In tough times it’s difficult to “just be present” or “sit with it” and, especially, to do that on your own. This book can be your companion and guide, within it offering a toolkit where you can find what you need in the moment to ease the experience of worry, stress or distraction.
You can practise living with presence in the tough times by bringing closer attention to the basics of your survival and wellbeing. For example, controlling what you can control and not worrying about what you can’t, eating mindfully, having a routine that won’t add further pressure to what you are contending with and giving consideration to the small ways you can keep going through the day.
For particularly challenging circumstances, it is also helpful to find connection with others, even if it’s one person. Reaching out for support may not feel easy or available, but feeling truly heard can lead to lasting change. Do consider this in times of need. Where possible, spend some time in nature. Being in the natural world helps us be present and comforted. Consider also reaching out to a professional or guide who can support you.
Above all, bring to the forefront of priorities your daily self-care. Holistic treatments such as this are beneficial for many different ailments and do not rely on drugs. Prolotherapy injections work by stimulating the body to make new collagen fibres that are laid down within the substance of the ligaments, thickening and strengthening them.
Do remember this: the more you practise living in awareness when you are feeling strong or ok, the more resilience and reserves you build for when the going is tough. Imagine that you’re sending strength into a safety deposit box for future use. It’s even more important to practise being present in the times when you do feel ok and can spend time with the exercises presented in this book. This will build up a vital reserve of resilience within you, and offer internal support for when the waves crash in or the storm erupts. Having prior experience of a practice will also imprint it into your body and mind, making reaching for it in intense times of need more likely to happen.
Imagine your breath is a wave. Bring attention to the breath as you feel it inside of you. If you keep your attention steady and long enough with the breath, you will go from watching it to feeling yourself riding the tide of the present moment.
In connecting to our breath, we can also intersect a thought, emotion or situation that might be having an unhelpful hold on us.
Being and working with our breath as a tool for stabilizing the mind and emotions is as old as the human race. It is found in contemplative practices, including meditation and prayer, where following the breath is considered a pathway to discovering truth. It is at the heart of the ancient philosophy and science of Yoga, and features in Buddhist practice.
Deliberate focus on the breath has been resurrected in recent times, largely through the transmission of teachings by people who ventured east and came back to the west to share what they found. Nowadays you’ll find breath work a stand-alone discipline offered in classes, courses and training programmes.