by Dr. Carol Renaud Gaffney
After you have prepared for bed take a few moments
to review your day. Take a moment to think about
what you have left to do and list those items
in a notebook. Think ahead for a moment to tomorrow
and list those things you know are to be done.
Ask yourself whether any of them require that
you do something about them right now. Are there
emergency items? What would be the worst thing
that would happen if you did not do them right
now? Are you willing to live with the consequences?
If you cannot live with the consequences, if there
are things you must do right now, take a moment
to breathe and be mindful, then go ahead and do
what has to be done.
Once you are ready to end your day and begin
your time of rest and renewal, visually place
any tasks in a box that you will open tomorrow.
Once this is done, find a comfortable position
and proceed to calm your body and mind.
As you become settled bring to your awareness
the people and experiences in your life that are
important to you. One by one you send love
and kindness to them either out loud or to yourself.
Take a deep, complete, cleansing breath.
As you breathe out, allow your eyes to
close. Let the muscles around your eyes relax.
With each breath out the muscles around your eyes
become more and more relaxed. When you know that
the muscles around your eyes are deeply relaxed.
Let the relaxation drop through your body, through
your legs and arms and out tot the ends of your
fingers and toes. You become aware of your
body becoming heavier and heavier so that if you
try to lift your hand, it will be too heavy to
Breathe in . . . and breathe out . . .
breathe in . . . and breathe out
. . . direct your attention to each outbreath,
as each outbreath takes with it tension and stress.
Breathe in . . . and breathe out. Direct
your attention to each outbreath as each outbreath
takes with it tension and stress. Continue to
breathe in and out this way. If you find your
attention wandering, simply direct your attention
back to the outbreath and be aware of tension
and stress leaving with each breath.