Making Yourself The Priority
There is no failing this process. This is the first of 6 weeks focused on learning how to calm ourselves and reduce our stress. We continue to live our lives, take care of our children and other duties in life. Even as we maintain our responsibilities during this period, we have our commitment to gradually increase our stress reduction practice, and observe ourselves carefully.
What works for me? What calms me down? It's like an all you can eat buffet. You can sample a taste of everything until you find things that really work for you. In the course of these 40 days I will occasionally describe simple practices that work well.
One is the “two minutes of silence.” For two minutes, pay attention to everything you can. Notice sounds, smells, taste, and sensations. Nothing is too insignificant. See things that no one else will see. Remember to notice yourself. This can be done with the eyes open or closed. At the end of a practice, it is very important to pause and notice the aftermath - the afterglow of the practice. Notice how you feel.
There is nothing in this life more important than learning how to calm ourselves. As we learn to relax more we find that relaxing and learning to be less inflamed is not the vacation we thought. It is like holding a large balloon under the water. If you relax it pops back up.
The same thing happens as we learn to lead a calmer life. Sometimes things pop up out of our deep consciousness that we are not even aware of, or may be ashamed or afraid of. Do not give up! Your true self is at peace. Meeting that self is your priority during this 40 days.