Breath meditation and visualisation

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I’ve been thinking about breathing. It’s one of those things we do constantly, unconsciously (thankfully), but every so often we can really benefit from giving focus to what literally keeps us alive.

Take a moment to observe your breath. Is it deep and slow, or short and shallow? Stress often shortens the breath, making it more difficult for us to relax and sleep well. What is your breath trying to tell you right now?

I like to visualise walking along a beach. The sand is warm, the salt breeze just brisk enough, the waves folding rhythmically. As I walk, I consciously release the tension from my shoulders and start to follow my breath, observing as it expands my chest and how it deepens as I exhale fully. I try to surrender to the breath, not attempting to control it. As I walk on, I start to give focus to the pause between the in breath and the out breath, closing my eyes to receive the kiss of the salt air. My mind starts to wander away to the things I want to write about, the things I want to say, so I bring it back to the breath. As I try to lengthen the space between the inhale and the exhale, I remember not to hold the breath, but rather trust and receive it. My footsteps on the sand are sure, my heart full, my eyes clear.

– Written by Natalie Snodgrass Tan, Quiet Space Ltd

Sound and silence

IMG_7278This week I’ve been thinking about the power of silence. Like light and dark, or sleep and being awake, or pain – the importance of the spaces between the noise is that they are sound’s necessary counterfoil, teaching us to understand and value the rhythms of life and its absences and presences. In coaching, silence is hugely important – it is in that quiet space that the heavy lifting happens.

– Written by Natalie Snodgrass Tan, Quiet Space Ltd

Awareness and experience

IMG_7260Mindfulness helps us learn that experience is as important as knowledge. Last Thursday I took most of the day off and was lying on the decking in the back garden, eyes closed, soaking in the beginning of a beautiful week. Birdsong, the kiss of the sun, the alternate ripple and roar of traffic in the background. Focusing on breathing and being aware of the things around me that I don’t usually notice. All too often we are caught up in doing and thinking, and we forget how to just be.

Experience is simple. As they say, it just takes time. What are you doing now? Scrolling aimlessly through your saved blogs and social media feeds? Stop. What is your experience of here and now? Become aware of this moment. Close your eyes, listen, and feel.

– Written by Natalie Snodgrass Tan, Quiet Space Ltd