By Kristy Lee RackhamMost of us are aware that one of the core components of a happy and fulfilled life is positive self esteem/self worth. Easier said than done? Definitely! It’s all very well to know that we need to have a strong sense of respect for our unique selves and who we are. However, the real issue is HOW to achieve and maintain this state, particularly in the face of low self esteem/worth, emotional trauma and generalised depression, collectively termed here as ‘soul sickness’.
People experiencing ‘soul sickness’ can find themselves in a daily battle of the brain and body. The soul is forgotten, thwarted, ignored and neglected. This neglect manifests as failed or fraught relationships, mental and physical health problems, addictions, fatigue and lethargy, unsuccessful careers, lack of direction and motivation, family breakdown, and in worse case scenario, death. Without awareness of the soul and its higher directives, our lives can be subject to an eternal pattern of self destruct or numb nothingness. But there is a light of hope in the dark. To heal ‘soul sickness’ is to decide to take responsibility for ourselves, make real and lasting changes, and reconnect with the soul and its inspiration. But we won’t always know how right away.
The ‘how’ that I used (and still use) to clamber out of my own black hole of ‘soul sickness’ was Meditation practices such as Mindfulness and Creative Visualisation. Meditation is a practical tool to train the mind and body into stillness and peacefulness. Its purpose is to seek out and discover the true person within, the heart of the soul where infinite potential resides…and then…to enable us to USE that potential and create the life we want. Mindfulness is to become aware of our thoughts, without identifying with them as good or bad… it’s being the scientist watching the activities of our mind and body as if a curious real time science experiment. Creative Visualisation is using our creativity to imagine in a positive way how we would like to be in our waking world. Simply put, Mindfulness creates a clear head space, and Creative Visualisation decides what goes into that space!
There are many ways to incorporate meditation into daily life and find a way out of ‘soul sickness’, and it’s not as hard as it sounds. Our Soul responds to creativity, beauty and fun. It loves colour and movement. So, we need to find that thing that brings us pure joy. Anything that maintains 100% of our awareness and focus and develops our innate creativity can be a mindfulness meditation. Simple daily activities like walking through a garden and stopping to contemplate the fragility of a flower, lying on a bed gazing out at the stars, going for a long ride on a motorcycle, painting, surfing, gardening, running, drawing, yoga, boxing, playing or listening to your favourite music, singing… these are all very effective forms of mindfulness meditation.
In our fast paced world, most people don’t have the time to sit for hours trying to slow the mind down. In fact, anything that you try to force takes you out of a happy head space and back into listening to the ‘white noise’ of our thoughts (remember the quote “ Resistance is futile”!) So… below are some quick mini-meditations that can be used any where any time. They only take a minute or less, but can be used over and over.
It’s important to note here that ‘soul sickness’ is not to be taken lightly…meditation is NOT a quick fix to depression. It is a complete lifestyle change that can have a beneficial impact on life now and for the long term. In my experience, the most challenging aspect of meditation is actually remembering to meditate - tools don’t work by themselves, we have to pick them up and use them! Finding the light of our soul does require diligence, vigilance, willpower, determination and a strong resolve. However, it reaps the ultimate reward - we get to live the life we’ve been given, and consciously turn it into a life we want to live.
TRY THIS: Quick Fix
Feeling frazzled? Stop what you are doing right now and breathe! Take a very slow, deep breath in. As you inhale, imagine you are breathing light into your body through the top of your head. Then slowly exhale, imagining as you breathe out that the air is flowing down through your body and out through the base of your feet. As the air flows downward, feel any stress leaving your body with the air. Do this until you feel yourself calming down.
TRY THIS: A Light Shower
When having a shower, imagine the falling water is a shower of brilliant white light (or any other colour you feel like at the time). Imagine your entire being absorbs the shower of light and cleanses away all negative thoughts or feelings you may have collected from your environment. Feel the light shower washing all your troubles down the drain, leaving your body, brain and spirit/mind clear and cleansed.
TRY THIS: One Minute Meditation
For one minute, place
all your focus on one thing of beauty in everyday life. Really look at it, smell it, feel it... Stop
to ‘smell the roses’ and most importantly, feel good about it! The world can wait, it’s only one
minute! Do this every time you think of
it and at least every day
Kristy Lee Rackham is the author of “Head Space - Meditate Your Way to Study Success”. She is a key note speaker, freelance writer, student nurse and full time mum to two beautiful little people, 2 1/2 year old boy and 1 year old girl. For more information about Kristy and her work, visit www.headspacebook.com or email email@example.com.