Remain Grounded in times of Uncertainty
When I was a child growing up in Iran we went through nine years of brutal war with Iraq. I still remember the sounds of the sirens and the lights of the air-crafts at nights. I remember our school closing one day in a rush and my school principle bringing the whole school to the cellar of the building and playing games. I remember tapes on the windows holding the glass together. And ironically I remember my parents partying like no other time. A lot of group trips to remote places of the country to escape from the bombs in Tehran. I remember lighting candles at nights and playing games in the middle of the hallway to be far from any window in case of a bomb. What nerve racking time it must have been for my parents' generation. Many deaths and disabilities came from those years. But as the saying goes, what does not kill you makes you stronger. And it's this inner strength and resilience that has been the source of many of my life endeavors so far. Now with the past months with many of us being forced to stay home, I imagine how hard that is especially for busy, over achieving New Yorkers. The world is asking us to sit still. We cannot run away from our emotions. We try to lose ourselves in social media as usual. And that creates more anxiety. So here are some simple solutions to redirect our energy to remain more focused, grounded and hopefully more at peace.
Grounding Qi-gong exercise:
1) Stand with your feet wide, knees slightly bend and spine open and direct. Feel your feet on the ground, feel the energy of the ground moving up your feet and going up your spine. Take deep and relaxed breaths. On inhalation bend your knees and bring yours hands down as if scooping the earth from under your legs and bringing it up all the way in front of your body, above your head. Now open your hands and exhale. Repeat three times. Each time feeling the energy of the earth coming up your spine. Your feet are grounded into the center of the earth. You can visualize the lava and magnetic force at the center of the earth and your connection to it.
2) Now standing with feet wide and relaxed arms at your sides, inhale and bring your arms up above your head as if trying to catch the sky. Bring your arms down along your front and exhale. You are connecting the energy of the sky, the stars and heaven to your body. Feel the energy of the sky coming down through your spine as you exhale. Connecting the heaven and the earth with you in the middle. Repeat three times.
3) Now combine step one and step two. One of each followed by the other. Repeat three times.
You can do this exercise in the morning or before going to bed, during the day when you feel tired, or after sitting in front of computer for too long.
Loving kindness meditation:
This is my favorite meditation from the Holistic Nursing program. You can do it by yourself or you can do it in a group holding hands or a virtual group. It has four parts and repeated with intention towards four different
person or groups.
First you make sure you are sitting comfortably, focus on your breath and your spine being open and free. Take a few deep relaxing breaths.
1) focus on self:
May I be filled with loving kindness
May I be safe from inner and outer harm
May I be well in body and mind
May I be at ease and happy
2) focus on someone that you love
May you be filled with loving kindness
May you be safe from inner and outer harm
May you be well in body and mind
May you be at ease and happy
3) focus on someone that you have difficulty with
4) focus on your community, a area of the world, or the whole planet with all plants, animals and other sentient beings