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An Active Meditation For People Who Don’t Meditate

impatient meditation

Do you have trouble just sitting in silence?

Are your thoughts relentless and chaotic?

Well, here’s some good news… You’re not alone. Not at all.

In our culture of busyness and information overload, it’s nearly impossible to just sit in silence and instantly find peace like a yogi in the Himalayas.

We have work, responsibilities, stress, to-do lists, bills to pay and so much weighing on our mind. Without first addressing your stress, tension and cluttered mental-emotional state, it’s really difficult to just shut your mind off.

The solution to this is active meditation. Active meditation uses movement to cultivate stillness. It allows you to release all of the baggage you’re holding onto and clears the space to rest in the peaceful bliss at the core of your being.

Not only is active meditation highly effective, it’s also a lot of fun.

Meditation can be broadly defined as anything that brings a state of mindfulness, consciousness or awareness. And active meditation uses movement to get to this state.

I recently came up with an active meditation that I call Primal Meditation. I naturally found myself doing this the other day. And intuitively, I was guided to do it in a particular order, which felt so natural. Its foundation is drawn from Osho’s active meditations, along with the influence of Elliott Hulse and much of my own experience.

The whole thing only takes about 20-25 minutes. Anyone can do it, no matter your schedule or meditation experience. And the best thing about it is that it’s a whole lot of fun to do.

Primal Meditation

Part 1. Shake and Dance

Shake your body. Bounce gently at first and shake your arms and legs. Dance with the intent of working out kinks and energetic stuckness. Shake and flow. Engage in non-linear movements (wiggles, not right angles). Don’t try to look good, focus on flowing and releasing stuckness.

After just a few minutes of this, you will literally feel your energy become unblocked and begin to circulate more freely.

Music: Syria (Satori Remix) by Unders
Length: 8-9 minutes

Part 2. Gibberish

Freestyle rap or sing in gibberish. Pretend it’s a language you’re making up. The key is to not say anything with meaning, only nonsense. Let it flow out without judgment. Make any noises or sounds you feel like making. Get your body involved too while doing it.

Music: 808 TRAP BEAT INSTRUMENTAL – Strip Joint by 808 District
Length: 4-5 minutes

Part 3. Deep Breathing

Breathe deeply to the song. Find your own rhythm. As long as you’re breathing deeply, into your belly, that’s all that really matters. You can move your body intuitively as you breathe too, almost like tai chi or qigong.

Music: Breathe by Fabolous (Instrumental version)
Length: 4-5 Minutes

Part 4. Lay on the Floor

Lie on your back with your palms facing up (like savasana, or corpse pose, in a yoga class). Let go of any remaining tension you’re holding onto. Notice how your body feels. Notice any thoughts that arise in your mind. Become the observer. Allow yourself to just be.

Music: Silence
Length: Until you feel like getting up

To end the meditation, sit up, hold your heart with both hands, feel gratitude, then go about your day.

A note on customization: You can pick your own songs to use, as long as they don’t have words (because words can be distracting). But the songs I listed work as a good starting point, especially in terms of the vibe of each stage and the general amount of time.

The Benefits of Shaking and Dancing

Shaking breaks up neurotic holding patterns we have. It’s the simplest way to release tension and stress held in the body. When we hold emotions, they manifest in the body. Stress, for example, will result in tightening muscles throughout the body and clenching the jaw. There’s a reason why we use the expression “shake it off.” We’re literally shaking off our fears, anxieties, worry, stress, tension, frustration, sadness, grief…etc.

Dancing is a brilliant form of self-expression using the body. When the body flows physically, we allow our energy and emotions to flow as well, instead of becoming stuck. Dancing is also a means of releasing pent up energy. Most people in today’s world hold onto a lot of stress and fear, and don’t move their body as much as they should. And rarely do we move our bodies in an intuitive, non-linear and flowing way. The more flowing movement allows the analytical brain to relax, the ego to loosen its grip and all forms of fear to melt away.

We all know how good dancing feels, especially when we let go of judgment and really get into it.

The Benefits of Gibberish

“Gibberish is one of the most scientific ways to clean your mind and break the habit of continual inner
verbalization.”

-Osho

Gibberish is a brain dump of language. We’re crammed with words throughout our whole life, starting from the day we’re born. Gibberish allows you to break free from incessant internal verbalization and creates space for silence, peace and deep bliss.

It may sound crazy, but you can literally feel the benefits of gibberish within seconds.

The Benefits of Breathing

Obviously, breathing is necessary for even surviving. But conscious, deep breathing is important for THRIVING.

The breath is the bridge between the conscious and unconscious mind. It is the gateway to self-mastery. When done consciously and deeply, breathing has some profound benefits.

In relation to this meditation, the breathing stage rebalances your whole being and allows you to integrate the space you’ve created by shaking, dancing and speaking gibberish.

Deep breathing also floods your body with chi, or prana, and gives you a calm energy. It cultivates an environment of mindfulness, bliss and inner peace.

Dancing, shaking, gibberish and deep breathing allow you to clear your mental chatter, unkink emotional stuckness and release into a state of peace and clarity.

This meditation basically creates the space for inner peace to blossom.

For those who want a deeper dive into active meditations and clearing negativity, I highly recommend my course Primal Release. You can get the course by clicking the image below.

Much love.

– Stevie P!

primal release

 

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Master Travel Anxiety with this Simple Technique

Flight cabin passengers travel

Travel is the ultimate perception-expander.

It forces you out of your comfort zones and catalyzes tremendous personal growth in a short period of time.

While travel is often quixotically romanticized, very few people address the other side of the coin; and that is the anxiety or fear that often accompanies travel. Anything that causes profound transformation carries with it an equal but opposing force of resistance.

Travel can be uncomfortable, scary and stir up anxiety in even the most zen people. The personal growth that comes from travel is a byproduct of constantly working through the resistances and fears that arise within you.

For me, anxiety tends to arise when I have to catch any form of public transportation or when entering an area deemed as unsafe. But I’ve learned to release myself from the clutches of travel anxiety by practicing a little ritual. And each time I do it, the clapperclaw of anxiety has less and less of a hold on me.

I came up with this self-guided meditation, or affirmation ritual, on a bus ride in Costa Rica and made the habit of doing it whenever I’m in transit. You can use it anywhere, any time or make a habit out of it like I do. But it’s especially useful when you feel that travel anxiety coming on.

The Travel Gratitude Ritual

Step 1: Close your eyes and take three deep breaths (into your belly) through your nose.

Step 2: Say these affirmations to yourself:
I am grateful for being able to travel
I am blessed
I am safe wherever I go
I attract positivity like a magnet
I relish in new experiences
I trust the process of life
Life is good

Note: You can repeat the affirmations as many times as you want. Sometimes, if you’re really overwhelmed, it might take 3-4 rounds before you calm down.

Step 3: Bring your hands to your heart and say thank you three times.

That’s it. Your travel anxiety will be gone, or at least greatly reduced, in a matter of seconds.

It’s also important to genuinely feel gratitude while you do this ritual. Not just think about it, but FEEL IT in your heart. Gratitude and fear cannot coexist.

Travel anxiety doesn’t stand a chance against the combination of gratitude, deep breathing and a reassuring faith that everything will be alright.

Try it out and enjoy the journey.

Much love.

– Stevie P!

Check out some of my other travel-related articles too:
11 Unique Ways to Optimize Your Travel Experience Wherever You Go
9 Reasons Why You Should Travel Alone At Least Once in Your Life
5 Reasons Why Traveling is Like Playing a Video Game
The Joy of Minimalism: Traveling the World with Only Carry-On Luggage

 

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Change Your Life in 21 Breaths

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How many times have you said that you wanted to start meditating but never followed through?

Or have you started a meditation routine, only to stop after a few days?

I’ve done both plenty of times.

Meditation is both the easiest habit to implement and the easiest habit to skip.

I always wanted to build a ritual of meditating as soon as I woke up every morning. But having a 15-20 minute meditation session hanging over my head, directly upon waking, was too daunting for me. Just the mere thought of it was too much for my lazy-half-asleep mind. So, like humans tend to do, I took the path of least resistance and skipped it most days.

Alas, before all hope was lost, I came up with a solution! (Does using “alas” make me sound sophisticated?)

In order to have a morning meditation practice that I could actually stick to, I developed the “21 Breath Salute.” And since the idea came to me, I’ve done it every single morning (#nodaysoff). It works for me because the idea of just taking 21 deep breaths isn’t intimidating at all. It’s easy to win that self-talk agreement (I know you do it too) when the task at hand seems easy. It plays out like, “Ok, I’m just gonna take 21 breaths and that’s it.”

You don’t have time to meditate? I bet you can spare 21 breaths at some point during your overly-dramatized busy day.

Don’t know how to meditate? Take 21 slow, deep breaths through your nose.

Stressed? Take 21 slow, deep breaths through your nose.

Feeling anxious or worried? Take 21 slow, deep breaths through your nose.

If you’re a human and you’re still alive, I’m going to take a wild guess and assume that you know how to breathe.

The 21 Breath Salute is not time consuming at all and incredibly simple to do. It’s a meditation so accessible that everyone from those with no previous meditation experience to veteran meditators can perform it and reap the benefits.

How to do the 21 Breath Salute

1. Sit somewhere comfortable, with your spine straight (I sit on the edge of my bed).

2. Close your eyes.

3. Inhale deeply through your nose (for about 5 seconds). Inhale into your belly and let your belly expand as you inhale. Allow your back to straighten and your head to rise towards the sky.

4. Pause for a second at the end of your inhale.

5. Exhale through your nose (for about 5 seconds). Gently push the air of your belly. Allow your spine to slightly round forward and your head to move slightly downward.

6. Pause for a second at the end of your exhale.

7. Repeat for 21 breaths.

8. After 21 breaths, place both of your hands over your heart and say “thank you” 3 times, feeling the gratitude in your heart as you say this.

9. Jump back into the world renewed and refreshed.

Here’s a video demonstration of it:

The Finer Points

  • To get the most out of this practice, do it before you do anything else in the morning. You’ll be in that magical state between sleep and waking, which is very conducive to mediation. I recommend sitting up so you don’t fall back asleep.
  • Breathing through your nose is important. It warms the air before entering the lungs and filters air much more than breathing through the mouth. According to ancient Chinese and Indian practices (who seem to get most things right), breathing through the nose enables you to effectively process chi or prana (life force energy). This is why breathing through the nose (and especially deep breathing) is so invigorating; it builds life force energy as opposed to sapping it like shallow mouth breathing does.
  • Don’t obsess over counting your breaths. If you lose count, just continue from the closest number you lost count at. It’s more about cultivating a state of stillness than breathing exactly 21 breaths.
  • Observe your thoughts, without attachment. You are the sky and your thoughts are just clouds passing by. Allow them to pass. Objectively watch them without attachment or judgment. This state of peaceful watchfulness is what meditation is all about.
  • 21 long, deep breaths will take about 3-5 minutes. You’ll get a feel for the ideal length of inhales and exhales for yourself as you do it. That’s why I say about 5 seconds. Some people’s breaths will be shorter and some will be longer. (Inhale for about 5 seconds + 1 second pause + exhale for about 5 seconds + 1 second pause = 12 seconds X 21 breaths = around 252 seconds total)

Often by the 8th or 9th breath, my mind is pretty clear, so it’s effective as well as being short.

The 21 breath salute will, at the very least, calm your mind, no matter who you are. And I get to a place of complete, peaceful stillness most times. It’s a beautiful thing to start the day with a clear, undistracted mind. What you do when you wake up sets the momentum for the rest of the day. So start from a place of joyful tranquility, centeredness and presence and witness your day transform.

Let’s do a little test to display the power of deep breathing…

Stop reading right now, close your eyes and take 3 long, deep breaths through your nose.

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Feel the difference?

And the more you do, the more powerful breath-work becomes.

Try out the 21 Breath Salute ASAP. It’s such a small commitment with tremendous benefits, so why not?

Breathe into bliss.

Much love.

– Stevie P

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Overcome Stagnation with This 3 Minute Trick

Sunset_Party_Dancing_Girl_Silhouette

I just spent the whole morning writing. And I definitely sat down for too long, so I was feeling stagnant and utterly uninspired. I wasn’t just physically stagnant, but mentally as well (they’re intimately interconnected).

You know that feeling, right? It’s that eye-rolling combination of being drained, dreary, exhausted and indecisive, with no mental capacity or motivation to do anything.

I knew that I had to do something about it. I needed to create a shift somehow or I would feel like a rusty wheelbarrow with a flat tire for the rest of the day.

So I did the following, and in about 3 minutes I felt anew and reinvigorated.

3 Minutes to Overcome Stagnation

Step 1) Put on a song you love – Play any song that makes you feel good.

Step 2) Take 10 deep breaths – Breathe deeply into your belly. Feel the energy flowing within. Remember this: Shallow breathing makes you feel like shit and deep breathing makes you feel awesome.

Step 3) Do some stretches, yoga poses or any mobility exercises – Do whatever comes to you, whatever your body feels like doing (listen to it). Just get your body moving, release built-up tension, get your blood pumping and your energy circulating. Break out of the rigid rigamortus. Open up and bring your body back its healthy, supple state.

If you’re a complete newbie to this stuff, try Elliott Hulse’s Bioenergizer Warmup.

Step 4) Dance – Feel the music. Let loose and let your body creatively express itself. This is cathartic physically, mentally and emotionally. Don’t underestimate the power of dance. A few minutes of dancing like you’re possessed by the music will shift your momentum for the rest of the day.

By the time the song’s over, you’ll feel like a new (wo)man.

This is a quick and simple strategy to help you overcome the inertia of stagnation and set your momentum in a positive direction.

From there, you’ll feel like you can do anything. After putting this technique to use, I had so much energy that I went right into an intense workout. It felt amazing.

Try out this technique the next time you’re feeling stagnant. It really works.

Life is movement. No movement, no life. Know movement, know life.

Keep flowing.

– Stevie P
 

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