Many years ago, I did a course called identification of the sky at the Planetarium in Rio de Janeiro, where I lived at the time. I liked it so much that I ended up repeating the course two more times – and gave it as a gift to my godson. My 20 and something year old self was fascinated with the stars, the constellations, and the magic that the planetarium brought to us even if it was raining and cloudy outside.
Move forward to 2021, the northern hemisphere is where I call home now, and my 51 year old self is reconnecting with the night sky after so many years. The simple fact that I now have a hot tub where I, religiously, go into at least once or twice a day, made me look up again. The moon cycles, the Big Dipper and even Orion can be seen from the tub and I am always looking forward to what my night session will bring.
Now, move back to when I was 15 and I attended a meditation course, getting a mantra and learning some Pranayama breathing. I did it religiously for many years but stopped, never forgetting the mantra or the breathing exercise. The 20 to 25 min session, twice a day, got harder and harder to fit in my always busy schedule. But the thought was always there and I dreamed about incorporating meditation into my life again.
The end of 2020 was when this happened. Tired of my own excuses of never finding the full hour in a day, I started 5 to 10 min meditation and breathing exercises while attending my first semester at Rhodes Wellness College. My instructor brought meditation, visualization and breath work to the classroom and, from then on, I started allowing myself to meditate only a few minutes a day, everyday. Consistency has been key to feel the difference.
My mornings now are filled with an 8 min mantra meditation/breath work while immersed in the hot tub early in the morning. I finally found a beautiful Tibetan Buddhist mantra (Om Mani Padme Hung, on Insight Timer) and have been listening to it every day. Slowly, I am noticing the days I have some resistance with the now familiar sound. Or the days I embrace it as a comfortable and familiar routine. The mantra shows me how I am that day and I am embracing my self-awareness, something I didn’t have at 15 years old.
What kind of self-care is part of your routine?