Pause…Bee Meditation: Pause – How To Pause Before Life Does For You – Danielle Marchant


How to press pause

 

Pause: How to press pause before life does it for you by Danielle Marchant ($19.99), published by Hachette Australia.

 

This book is probably the best A$19.99 you will  spend this year; so many useful, simple exercises for relaxation and meditation, for re centering and pauses – big and small.  If you do nothing else – concentrate on your breathing – deep breathing is so good for the whole body and you can practice this anywhere any time of the day.

 

“Bee Meditation

 

One of the ways we can begin to create harmony with our outer world is to create harmony within ourselves. There are different approaches to this. One is creating a natural rhythm

(with your food, sleep, work and so on); another is learning to manage your mind. A long time ago, I was taught, “You have a mind but you are not your mind.” In the same way as you have an arm but you don’t let your arm rule the show, why would you allow your mind to take over?

 

If your stress levels feel unmanageable and you find it hard to switch off and relax, it’s likely that your mind is busy. For some people this is particularly easy to spot at night, when

after an intense day they lie in bed exhausted, but unable to sleep. The more stress builds within us, the less easy it is for us to flow in our lives.

 

One tool that helps deal with everyday stress and allows you to begin to manage your mind to bring it back into harmony is meditation. I meet a lot of people in my coaching practice who tell me that they have tried mediation, but found it too difficult and have given up. The trouble is, when they sit down to meditate they can hear their busy minds racing, and they think they are meditating incorrectly. In truth, sitting down to meditate will make you conscious of what is already present, and if for you that’s a racing mind and anxiety, then that is what you will experience. This doesn’t mean you are not doing it right; it simply means that this is what your inner world feels like at this moment in time (and perhaps beyond this moment). The art of meditation is to sit with the experience you are having, whatever it is, without trying to change it, judge it or fix it. Your “job” in meditation is to stay seated and simply pay attention to your breathing, while your mind chatters and your feelings come to the surface. 

If that feels too difficult for you at this time, you might like to try this lovely Bee Meditation (see page 74), which I describe as a meditation for people who can’t meditate. I find it works well when you have a busy mind, because the sound you make is a distraction, and the mind loves a distraction! It works by blocking out the senses of sight and sound, and creating an internal vibration by humming. The hum makes a sound like a bee buzzing, hence the name.

Here is how the Bee Meditation works (read this through in full before you begin):

 

Prepare yourself by finding a place you can be alone for a few minutes. Sit in a comfortable position, with your back straight.

 

Scan your body and notice how you are feeling.

 

When you are ready, close your eyes, put your thumbs in your ears and gently cover your eyes with your forefingers (the idea is to block out the senses of sight and sound for a moment).

 

Inhale, and on the exhale make a humming sound.

 

Repeat the inhale and hum for ten breaths.

 

When you have completed your ten breaths, keep your eyes closed, rub your hands together to generate some heat and place your hands over your face.

 

Gently open your eyes and remove your hands.

 

Scan your body again and notice how you feel.” p.72

Post Script: The Long, Hot Summer – Kathleen MacMahon

“…relationships between men and women are about power. It’s all about the balance of power, and if you can’t get that right, then it’s a fight to the death.” (p. 258)

Cover The Long Hot Summer

The Long, Hot Summer

Kathleen MacMahon

Sphere; Little, Brown Book Group

Hachette Australia

ISBN: 9780751550894

 

Description:

Nine Lives. Four Generations. One Family. The MacEntees are no ordinary family. Determined to be different to other people, they have carved out a place for themselves in Irish life by the sheer force of their own personalities. But when a series of misfortunes befall them over the course of one long hot summer, even the MacEntees will struggle to make sense of who they are. Meet the MacEntees: Deirdre, the reluctant matriarch. Manus, the eccentric grandfather. Alma, the TV star who falls victim to a vicious assault. Mick, the European politician on the run from a media storm. Liam, the Government minister sacked by an angry electorate. Acushla, the model wife with an unhappy secret. Connie, the wild child turned exhausted young mother. Nora, the idealist, missing somewhere in the Middle East. And Macdara, the fragile and gentle soul of the family. As the MacEntees do battle with their misfortunes, Deirdre is planning a family party for her 80th birthday, and with it one final, shocking surprise. From Kathleen MacMahon, the Number One bestselling author of This is How it Ends, comes this powerful and poignant novel capturing a moment in the life of one family.

 

My View:

This is a very surprising read – surprising because of the way this made me feel as I was reading it! Reading this was so relaxing, enjoyable and entertaining. I generally favour reading crime fiction – the tension, the adrenaline, the surprise, The Long, Hot Summer was the antithesis of the crime fiction novels I read- it felt comfortable, put me at ease, made me smile, made me cheer; it wrapped me in the warmth of a family made of unique individuals, each with their own insightful stories to share; these voices even more poignant when together, this family has a wonderful dynamic and synergy.

Long ago I was an ardent fan of all things Maeve Binchy, particularly her wonderful character based narratives sited in Ireland with their great relationship exposes, Kathleen MacMahon’s writing reminds me so much of a modern day Binchy; well-developed empathetic characters, realistic dialogue, a narrative that feels natural, unassuming, with relationships under the microscope.  This novel  invites you to read on and for a couple of nights (till I finished this book) I looked forward to sitting down with this family and listening to their stories. I would like to read MacMahon’s first book – This Is How It Ends, so enamoured am I with this style of writing.