’.
Keep this exercise as a regular practice, at least once a day. It will train your mind so that it will know what it feels like to be free of unnecessary thoughts. The more you practise, the more ‘stillness’ you will experience. You become calm, and with this calmness, you will encounter a sense of natural joy.
Note, this is not the joy that you experience when buying something, or even joy associated with achievement. It is something more innate, and also provides the motivation to achieve your goals, aspirations and desires. However, when you are so drawn to the future and so worried, or keep thinking and putting your attention on the past, it is very hard to be positive.
This exercise can be done quickly and discreetly, anytime that you find your thoughts drifting into undesirable territory. Regular practice can literally strip away your unhelpful thoughts right there and then!