There is so much sadness in the world right now. When I pull up the daily stories in the news, my body starts feeling tight and I notice my breath getting more shallow. This is not a comfortable feeling, as I am sure you can relate. The beautiful thing is we don't have to stay stuck feeling this way. I invite you to take 10 minutes out of your day to try a mindfulness practice with me right now that can help you to feel a little less stressed and a lot more grounded.
This practice is a version of what is known as "expressive mindfulness." I first leared it from my therapist who learned it from Dr. James Gordon in his book Transforming Trauma (2019). While many of us have practiced concentrative mindfulness -- sitting, breathing, or counting -- there is a whole other world of mindfulness we often forget to tap into that is essential for calming the body down and releasing trauma.
It's called: Shaking & Dancing. It's a primal form of releasing that helps us to shift out of freeze-mode or fight-mode or flee-mode and into a state of freedom, feeling, and flourishing.
So get the timer-app on your phone ready to join me now for this 3-part practice:
Step 1) Stand with your feet hip-width apart and envision the energy from the earth coming up your legs, into your knees. For 6 minutes, play this music. Then SHAKE! Shake everything. There is no perfect. There is no "should" or "supposed to's." It's just you and the beat. Primal movement. You can try shaking from the knees, then the hips, then the pelvis, then the glutes, then belly, then shoulders, back, upper-arms, elbows, wrists and hands, neck, and head, etc. Play around.
Step 2) Pause. Notice how you're breathing. Notice how your body feels. Then take two intentional slow, deep breaths.
Step 3) For 3 minutes, play this music (it's a different playlist!). See if you can let the music move through you. Like the saying goes, "Dance as if no one is watching." Nobody is judging you. Nobody cares how good of a dancer you are. This is JUST FOR YOU. It's ok to let go.
BONUS - Step 4) Email me and tell me what you noticed.
I like to do this practice in the mornings or whenever I feel upset. So, right now, it's been really helpful after I read the news.
I hope this helps you, too!
May you feel free, grounded and relaxed.