By Suna Senman
Even if you are living in a vacation hotspot like sunny Florida, life can present stressful moments. When these moments accumulate into days, the wear and tear begins on your body, mind and psyche. Take care of yourself. Wherever you are, you always can take this three-minute, refreshing vacation. You can shift the stress hormone production to an “all is well” state. Give yourself this priceless, yet valuable mini-vacation.
Read these instructions, then do the exercise according to what you remember. Trust that whatever you remember to do will be perfect for you now. The idea is to get a few minutes to step away from the physiological stress cycle. If you wish, you can take your blood pressure before and after this exercise, to see how your body responds to a few mindful minutes.
Vacation begins with imaginary travel to your destination. Sit with a straight back, comfortably supported by a soft lift in your abdomen. Allow your abdomen to expand and contract with three natural breaths, as you focus on the space behind your eyes.
After these three breaths, land in a beautiful garden, where large, lush, green leaves shade you from a radiant hot sun. See flowers in your favorite colors, all around you. Hear gentle birds singing rhythmic melodies. Taste the sweetness of mountain spring water on your tongue. Feel the air, like kisses on your face. Remain here for six breaths.
The Oversized Drink
Drink yourself full of this endless peace. Let it fill your head, ears, throat, chest, arms, torso, hips, legs and feet. Then wiggle your toes in the lush dirt of the garden.
Stretch your feet and move your ankles. Shake your legs. Take a little swivel with your hips. Stretch and round your back. Circle your shoulders and stretch out your arms and hands. You’re heading back toward home, refreshed.
Drop your head slightly, first on one side, then the other, like a tilting plane, circling for landing. Pull your head forward and down, letting the wheels of your mind hit the tarmac. Then lift your head to an upright posture and open your eyes. You are refreshed and ready to step into the next moment.
The Take Off: three breaths
The Destination: six breaths
The Oversized Drink: fill your body
The Return: move your body
The Landing: tilt and straighten your head
Suna Senman LMSW, CSW, CTIM, CED is a life transformation facilitator who specializes in wellness counseling, childhood development, peace education, and diversity training. She blogs on topic for The Huffington Post; she has published articles on topic in periodicals such as Metro; and she is the author of Being: A Process. Through her work, Suna helps people expand their sense of self, release their illusion of separation, develop nurturing partnerships, and consciously design a harmonious life path. Her writing has included interviews with supermodel Tyra Banks, celebrity violinist Miri Ben Ari, and relationship expert Paul Brunson. Suna’s new book, Peace: Discovering Life’s Harmony through Relationships, was released on August 8, 2013.