Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Take Refuge

An excellent way to combat stress is to take refuge or as I call it have a scared place.  A place where you can be by yourself to sort out your thoughts calmly.  A lot of people do this by chilling in front of the T.V., having a drink etc., however those aren't the best ideas.

A better way would be to find a stress reducing environment for you, some people make it their bedroom or another special area in the house.  Others take refuge in nature, the valley, the beach etc.  I personally set up a sacred space in my home.  I didn't want it to be my bedroom as that is where I sleep and I didn't want to fall asleep while trying to combat stress, that just turns into avoidance much like drinking or watching t.v.  

My Sacred Space
Instead I took an empty space in my apartment and made it special, I have a Buddha on a table where I also keep my Mala, a candle, my singing bowl and some chimes.  I chose the chimes and singing bowl because I have learned that their vibrations reach us at a cellular level and help us heal.  It is the same reason chant is so restorative.  I also put a picture of my beloved pets there.  Nothing goes there but sacred things, when I want to meditate I light the candle and sit on my meditation cushion in my scared area.  Yours can be what ever you want it to be but make sure it's a sanctuary and not a television.  Be active in combating stress.

Take 15 minutes each day, more if you are particularly stressed, to sit and breath.  Breath deep through your nose into your belly and exhale slowly through the nose.  Take it gently deeper with each breath, imagine you are releasing tension.  I like to imagine a swirl of wind going in through the breath, taking hold of the tension and exiting the body with the exhale.  Use whatever helps you relieve the tension, you may just prefer to focus on the tense area while breathing.  

What ever place you chose should be a safe place where you feel protected.  Refuge means a place of shelter but it isn't taken so literal in this instance.  You should make your place of refuge where ever you feel, safe, protected and free of distraction.  So figuratively, shelter from the storm of life.  

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