[MEDITATION]: A 5-Minute Mindfulness Check-in

A mindful check-in is a brief, 1 to 5 minute formal practice of checking in and asking yourself "how am I feeling in the present moment?" Acknowledging whatever is present, and letting it go. 

I like to think of it as a barometer of myself: my emotional, physical, and mental state. And as we check in, we’re asking both a light question, “what’s up?” and a deeper question, “how are you and who are you right now?” Your feelings, thoughts, and reactions are your lived experience and taking a moment to checkin and acknowledge our true self makes who we are more valid and grounds us in the moment. For me, I walk away from this simple mindful moment feeling lighter and more grounded at the same time. Like I’ve wiped the heavy fog of daily stress away from my eyes and my spirit. 

PREPARATION: Find a quiet space. Close your office door, go in the bathroom stall, sit in your car, wherever it is that you can close your eyes and not feel weird; lying down or sitting are both fine. I’d recommend closing your eyes, but really do what you gotta do: it’s cool to simply lower and soften your gaze.

Give yourself 5 minutes to complete this practice.

1) I BREATHE IN, I BREATHE OUT. Start this practice by breathing in, thinking to yourself “I BREATHE IN,” and feeling the breath to be warm and full of good juju. As you breathe out, think “I BREATHE OUT,” and as you exhale, smile, feeling the weight and anxiety, the bad juju, melt off of you. Do this for 2 minutes. 

2) Embrace the moment. What are you feeling? What are you thinking? Is there a weird tingle in your neck? An itch you want to scratch near your shoulder blades? A thought or feeling you can’t dismiss? It’s cool. Don’t analyze or judge. The point is to simply be with yourself fully, in the present moment and let it all be cool. If you feel anxiety rising, acknowledge it, give a wave, and then move on and keep scanning your body and breathing IN and OUT. Don’t forget to smile on that exhale, for real. Let that bad juju go! Do this for 3-minutes. 

3) As you finish this practice, give yourself a hug, a high-five, a truly blessed moment of gratitude, for taking the time to love yourself, checkin, tune in and work on strengthening yourself and fortifying your scaffolding. Your willingness to show up and be present to yourself and for yourself, will in turn enrich your life and the lives of those you love. 

Self-care is everywhere; it is right here, right now, in us. 

Don’t forget, the revolution starts in you.

Laena McCarthy