The inspiration behind this week’s article came to me as I waited for a train in London on a commuter-packed underground platform.
The platform was busy. With each train that arrived, people’s facial expressions began to drop, as full trains pulled up but few got on or off. People then started to push each other, perhaps with the hope that somehow they might finally make it onto one of the trains.
In my time, I have never witnessed anything more testing of people’s patience and tolerance than that of delayed rush hour transport. Especially living in London, where rush hour can feel more like crush hour.
I’ve seen people lose it because someone cut up in front of them on the underground.Once when there was a tube strike a woman suddenly burst into tears as she had been trying for ages to get on a bus.
Frustration and anger I feel are the reason for these outbursts. No one likes to feel stuck no matter get scolded from their boss for being late. At the end of the day people seem just as aggravated to get home as they do travelling to work. With this in mind, and though my only experiences I wish to share a short easy meditation to do on public transport. This is taken from my new book The Busy Person’s Guide To Every Day Enlightenment.
‘Sir, would you mind moving your armpit away from my face, it’s stealing my oxygen.’ The Word Sprite
Even though this meditation is set within a packed train carriage, I think you can also do it when waiting to get on a train or bus too.
Next time someone pushes in front of you on the Underground or you are squashed like a pepper in an olive, instead of trying to make yourself small, or getting angry try this instead.
Things you will need:
- An open mind
- To be in a busy but safe place
- 3-10 minutes of your time
- Start by swapping shallow breathing for deeper breaths. Breathe it in through the nose to filter it, unhunch those shoulders and stop trying to disappear. The journey is going to begin or end when it is ready, and even if there is little to be overjoyed with in the present, it is still the present and life is way too precious to waste.
- Keep slowing the breathing right down and try and take in as much of the world as you can. See the humanness of everyone around you who are also just trying to get to and from work. Getting angry isn’t going to get you there any quicker.
- As your breath gains power and peace, feel as if the light that you are is shining out into the world. Energetically expand as much as you can so you feel as if your aura is filling up the space, then the town where you live, the country and the planet. There is enough room for everyone to be this big. Go for it, expand and be, all most guaranteed is that you will come to the end of your journey feeling less squashed (even if physically you still are) and also less stressed. Put this way, there is nothing you can do about it at the moment so you may as well arrive calm instead of crazy right?
- Finish by taking this calmer state of mind into the rest of your day.
If you like my post check out my short video all about my new book. Please excuse the paused facial expression!
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The Word Sprite