Let’s begin with OM. According to Miriam-Webster, OM \ˈōm\ originates from 1788 Sanskrit. OM is a mantra consisting of the sound \ˈōm\ and used in contemplation of ultimate reality. In meditation, it is common to chant this mantra as a way to achieve a state of total awareness of your surroundings and your self, yet absent of any thought. Meditation cannot be done. Meditation happens. Our job is to create the space and consciousness in which it can happen.
Anywhere but here, the opposite of OM. We all have hectic moments, some of us have hectic lives. Perhaps there is a general sense of frenetic multi-tasking and doing everything, literally everything, moderately well instead of focusing on one thing and giving it the time and attention it deserves. Sometimes the “one thing” is another person. Sometimes the “one thing” is yourself. I constantly see people hurriedly walking the streets of New York City chatting on the phone and fiddling with their Blackberrys, trying to squeeze everything they can into every moment of every day. Accumulation of these moments (and days) leads, unavoidably, to emotional and physical depletion, a.k.a. “crashing.”
Finding your OM. If meditation is not for you, then what is for you? What is your own personal OM? What helps you cultivate presence? What about nourishing your soul? Restoring? What does that even mean? I’m talking about finding an internal calm and groundedness. Paying attention to yourself, your full self, without distraction. How frequently do you take a moment (or a few) to breathe fully and deeply, to observe your breath, to meditate, to turn your cell phone off, to allow yourself to just sit and be in the moment. Take the time to check in with yourself and ask “How am I feeling?” “What do I need right now?” Find your inner OM.
Why is this important? For starters, it can decrease hypertension, give your mind a break, sustain a sense of well-being, increase awareness of how you are doing, what you need and what you don’t! Ultimately, it can lead to feeling more grounded in yourself and more satisfied in life.
Create a daily practice of nourishment and restoration. Claim the space to do so and protect it as a way to honor yourself. As you do, begin to notice the subtle shifts in your relationships, your mood, your mind, your soul. What is your practice?