editorial, self help
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15 minutes a day is all I ask

When I was a young boy I made it a habit to stretch, pray and meditate for at least 15 minutes a day. The prayer was to remain spiritually vigilant, the meditation was to calm and relax nerves and body. The stretching was to unwind and relieve muscle tension. Just 15 minutes a day is all I needed, sometimes I would take as long as 2 hours. I would practice different meditation techniques or I would spend some extra time stretching, or praying. Whatever, the time spent was my body, mind and soul were in unison with each other.

As time moves on and life’s responsibilities became greater, much to my dismay I left this simple daily practice behind. Like most things though it became a decision to stop meditation, prayer, and stretching for 15 minutes a day. It may not have seemed it to me at the time but indeed it was. It was only recently that I had time to sit down and reflect on my life. I took note of changes as I got older and older, until I got to where I am today.

Do you know what I realized? There is no excuse for not setting aside 15 minutes a day. Here are the 3 simple techniques to a more peaceful life. All you need to do is set aside 15 minutes.

prayer
You don’t have to pray to a traditional God if you don’t want. Sit for 5 minutes by yourself, and in those few minutes express your gratitude for what you have. Be thankful you are doing as well as you are, and pray for those in need that their problems may be resolved. Pray for hope and peace. Whatever you pray for let it be something you want to embody in yourself. If you pray for forgiveness, also ask that you will be forgiving.

By expressing gratitude and asking for that same generosity to be reflected upon us, we can transform our lives. Eventually, it will help us to do something that we thought impossible.

meditation
There are many meditation techniques in the world and all serve different purposes. But when your time is short and you need to make the most of it you need something short and effective. You may either sit in a chair or on the ground, just make sure your back is straight.

When you are ready to begin your meditation, let your body and muscles relax. Start with your feet and work your way up to your head relaxing all your muscles. This prepares the body for relaxation. Once you have relaxed your muscles, breathe in slowly through your nose to a count of 3, hold for 3, exhale for 3, and hold for 3. Once, you get into a cycle of breathing let your body take over. Stop when you are relaxed and calm. This technique can take anywhere from 5 minutes to 15 minutes. Don’t limit yourself on time unless you need to.

stretching
Stretching can be as simple as touching your toes, or as involved as doing a yoga sun salutation. What matters here is that you give your muscles a chance to expand and contract. Spend about 5 minutes doing light or heavy stretches and you will feel invigorated with new energy.

Devoting a simple 15 minutes a day to prayer, meditation, and stretching, may not seem like much at first; but it will accumulate. The longer you do it the better and more in tune you will feel. If you forget a day don’t chastise yourself just be sure to do it the next day. You have time on your side, so stay vigilant and you will be able to reap the benefits.

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