Mindful Mondays|Week 12: Lazy River
Let’s set sail on a lazy river. If it’s comfortable and safe, today’s meditation is best while lying down. If you aren’t able, try to get in the most comfortable place where you won’t be distracted. Either way, try to shift into place so that you can find complete stillness but still stay alert.
Allow your body to weigh very heavy and close your eyes when you are ready. Feel the support below you and allow your muscles a moment to relax. Take four slow deep breaths as your body comes to rest upon the earth.
The word “lazy” can be really triggering for over-achievers, over-doers, perfectionists, rushed people, heavy work-loaded folks, those suffering with hyperactivity, over-thinkers, and those who have a chaotic energy in their minds. These words also often describe developmental trauma survivors, those raised with abusive or oppressive parents, and those cultures of high-achieving family work values. Although every human’s brain has a hard time when first practicing focus and mindfulness; it can be extra challenging for trauma brains to allow us the space to just sit. This may seem lazy or selfish to take time just to be with your breath, watch yourself breathing, repeat a mantra, or any other mundane meditation practice.
I wonder if we can reframe our thinking about being “lazy”; what if we called this productive rest? What if this was a decompression time that actually allowed more space for purposeful focus on work and tasks later? What if this was a place where your brain got defragmented and re-organized? Tomorrow we are going to talk about the maze of the trauma recovery journey. Can this be a pause moment in that healing work? Can meditation be that minute of calm in the storm of life? Productive rest is good for your mind, body, and spirit.
Let’s try this together. Let’s just lay here. No breathwork today, no mantra. Nothing to do; even if you have a million things to do, none of them are to get done now. This is your lazy river. Mentally grab a supportive inflatable, and allow the warm waters with gentle current to just float you down its mazy path. It’s twisting and turning, but so slowly and calmly that you barely notice the shift. You can watch the clouds and drift along without a single care in the world — because right now none of them matter. Just be.
If your mind instinctively went back to thoughts and worries, that’s okay. Just place yourself back on your float and set sail again down your lazy river. Watch the clouds, feel the sunshine, dip your toes, and drift.
You’re doing so well that I wonder if there’s space for you to drift along for just one more minute? Would it be productively restful to stay on your raft and take a final peaceful moment on your river?
Welcome back to the room and the space around you. Feel your body on the not-river ground. Wiggle your fingers and toes, and you can open your eyes when you are acclimated. What’s beautiful is this productive rest just gentled your mind, so it’s actually better equipped to handle the twisty turns of the day with more peace and clarity. Remember you can come to your lazy river whenever you need a safe space to just float and have some un-lazy rest.