The purpose of this mindfulness practice is to wake up in the world. But what exactly does that mean?
- Being aware of what is happening, as it is happening.
Why is this so important?
- Because so much of our life is done on auto-pilot, that people find that when they slow down and become aware of the present moment that life becomes richer, fuller, and more meaningful.
And why would I want to become aware of things that are painful, stressful, or not comfortable?
- I get it. Life, relationships, even your body, is not always a cozy place to be. However, when we are able to open to what we are afraid of, or resist, it becomes less scary and stressful.
When we are able to open fully, over time, to what it is we run away from, we can become totally free.
I don’t mean we land in a place of complete serenity and joy, although fully awakened beings have. Rather, we can see how our resistance, our thoughts and beliefs and avoidance or fighting, cause our own suffering.
I also don’t mean we open ourselves up to anything and everything and let it all go. That would be insane.
We open to the many thoughts and feelings that rise and fall, and know that we are not victim to them, and hold ourselves in a kind awareness, noticing all judgements.
We open to endless choice and possibilities, knowing we can step out of the vicious cycle of suffering. There may be another story, another way to look at things.
May these statements carry you through difficult moments in your week:
I can breathe through this and get clarity before responding.
I can manage any emotions that arise in my body.
I am safe, even when my mind tells me I am not. (except of course when there is immediate threat, in which case there is no time to think 🙂
Thoughts come and go, and I can choose whether to give them meaning. There might be another story.
Here is one of my favourite practices to teach and also to practice when we are going off-course in our day, especially if you suffer with anxiety or panic. Try it out and keep practicing:
We are masters of our own destiny and have far more available to us than our minds let us think. May you open to new possibilities, new moments this week.
PS: I have added a new drop-in mindfulness class for those of you that want more practice in the midst of your day:
Mindfulness Drop-In, Fridays 12 noon-1pm. Namaste Yoga and Wellness Centre, 201-310 Hudson Street, upstairs beside the post office. This is a pay-what-you-can class. Please note no class October 19th. Feel free to drop-in on your lunch hour and give your brain a break!