Self-Guided Awareness Exercise: (based on an exercise by Dr. David G. Benner)
Take a moment to simply notice what is happening in your body. Close your eyes if you like. Notice your body sitting on the chair in stillness for a moment or two. Bring your attention to your breathing, perhaps noticing the breath flowing in and out of your nostrils, or noting your abdomen’s movements with your breath. Continue noticing your breath for a minute. Allow yourself to relax with each breath, imagining yourself breathing out any tension you feel and breathing in calm. Now bring your attention to your head…your face, slowly scan your body, noting whatever you become aware of – now move slowly down, through your neck… your shoulders… your upper arms… your elbows… your forearms… your wrists… your hands… your fingers… your back and all the way down your spine… Carefully notice the sensations associated with each body part….bringing your attention to your chest… your stomach… your abdomen… the cradle of your hips… your legs… your feet… all the way to the tips of your toes. Now bring your attention back to your breathing, retaining a sense of your body. And slowly, whenever you are ready, bring your attention back to the space around you.
- excerpt from The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer