Below you will find instructions, recordings and links to some of my favourite mindfulness and meditation resources and guided practices.
From the website of one of the founders of the Mindful Self-Compassion program, Dr. Kristin Neff, here are the instructions for the Self-Compassion Break:
Think of a situation in your life that is difficult, that is causing you stress. Call the situation to mind, and see if you can actually feel the stress and emotional discomfort in your body.
Now, say to yourself:
1. This is a moment of suffering
That’s mindfulness. Other options include:
This is stress.
2. Suffering is a part of life
That’s common humanity. Other options include:
Other people feel this way.
I’m not alone.
We all struggle in our lives.
Now, put your hands over your heart, feel the warmth of your hands and the gentle touch of your hands on your chest. Or adopt the soothing touch you discovered felt right for you.
Say to yourself:
3. May I be kind to myself
You can also ask yourself, “What do I need to hear right now to express kindness to myself?” Is there a phrase that speaks to you in your particular situation, such as:
May I give myself the compassion that I need
May I learn to accept myself as I am
May I forgive myself
May I be strong.
May I be patient
This practice can be used any time of day or night, and will help you remember to evoke the three aspects of self-compassion when you need it most."
Three Breath Hug
In her wonderful book Breathe, Mama, Breathe, Shonda Moralis explains the “Three Breath Hug” practice…try it yourself with your child, partner, parent, friend…or even yourself!
Hugging your child, take three deliberate, synchronized, deep breaths together. Drop your shoulders, relaxing any muscles that feel tight. Let go and feel the tension melt away. Use it as you say goodbye in the morning, when you recognize when someone could use a calming hug, or just for the love of it.
Awareness of Breath
There are many awareness of breath meditations to be found online - a few of my favourites are linked below. Here are some basic instructions:
Find a comfortable seated posture that you can maintain for the period in which you are going to meditate.
Breathe in fully and deeply, lengthening your spine and as you exhale, fully and gently, allow any tension you may be carrying in your shoulders to release. Do this a few more times and then let your breath come back to its natural rhythm.
Drawing your attention to the natural in and out flow of your breath, becoming aware of where it is most noticeable for you. It may be the expanding and contracting of your abdomen; the rising and falling of your chest, or you may notice the coolness of the in breath in your nostrils as you inhale and its gentle warmth on you upper lip as you exhale. Focus your attention to wherever you are most aware of your breath in this moment.
Whenever your mind wanders, as it will, gently, kindly, and without judgment, just bring the attention back to the breath. The power of the practice is in the returning of the focus to the breath.