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Madeleine Eames

- Psychotherapist
- Mindfulness Teacher

When things get confusing…

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I usually send out a blog like clockwork on a Monday and have for a few years now. However, lately I feel like I have so many things to say and comment on that I feel are important, i can’t seem to narrow it down to one topic!

 

Have you ever felt like that? Too much, too many decisions, don’t know where to start? So you toss the whole thing and go to bed, or plow through one thing with gritted teeth?

 

I have found one thing to be true for sure: thoughts are not reliable in this case. They are full of shoulds, woulds and coulds, pros and cons, but rarely come in the form of an aha! answer. I remember hearing so many times in my early yoga years to ‘lead with the heart, not the head’, ‘out of the head and into the body’ but I could never figure out what that meant. I mean, I could feel my heart beating but it sure wasn’t telling me anything about my life. However, as I continued to practice breathing and mindfulness, I think I started to understand. I came to rely more on my body and had faith that I would know the right thing to do, and I did. 

 

Let’s face it, the mind can make a misery of life. Thoughts boss us around like a nasty roommate, telling us what to do, but mostly what we are not doing, and why. They judge and let events live on for years after they have passed. It takes discipline to shift to what is going well and the present moment, where everything is fine. But keep practicing and sooner or later it will become the default pattern. Who would you be without your thoughts? 

 

I remember hearing a story about a woman who had a brain injury and lost her ability to name things. She could see and hear, but could not come up with the right labels for objects. So she lived in a world of nameless objects and people and sensations. She moved through her day just sensing, not labeling or judging. When her injury started to heal, she missed the peace that came with the nameless. She was just there. 

 

I don’t wish for that, but I do marvel at the ability of the mind to rule. So, what do I do when I can’t decide? I don’t. I simply move through my life and breathe and get out of my head directly into my life and somehow things just happen. I sit down and write. Without thinking about it.

 

Breathe to calm your fight-or-flight stress response. Everyday. It’s probably the most healthy thing you can do for your body as we are under a constant stream of stress. Stay tuned for upcoming classes to shift your body and shift your life.

In the meantime, Mindfulness Tuesdays meets today 12-1pm at Askews Uptown, $5 drop-in. 

 

Try it now: Breathe into your body and feel it. Let your thoughts seem small and unimportant. Do what you are doing without thought as much as you can. Notice judging and labeling, and let it go. Do what you feel an impulse to do, even what you have to do, without thought. Get in the car, go to work, go for a walk, call a friend, or have tea. Let life lead you.

 

 

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