Tapping the Wellspring of Time and Energy 
by Dr. Marie DiCowden 

Being a caregiver makes demands on your body, mind and spirit. Failure to take care of ourselves results in a failure to be able to care of others.

Caregivers commonly explain that there never seems to be enough time. Ironically, though, the more we take time to take care of ourselves, the more time we will have for what we need to do for ourselves and for others. If you don't believe it, let me suggest you consider an experiment. Try to consistently apply the things talked about in this article for two or three months and see what happens. At worst, nothing will change. At best, you may find everything changes, and life can be filled with abundance.

Over the last 20 years, extensive research, at Harvard and other prestigious universities, has shown that only 20 minutes of daily meditation has dramatic effects on physical health. Meditation has been shown to lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and the occurrence of heart disease, while it improves the immune system, and enhances physical response to chronic diseases such as diabetes and multiple sclerosis.

Learning how to meditate on a periodic basis throughout the day is most effective. Five or ten minutes here or there--or even one-minute "monastic moments"--can be the most effective way to handle stresses and time limitations. The key is to learn how to turn the mind off and tap into the wellspring of limitless time and energy.

Try this:

1.Find a space where you will be free for a few moments from distraction. It may need to be when other people in your home are asleep or out of the house. Make an agreement with yourself that you will try to meditate for a specific amount of time, at first usually for no longer than 10 minutes.

2.Sit in a comfortable spot. It is better to sit up than lie down. While sleep is good for you, it is not the same as meditation.

3.Now, simply notice your breath. Don't try to control it or think about it. Just notice it. Are you breathing? Is it shallow? Is it fast? Is it punctuated with heavy sighs? That's right. . . whatever it is. . . just let yourself breathe!

4.If thoughts come into your mind don't try to stop them, just let them go. See your thoughts as you might look into the sky and see clouds passing. They come and they go. Thoughts come and go the same way--it is only for a few moments.

5.Stay focused on the breath going in and out of your body. Just breathe. In these few moments, all you need to focus on is your breath.

Do this 5-10 minutes a day. Eventually you will be able to expand to longer periods of time. You may choose to meditate for 10 minutes in the early part of the day and 10 minutes before you go to bed, or in the afternoon. There is never a wrong or bad time to meditate.

It sounds very simple and like such small thing. But it is the first step in a lifelong process that will have a profound impact on your ability to care for yourself and others. Meditation does take practice, and there is never a wrong way to do it. As you become more experienced, it gets easier and easier to find that exhilarating and peace-filled silence.

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