You feed your body several times a day, but how often do you nourish your spirit? You exercise your mind almost constantly, but how often do you connect with your inner being?

In this hectic world our attention is drawn by all sorts of issues and tasks-clean the house, care for the children, go to work, buy the groceries, plan for the future, and on and on. Sometimes life seems like a giant “To Do List.” Sometimes we move so fast that we forget to stop and take a
deep breath, to feel the warm sun on our skin, to smell the flowers and admire their colors, to experience the beauty all around us.

Former columnist Ann Landers used to advise us to “stop and smell the coffee.” She meant for us to wake up, to become aware of how we are living our lives, to stop for a reality check by taking a little time for contemplation, for self-reflection.

For physical well-being, for mental health, and for emotional balance, it is so important that we give ourselves a little time to nourish our spirits, even if we have to literally pencil it into our schedules. It is amazing the difference even a short thirty second breather can make in our lives.

Here are five ways that you can connect with your inner being without taking a lot of time:

1. Close your eyes and feel yourself completely surrounded by healing energy. Place your hand on your heart and feel love and acceptance pour into your being. Sit like this for a few minutes.

2. Take five deep breaths. On each inhalation imagine that you are breathing in all the energy, strength and vitality the universe has to offer. On each exhalation imagine that you are letting go of any tension
you feel in your body and worry or anxiety you feel in your mind.

3. Take five or ten minutes to sit amidst the sound of beautiful, soft music, focusing your attention on your breath. Just breathe normally. If thoughts or emotions or body sensations try to divert your attention, simply gently refocus your awareness on your breath.

4. Whenever you are feeling stressed, whatever you are doing, just STOP for thirty seconds. Notice how deeply or shallowly you are breathing. Notice how your body is feeling. Notice if your mind is dwelling on he past or projecting into the future. Notice any sounds around you. Just be present with whatever is happening, observing yourself with non-judgment and compassion. You will feel calmness returning.

5. Take five minutes to remember a time when you were truly joyful. Close your eyes and envision what you were doing. What sounds were present; what thoughts were you having? What sensations were in your body? How did the experience of joy feel emotionally? Open your eyes and carry this feeling with you as long as you can.

Take a few minutes right now to sit with eyes closed, accessing a sense of gratitude for all the wonderful things in your life. Allow your spirit to dive into that deep sense of peace and calm that rests in the center of your being. Take this time to nourish your soul.

Author's Bio: 

Roshani Shay , Ph.D. is the Executive Director of the Hawaii Wellness Institute and former Co- Director of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Programs of Hawaii . When she discovered meditation in 1984, it provoked a major life transformation which included dropping caffeine and cigarettes, perfectionism, and a compulsion for being a workaholic. Roshani Shay has facilitated meditation workshops for more than ten years and is widely known for the way she gracefully moves through challenging situations with effectiveness and relative equanimity. For more information go to: http://www.hawaiiwellnessinstitute.org