I began a journey this week. An intensive study in mindfulness.
Apprehension held me back, kept me aloof the first hour. I have been raised to eschew the mamby pamby and view the contemplative as airy fairy… my family’s words.
However, I could not escape the allure of a life in balance. My #freakingamazinghubby has been a follower of mindfulness for over twenty years and is the most peaceful person I have ever known. So I opened my ears, allowed my mental chatter to be calmed and I listened.
Surprisingly the most appealing sound I caught was that of my breath. Slow, steady, centering. Focusing on the slow and rhythmic intake and studied output caused me to pause, push aside the noise, the chores, the lists, the endless to do.
Sleep found me within minutes of the first body scan. Through the curtain of slumber a voice guided my thoughts, the tense, the release. I woke refreshed, energized, and relaxed.
Mindful eating was something I had never heard of, never tried. The study of a raisin was interesting, but left me wondering about the industrialization of our food and the far reaching effects of this reliance on mass farming, mass production, mass movement. Obviously not the intended effect of the exercise, but the result I could not escape. I am opting to try the 100 mile diet to calm my worries and leave mindful eating for others to explore.
Ah, I felt excitement rise in my gut, fluttering up to my throat! Another body scan, but this one outside. I loved the feel of the grass beneath me, the sounds floating over my body. The insects wandering against me. The voice led me, calmed me, focused me, and again my breath was my guide.
I was annoyed by the sitting practice! Uncomfortable, no opportunity to let sleep fasten itself to my being. Again, my breath led me, calmed me, and focused my attention to the stress I was holding in my shoulders. Relaxing, sinking, melting into the chair, I found some release.
Walking is something I do daily: for fun, for companionship, for groceries, for children, for pets. I walk to watch the world. To slow, keep my eyes downward, focus on each step was difficult. I appreciated the firmness and stability offered by the earth, but too soon my gaze was pulled to those which I love and yearn for; the green of a leaf, the flutter of a dragonfly, the dunk of a duck below a pond in full algae bloom. That is where I find myself and my strength. They are part of my centre.
I have been introduced to a new way of being, thinking, feeling. I am responsible for me. In caring for myself, I am better prepared to be present for others. Daily body scans will definitely be part of my personal practice. Daily mindful walks with a focus on nature will become more studied and releasing. Acknowledging the thoughts, emotions, and mental chatter allow me to breathe, relax, focus on the here and now.
It is the now, the moment I am within, which I am able to experience with joy, sadness, anger, gladness. I welcome this moment and see a way forward through mindful presence.
© Michelle Redman and mredmanwrites, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Michelle Redman and mredmanwrites https://mredmanwrites.wordpress.com/2015/08/07/a-brief-study-in-mindfulness/