Calm your chaos with meditation: Your free guide on how to de-stress and ignite your inner light with only 1% effort every day
Welcome to a new you!
A you that feels less stress and has ignited the light within!
Forming new and healthy habits can be a challenge and one question I get asked all the time is “How can I make meditation and energy work a regular part of my routine?”
We’re going to look at exactly how to do that in this guide, but first let’s take a look at the haras – the foundation of your Qi or life energy source within your body.
A Hara is an energy centre or sphere that exists within our subtle bodies.
Working with the haras is a concept I was first introduced to when studying Reiki Energy Healing.
Haras connect us with our true intention. In other words, our true nature, and our true reason for existing right here, right now.
As a spiritual being, we are love, we are compassion. As a human being we forget, allow ego to take over and live in and with fear and anger.
By connecting inwards, with our haras, you discover your divine blueprint so you can live in peace, harmony and love.
The 3 Haras
There are 3 main haras that work with connecting us with our true intention. In other words, our true nature, and our true reason for existing right here, right now.
The lower hara – located in your abdomen (just below your belly button)
This is the energy you are born with, the energy that is the essence of your life and which gives you your life’s purpose. This original energy is not only the energy you receive from your parents when you are conceived, but most importantly is the energy connection between you and the universal life force. The more it flows, the more the body benefits.
When your lower hara energy is strong your immune system is strong, you have the guts to take action, your manifestation power is strong, you are charming and magnetic in personality. You feel grounded and connected.
The middle hara – located in the heart (middle of chest). This energy is connected with your emotions. It is “human energy connected to human experience.” It is a healthy, loving, compassionate energy and brings all these qualities into our lives. When this hara is strong you feel safe and secure. You feel serene.
Through this centre you will learn your life’s processes, spiritual mission and lessons.
The upper hara – located within the upper brain (third eye area). This is the energy connected with your higher being, the wisdom energy. When you are connected to this centre you are creative and intuitive, may see colours or have psychic abilities. It is the GPS inside your head that tells you where your spirit wants you to be and helps you to make better choices and decisions.
When your haras are in alignment and harmony, they are connected along a strong golden line called a hara line. This line goes from below your toes (earthly point), all the way up through to the head and out (heavenly point).
To be aware of our original intention, our hara line has to be straight and unbroken, and firmly connected to the centre of the Earth.
How The Haras Work
Our haras act as pools or reservoirs of energy, they store vital universal energy or Qi within that we constantly draw upon throughout our lives. If our stores become depleted, we feel run down, tired, grumpy and stressed. It is like the oil in a lamp: if the oil is depleted, the life-force energy, the fire, becomes dim and weak.
To access this stored energy we have a beautiful system to move this energy through our physical, mental and emotional systems.
1 – Our haras store our vital life giving energy.
2 – Our chakras help to move that energy from our haras into our meridian system.
3 – Our meridian channels then transports the energy throughout our whole system.
If we had to liken this process to a more familiar physical one we could say:
“It’s a bit like oxygen (life giving energy) is stored in our blood (haras). In order for the oxygen to be dispersed throughout our body, we need our heart (chakras) to pump blood through our arteries (meridians) which then takes oxygen filled blood to our whole body.”
During our every day life, we begin to draw on our reservoirs stored within our haras. The lower these levels become the quicker we age, the faster we get sick, and the quicker our bodies begin to break down.
Mentally we find it harder to think, we loose our creativity, we become more prone to anger and resentment.
Spiritually we loose our sense of ourself, our divine reason for being here right now. We begin to see ourselves as victims and stop accepting responsibility for our actions. We loose our sense of personal power.
Filling up our hara energy reserves is as essential as breathing!
“To fill up our blood with fresh oxygen, we need to breathe.
To fill up our haras we need to practise Mushin, that is, we need to empty our hearts and heads and clear a space within our souls” – Sylvia
How do you go about working on your haras to change your life?
Most of what we do is a daily habit formed over a lifetime. I eat breakfast, then shower. To change it around and begin by showering first would be a challenge as it’s not my normal routine.
This lack of willingness to change is a physical phenomenon that can actually be witnessed within the brain.
And yet despite many of us knowing all this intuitively, we still seem to think that we can make huge changes to our lives quickly and achieve lasting results.
If you’ve ever told yourself that you are going to “start a new health program tomorrow” that involves going to (go on a run, a walk, a gym session, a Qigong and meditation class etc) four times a week, well then you’re guilty… and how did that work out for you?
I know for me in the past it has been a total flop. That’s why I now practice Kaizen. This is the Sino-Japanese word for “improvement” and it has adapted to represent a specific approach to improvement. One where you make tiny improvements, take tiny steps, toward the goal that you are wanting to achieve.
As the old saying goes: even the longest journey starts with a single step. And what is a thousand mile journey other than lots of single steps?
When you look at challenges this way, anything becomes achievable.
That example of starting a new Qigong and meditation class where you attend four times a week is one that a lot of people can relate to in various ways (perhaps you need to substitute a gym membership in here, I know I’ve certainly been guilty of that one… )
The problem? This kind of approach completely misunderstands human psychology, and the reality of our lifestyles.
Think about it. If you are currently stressed and run down, then it’s probably because you aren’t finding healthy ways to release your stress, which is impacting on your exercise routine, the choices you make around food, and consequently, your overall healthy.
But why is that the case? Chances are, it’s because you’re currently too tired and don’t have enough motivation to do anything about it. And unfortunately, that is often accompanied by guilt which then makes you more stressed. It’s like a hamster wheel you just can’t get off!
By the time evening comes around you feel absolutely exhausted. You just don’t have the energy or the will power to exercise, even with something as gentle as Qigong, and any attempt at meditation just leads to you falling asleep. That’s completely understandable.
Unfortunately, when people tell us exercising and meditation gives us more energy and leads to better health, what we don’t take into account is ourselves.
We try to do too much, too quickly and just as quickly run out of steam and motivation.
Let’s break this down…
To add in 4 sessions of Qigong and Meditation per week after work you need to:
- Come home from work and get changed into your casual and comfy clothes
- Remember to take your water, yoga mat and anything else you may need.
- You’ll then need to drive to the class, participate and then drive home.
- Then get your stuff ready for the next class.
So that one session actually takes more like two hours, which means you’re dedicating a whole new 8 hours to your new regime. You realise that’s an entire working day? Including lunch?
You’re going from NOTHING to 8 HOURS?
Can you see the problem here?
Meanwhile, you’re also expecting yourself to go out at night. You’re expecting yourself to get organised the night before. You’re expecting yourself to leave your family behind and to miss out on your favourite Netflix show.
You’re not trying to learn one new habit, but rather learn a whole bunch of new habits. While at the same time unlearning a bunch of other habits.
This is looking like a great plan…. (mmm yeah no wonder my gym experience was an epic fail!!)
As though this wasn’t already enough of a challenge, what you probably don’t realise is just how much neuroscience is working AGAINST you in a situation like this.
Our brains are highly adaptable to change and can physically restructure themselves according to our behaviours. You might think that would be good news when trying to form new habits or lose old ones. But in fact, it also works against us. That’s because the brain adapts hard to repeated stimuli.
The brain adapts and changes shape according to a very simple rule:
“Neurones that fire together, wire together”
So if you repeatedly do one thing followed by another, then those two experiences become linked in the brain over time.
And each time you do those things together subsequently, you further reinforce and strengthen that link. The connections become myelinated, meaning that the tendrils are insulated and signals travel faster down them. They grow more nodes at the connection points.
Eventually, it gets to the point where you no longer have to think about the association. Doing A automatically triggers B. Changing this takes a HUGE amount of work!
That’s where Kaizen comes in. And it’s why this is such a powerful and transformative tool.
You look at how you can do things better through micro changes, and what you can remove to make yourself more productive.
The most obvious way to apply the concept of “small changes every day” to Qigong and Meditation, is to try and employ the idea of the “micro session.”
This means that you will be meditating for just a couple of minutes each day to begin with. This as numerous advantages:
- It makes the prospect of meditating far less daunting,
- It means committing to a much smaller challenge which is far less stressful,
- It means forming a new habit.
So let’s say that instead of going to the qigong class four times a week, you instead commit to doing 3-5 minutes of meditation (alternating between still and moving meditation) every morning and skipping your takeout morning latte.
So now you’re meditating a little bit every day, which will have some benefit. At the very least, it will help calm your energy and get clear about your day ahead so your energy can flow more fluidly throughout the day.
And of course, you’ll begin to form that new habit.
FUN FACT: Many people believe it takes 30 days to form a new habit BUT it actually takes closer to 66 days according to the most recent research. In one study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, researcher Philippa Lally looked at the habits of 96 people over 12 weeks. Each person chose one new habit to try for 12 weeks and reported each day on whether they successfully stuck to the new habit. After analysing the data, it was concluded that it took 66 days for new successful habits to form – though this was greatly dependent on the individual. In some cases, it took between 18-254 days for the new habit to form.
However long it takes, the idea is that once you’ve been partaking in a particular behaviour for long enough – say 66 days – it’s then easier to build off of that.
So you’re now someone who does 3-5 minutes of meditation in the morning. Much easier to go from that to someone who does 15-30 minutes of meditation, rather than to try for 1 hour right away.
Likewise, once you’re used to going without your latte every morning, not only will you begin to see the health benefits, but you find you will save yourself time from having to go and get your Latte every morning. When people feel they have more time, they don’t feel pressure in getting things done – essentially you feel less stressed.
So, is this true kaizen?
Not really. There is definitely value in the concept of the micro meditation. There is also definite benefit to trying to cut time consuming, stress causing activities.
But really, kaizen for stress relief should mean looking at your entire routine and assessing what about it is making you stressed.
Cutting that latte is a good start. But perhaps you also look for other small changes you can make to reduce your stress.
And moreover, you might also start looking for other reasons in your current routine that might be preventing you from relaxing. In other words, you’re going to look at your entire lifestyle and routine as one giant “flow” or “process” and then attempt to make improvements.
So you want to stress less, but when you think of your to-do list and all your commitments you have made, you can’t quite motivate yourself to do it. The problem is not physical, it’s psychological. But how do you go about breaking bad habits and getting yourself into meditation despite those reservations?
Well first of all we need to assess what each of the psychological and situational blocks are that are stopping you from achieving your goals, and then we need to look at how to eliminate them.
The key thing to recognise here, is that energy is a finite resource, as is time. You can’t keep adding more things to your routine and expect to stress less.
If you want to improve your health, then you need to look at ways to make your day more efficient so that you’ll have more opportunity to improve your health in other ways.
Powerful Changes For Calming your Chaos
First, ask yourself “what can go?” If you’re currently using all your energy by the end of the day/week, then look at your current routine and ask what you can cut out. It might be something simple: maybe you could stop Netflix binging every night?
Or maybe it’s something that requires a little more organisation: perhaps you could speak with your employer about working from home one day a week?
This could save you a HUGE amount of time and energy.
Even something small – like getting a dishwasher so you aren’t washing plates any more – can potentially save you a lot of energy to then be used meditating and de-stressing!
Don’t keep trying to add in to your life. Ask what you can cut out!
Secondly, ask yourself “Where can I fit it in?”
Are you more of a morning or evening person? Personally I find it easier to meditate in the morning, so I start by setting my alarm clock 30 minutes earlier that I need to (bear in mind, I’ve been doing this a while, but when I first started I only allowed an extra 5 minutes a day).
Alternatively, you might find that meditating out on your lunch break at work works well for you, or maybe for you it’s about not eating in front of the TV. Often when we eat in front of the TV we think “Oh, I’ll just finish watching this show/episode/movie”. And before you know it, 1-2 hours have passed by.
Instead, practise conscious eating. Being aware of what you are eating, how many times you are chewing. This is a form of meditation in itself. But with the extra time gained after dinner may be the perfect meditation time for you.
#Inspiration Hack :
Do you ever find yourself lacking inspiration? Do you ever feel as though you don’t have the interest to focus on the thing you’re meant to be doing, rather than the thing you should be doing?
Inspiration is a highly valuable and abstract commodity. Fortunately, you can get more of it in a few ways. One is to listen to audio books while you do chores or go for walks. This puts your brain in a more focussed state, and if the book is something you find interesting, then you will be more focussed and creative as a result afterward.
Watching mind numbing junk on TV, or browsing Facebook is a time sucking activity. This meaningless content puts us in a far less productive and useful state of mind. So choose carefully what it is you want to spend your time focussing on.
Practising Kaizen with your Haras to bring about balance and harmony
Begin by doing short, simple breathing exercises. The subtle skill of breath control is one of the keys to circulating the flow of internal energy in the body.
One key element in transforming stress is something you already do thousands of times a day: breathe.
The benefits of working with the breath are profound in many ways. The way you breathe directly influences the quality of your life. In fact, the way you breathe might be the most important factor in how you feel.
Think about how people breathe when they are sad and crying. They inhale with short, shallow gasps, and exhale with long wails or choppy sobs.
If someone is angry, in-breaths are usually constricted, and out-breaths are long and forceful. During stress, the breath can actually become so shallow that it is almost nonexistent.
On the other hand, when someone is feeling good, the breath is calm, deep, and even.
The amazing thing about breathing exercises is that the relationship also works in reverse: by changing the way you breathe, you can also change the way you feel.
If you breathe deeply, down into the abdomen, this sends a message to the body to transform negative emotions into positive ones. Deep breathing moves Qi (energy) and clears stagnant energy.
If you want to feel better, breathe more deeply.
Remember that breathing is a reflection of thought and emotion, the bridge between the mind and the body.
If you can dedicate 3-5 minutes a day on breathing properly, deep into your abdomen (the seat of your lower hara) you will be able to gradually increase the types of meditations and techniques that you do to enhance your haras.
Working on your haras will teach you to:
- Ground yourself
- How to naturally balance and re-align your energies
- How to reduce your stress levels
- Different breathing techniques
- Connect more deeply with your intuition
- Connect more deeply with your soul’s life purpose
- And so much more
By using the correct meditations and techniques in small doses you can bring about massive changes in your life, your health and your relationships.