Weditation: The Art of Wedding-Planning Stress Relief
by Susan Hawkins
"My mother disowned me." "My maid of honor swears my bachelorette party will be at a funeral home." "My fiancé left for a weekend with the guys four months ago. He said it was a long weekend, but this is ridiculous." If you're a bride-to-be who has uttered words similar to these, perhaps it's time for you to chill. Your mom, your maid and your man have probably had it with your wedding-planning insanity. It's time to get them back into the groove, which means you are going to have to mellow out, at least until the honeymoon. Here are step-by-step instructions for weditation-meditation for the overzealous, repulsive bride-to-be:
1. Set aside time every day to weditate. You can't weditate while you're on the cell with the caterer. Pick a time other than right after a meal to gift yourself with five, ten or 15 uninterrupted minutes. Uninterrupted. That means ditch the cell phone. You can weditate anytime during the day, but morning weditation may be the most effective-your body is not tired and your cleared mind can set the tone for the day.
2. Find a quiet, relaxing spot. Again, no phone, no TV, bridal magazines, noisy appliances, or harsh lighting. You can play calm, gentle music (not the Wedding March) to aid in your concentration. If you weditate outside, stay away from busy roadways, playgrounds and church bells.
3. Sit level on the ground or on cushion. You can sit in a chair if you wish. The key is to be relaxed and keep your back straight to facilitate breathing.
4. Close your eyes. You can keep them half open if you don't focus on anything. If that's too distracting, focus on a small candle flame-just not a unity candle flame.
5. Breathe deeply and slowly. Draw your breath through your nose and fill your abdomen instead of your chest. As you slowly inhale and then exhale through your mouth, you'll feel your stomach rise and fall.
6. Relax. Relax. Relax. Take a few minutes to relax every muscle in your body. Start with your toes and work your way up, releasing all the tension in your body.
7. Focus your attention. Here's the tough part, but you can do it. At first your mind will be awhirl with a million things-your next fitting, choosing your wedding favors, ordering the ring bearer's pillow, finding out where on earth your fiancé is. Bring your attention back to a single point until it sits there easily. You want the "babbling" in your mind to fade away. There are a couple of ways to do this. Many people focus on their breathing going in and out, nothing else. You might even try counting your breaths from one to 10 and repeat. Others recite a mantra-the repetition of a word, like "om." Or maybe even "him," wherever he is. You also need to erase the images that keep popping into your mind. Visualize a calming place-a deserted beach, an imaginary paradise. The "zone" awaits you.
8. Silence your mind. Once you've disciplined your mind to focus on one thing at a time, your next step is to clear your mind and focus on nothing at all. Let go of the one thing you had focused on. Do the same with any thoughts that return to your mind until silence persists. What you do now is up to you. Many simply rest in the pure silence. Others find this a good time to introduce an intention or desired outcome to the subconscious mind. You might suggest to yourself that you scale back on the wedding hysteria so your Mom will "re-own" you and your bachelorette party will be held at a spa in Hawaii.
Things to know: Don't expect immediate results. It may take a number of weditation sessions before you find the "zone." It's the journey that's important. The mind is normally restless and racing, so you're overcoming years of conditioning. Just bring yourself back to center each time your mind wanders. Start weditating now! By your wedding day, everyone will marvel at the composed, confident bride you've become-and your groom will be waiting at the alter with a smile on his face.
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