Two Minutes a Day Can Change Your Life
A few weeks ago a friend of mine forwarded me an email about a workshop on resiliency geared toward helping volunteers remain strong over time. Back in early 2017, I started volunteering in my town's progressive group with helping to build non-partisan voting guides, getting the vote out and supporting an inclusivity policy in my school district for LGBTQ kids.
On the night of the workshop, I almost didn't go because it was 8 degrees out and I had just rushed home from a full day of work. But I pushed through and what I learned really helped me. I want to share with you a very simple practice that you can do for yourself each day. It takes only two minutes, is easy to do and it's free. Sound good?
This meditation is based off of the loving-kindness practice that helps in building compassion. In normal modern life, we're under tremendous stress all the day. No matter if it's from the news, our mobile devices or environmental stress. To deal with such stress, this simple meditation will help you be more compassionate to yourself, but also to others.
Simply sit down in a quiet location, close your eyes and slowly repeat the following:
May I be happy
May I be healthy
May I be peaceful
May I live with ease
Be sure to breath in slowly, exhale and concentrate on saying the four short sentences (if they don't work for you, pick different positive ones that do). Focus on giving these gifts to yourself: happiness, health, peace and ease (from the stress of life).
Over several months, you'll notice that you're more forgiving of yourself when you make mistakes as well as being understanding when others make mistakes.
You might wonder why I wanted to share this meditation practice with you. When I wrote the Cinderella's Secret Witch Diaries series, I wanted to show a Cinderella who had a hard life. She wasn't a fairy tale princess, but was young, immature, a bit selfish and really didn't have a clue on how to grow up. She had a dysfunctional family upbringing and was scarred by what she had lived through.
As an author, I take a germ of truth from my own life and weave those feelings of abandonment and suffering that I went through as a kid into my characters. Cinderella's journey is one of redemption. She struggles to learn what love truly is rather than being in love with love. For the longest time, she looks for someone else to complete her instead of loving herself.
It's a solid message that I think all of us need to hear from time to time. Until Cinderella loves herself, how can she ever truly love another?
And that's where this loving-kindness meditation comes in. Yes, my books are filled with magic and adventure, but there's also an underlining message in my books. Cinderella starts out in my first book, Lost, as a bit clueless and complains a lot. That's how I was at 19 years old as well. I've learned a thing or two along the way as does Cinderella.
With the loving-kindness meditation, I hope that a simple 2 minute practice will help you on your day-to-day. The full practice is actually 5 steps that you progressively work through over years. The other steps are: Send love to another, send love to someone you feel neutral about, send love to an enemy and then send love to the world. I'm only starting on the first step and that's sending love to myself.
I hope you find this 2 minute practice helpful. After you've tried it for a few days, let me know how it works for you.