stop-watch-main_FullHere we are a month into 2009, and I have yet to write an article. This has got me thinking about how busy everyone is, and how easy it is to let something like an intention to meditate fall by the wayside. In the midst of dealing with the stresses of everyday life, work, and relationships, it can be easy to go for weeks without making time for spirituality.

What I’ve found is that something like meditation can help precisely in those times of increased stress. To read more about the psychological and physical benefits of meditation, see my earlier post here. For those of you who know you should be meditating, but can’t seem to find the time/energy/motivation, here are 5 ways to sneak 5 extra minutes of awareness into your day:

1. While you are sitting at your computer at work, shut your door and close your eyes for 2-5 minutes. Your emails, phone calls, and crackberry can wait for that long. Trust me. Take some deep breaths and bring your attention to any tension you feel anywhere in your body. Now visualize the tension dissipating and consciously relax those muscles.

2. When you get up in the morning, lay in your bed for 5 extra minutes in a position that feels most comfortable to you. Try to remember any dreams and emotions your dreams may have evoked in you. This is a good way to find what your vibrational set point is. Are you scared about something? Anxious? This could be showing up in your dreams. Consciously make note of any emotions. Next, set a positive intention for the day. It can be something specific, or something general (”My only goal today is to feel good, no matter what I am doing”). Aim to set a positive tone for the day.

3. While you are commuting either to or from work, focus on the moment, on the NOW. Instead of thinking about the past or future (what you need to get done that day, where you are eating dinner, etc.), focus on where you are fully. What sounds to you hear? What are you looking at? How does your body feel in this moment? Focus and breathe for a full 5 minutes. This process releases anxiety and makes you more aware in the moment. Being absorbed in the Now is a portal to infinite intelligence – it is also another form of meditation.

4. When you are eating something, stop whatever else you are doing. Taste all of the flavors fully. Are you enjoying what you are eating? Is it nourishing you? Pay attention to what your body is telling you, both during and after the meal. Eat slowly and deliberately. Savor every bite as if it is your last! You will find yourself more satisfied, and you are adding another enjoyable experience to what might otherwise be a dull day.

5. When you are talking to a co-worker, friend, or a family member, for 5 minutes of the conversation, focus totally on them. What are they thinking? Where are they coming from? What is their intention? Remember, everyone has an agenda and a point of view that they want you to understand. Instead of giving someone a cursory answer from your own perspective, give their perspective your full attention. Trust me, they’ll notice.

If you can’t do all of these, do 1 or 2 that appeal to you. Remember, it is about making each moment count. You are creating your own reality moment by moment by moment. Control your thoughts, pay attention, and take advantage of your infinite power.