August 23, 2011

Om on the Go: Five Meditation Places for Your Real Life. ~ Molly McCord

Photo: Joe Shlabotnik

Deep breath in. Final deep breath out.  Open eyes. Come back to the body. Sit still for a beat. Another satisfying meditation session where all is peaceful, calm and balanced.


Then Real Life begins.

Three text messages needing immediate attention. 21 emails to read, reply, edit, re-write and send. Projects with approaching deadlines to prioritize and get done today (right after those emails and text messages, definitely). Run an errand to the bank. Dash to appointment for windshield repair. Make a conscious lunch decision. Can’t even think about the afternoon yet.

In a matter of nanoseconds, the bliss of meditation is gone, gone, gone. Real life emerges and takes over with a relentless pace.

But after all the focused effort to clear my mind, I’ve decided to no longer let the peacefulness leave so easily. Nope, like all things worth keeping,

I’ve strategized a way to activate it regularly on demand.

Cue my Om Globe…

Photo: Claire L. Evans

The Om Globe of My Imagination is a vibrant, warm sphere of light that hoovers just about my brain space as I meditate. Like all worthwhile imaginary things, it represents calm, quiet perfection. I’ve come to adore my Om Globe a lot. Then life really improved when I realized I can meditate anywhere, any time when I consciously activate my Om Globe. So I do. If you want to create your very own Om Globe and play along, here are five meditation places for Real Life that work great with an Om Globe. The essentials for each place are a focus on breathing, banishing external noises/visuals/devices and a willingness to put all mental concerns on a shelf. Then you should be good to go and ready to obtain om on the go.

1. Quick Anywhere Grounding

Quick grounding can be done while standing in the shower, in the grass, in the kitchen, or anywhere you need to relax and calm yourself fairly quickly. I’ve even done this in the garage – the strength of those concrete floors can be quite comforting.

  • -Stand with feet shoulder length apart.
  • -Put feet flat on the ground. (Remove high heels or any elevated soles.)
  • -Close eyes.
  • -Breathe deeply and slowly.
  • -Maintain straight posture. Relax shoulders, neck and arms.
  • -See your Om Globe hovering above, then moving down the body and clearing out all seven chakras and/or stress areas.
  • -Imagine all energetic residues being washed down into the ground, floor, away.
  • -Open eyes to come back to your body. Namaste.

Photo: Joe Dielis

2. Housecleaning, Gardening and Other Mind-less Tasks

Cleaning the house and gardening are some of my favorite times to meditate. A state of mindlessness comes easily because I am familiar with the routine tasks of vacuuming, changing linens, scrubbing bathroom sinks and sweeping the kitchen floor.  Simple requirements:

  • -No music, TV or other background noise. Silence cellphones.
  • -No interactions with other people.
  • -Imagine your Om Globe suspended above your body at all times and moving with you effortlessly.
  • -Perform all movements in rhythm with your breath. That’s right: access your inner Karate Kid who wants to wax on, wax off with focused breathing. (Easier when no one else is around to make you self-conscious.)
  • -If worry, doubt or any level of fear comes in, send that energy to whatever is being cleaned to be released and discarded. Namaste.

Photo: Lululemon Athletica

3. Exercising

Walking, running and all forms of active exercise are great times to meditate because the heart is pumping, blood is moving throughout the body and your breath takes on a natural rhythm. Syncing up the mind can be done a few ways: If exercising inside, the Om Globe is a great imaginary focal point above the head instead of a television screen. Visualize it moving at the same pace as your body movements. If exercising outside, focus on the simple movements of nature. Turn off music players. Move body in rhythm with the breath. (This is obvious for yoga, so I’m referring more to running and walking.)

4. Bistro Conversations

When I lived in Paris for graduate school, I would regularly visit a hidden corner cafe on my street in the 15th arrondissement. Street watching can be a hypnotic way to meditate, assuming the city sounds are minimal; hence, my preference for this more secluded café. I would sit with both feet on the ground, shoulders relaxed, and sunglasses on to activate my trusty Om Globe. Sunglasses make it easier to avoid eye-contact with other patrons, and outdoor seating offers fresh (but still city) air. Now I practice the same techniques at local bistros, restaurants and lounges in the lovely suburbs of Seattle. Refraining from reading material or viewing screens (cellphone, laptop, tablets) takes willpower, but can be done. (Remember life in 1998?) And zoning out amongst on-going activity is a great way to strengthen meditative skills and ability. Namaste.

5. Driving (Read Carefully! 🙂 )

Photo: fitzer

One of my favorite techniques is meditating while driving on the freeway. Something about sitting down yet still moving forward is a wonderful combination of allowing and producing.

I need to carefully explain the necessary requirements or else the potential for disaster is obvious.

Use your own personal discretion to see if this technique is a comfortable fit for you. Personally, I only do this when traffic is easy and light.

  • -Turn off radio.
  • -Keep eyes focused ahead and not on the dashboard, clock, radio, etc. And obviously pay attention to the road and traffic. That’s a given and the main priority, which you already knew.
  • -Put Om Globe on the hood of the car, or just above the horizon line.
  • -Maintain straight posture and relaxed shoulders.
  • -Don’t grip steering wheel too tightly.
  • -Focus on long, deep inhales and exhales. Depending on speed, use mile posts as breathing indicators.
  • -Upon reaching destination, stretch lightly and take two more deep breaths upon leaving car. Namaste.

There are many other places to activate the trusty Om Globe and I am constantly trying to find that place of Zen during a busy day. It doesn’t always work, but at least I have a way to relax my mind on the go without needing to change clothes and roll out a mat. After all, the most successful spiritual practices work with my life and should not be a difficult new way to find that 25thhour in the day. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Molly McCord wrote this article, but she does not like writing bios because they either say too little or sound way too impressive. So how about this: Molly is a Seattle-based writer/teacher/traveler/conscious-spiritual seeker who thinks spirituality is best when it’s grounded in reality, or else it just sounds ridiculous. Her website, Conscious Cool Chic: Increasing Consciousness Through Daily Inspirations, is where she writes about soul-yummy stuff on a kinda-daily basis. Connect on the Book of Faces or follow along on Twitter because she follows back.

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