Discord, Find Harmony—Nurturing Your Mind and Body for Health and Success

By Lee Holcomb | Founder | Lawyer Yoga & Lifestyle Lawyer

 Throughout the course of our lives, we spend the majority of the time immersed in self-centered thoughts. Why did that person do this to me? Where am I going to go on vacation? Why don’t I have a better job? What would make me feel better? And most of these thoughts don’t make us feel better or bring us happiness. But honestly, it’s not the thoughts themselves that are the problem; it’s our desperate clinging to them and our resistance to what’s happening in the present moment that causes pain. Luckily, you don’t have to stop or get rid of your thoughts. Merely learning how you can become aware of the thoughts that are running your life can diminish their power. 

 One way to do this is by practicing meditation focused on the breath. The process is simple. When thoughts come up, the idea is not to try to remove them but to note that they are there and then come back to your breath. This type of meditation helps you to gradually become aware of the fact that you can separate yourself from your thoughts. When you realize you have this ability, eventually your mind will start to quiet down. 

 If you can learn how to accept things in your life the way they are, instead of always wishing things would be different, you will eventually enter into a space where you have the capacity to observe what’s happening without being distracted by thoughts. Overthinking or over-focusing on brain chatter, like “this is good,” or “that is bad,” block vital energy and sabotage mental clarity and concentration. Meditation helps you to quiet the mind and focus on the task at hand at any given moment.

In meditation, you are training your attention to focus on a single object,
frequently this is your breath, and learning how to let go of distractions.          
Put another way, you are cultivating the ability to bring mindful attention to your everyday life.

Notice your breathing right now. The air coming in and out of your nose. How does it feel? It might feel cool as you breathe in or warm as the air moves out of your body. Can you notice the short pause between your in-breath and the out-breath? Focusing on this one thing—breathing—is meditation.

 It’s important to remember when you’re meditating, and your mind wanders, and it will repeatedly wander, that you can simply note the source of the distraction (a noise, a thought, an emotion, a feeling in your body), then calmly return your attention to your breath. Each time you get distracted, gently repeat this process of returning your awareness to your breath. Through this consistent process, you will learn, little by little, how to discriminate events from your reactions to the event. And eventually, you will start to find stillness.

 When you learn to focus on the present and appreciate what is happening in the current moment, you’ll start seeing change as an integral part of life which will help manage stress. 


 Here’s a quick introduction on to how to mediate. To start with, I’d like you to sit for a few moments. You don’t have to be stiff and uptight. But you should be sitting in a comfortable upright position, not slumped over. You can close your eyes or leave them open. 

 Now, take a couple of deep breaths in through the nostrils, feeling the breath come into the body, hold (for 1 & 2) and gently releasing through the mouth. Next, I’d like you to focus on sounds in the room. Paying close attention to the sounds you can hear will help you relax deep inside. Let the sounds go right through you—don’t hold or push anything away. Now bring your attention to the feelings of your body. Let your face relax; your shoulders release down your back; let your stomach relax. Start to bring focus to the sensations in your body. Finally, focus on your breath. The rising and falling of your abdomen. The flow of air in your nostrils. The movement in your chest. 

As sounds or images arise, try to stay connected to the breath. Remember the thoughts or sounds are not a problem. Just gently remind yourself to let them go and come back to your breath. It’s okay if you have to do this over and over again. And after you’ve sat for 5 to 10 minutes, you can open your eyes. 

 Finally, take a few moments to notice how you found the meditation – did your mind wander off a lot? Did you feel a sense of calm? Maybe you became more aware of what was going on? Or perhaps a feeling intensified or a thought seemed more powerful? All of these feelings are entirely normal and are part of the practice and the process.  

Wherever you go today, always remember, you can bring this sense of harmony and presence, this sense of focused attention, this sense of calmness with you to nurture your mind and body.

Lee Holcomb is the Founder of Lawyer Yoga & Lifestyle Lawyer, which offer mindfulness and well-being retreats, in-person, on-demand and online continuing legal education courses and corporate coaching and training for stressed-out lawyers and legal departments.

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