The mindfulness rescue remedy
If you let cloudy water settle, it will become clear. If you let your upset mind settle, your course will also become clear. —Buddha’s Little Instruction Book
Have you ever had one of those moments in life where you decide to turn your world upside down and take action to completely change everything you have ever known? I sure do! I am so fond of this approach I am clocking up more fresh starts than birthdays.
While I was travelling I decided that on my return I would relocate to my hometown, enrol to study, start teaching yoga and pursue other work that is ethically in line with my personal ethos. Here I am, the eternal wanderer, deciding to settle down for the long haul and get serious. This should be interesting.
It didn’t take long (two weeks) for the panic to set in. Away from my good friends, living under the same roof as my parents, unemployed and generally feeling disenchanted and disconnected. Is this where I am meant to be? I started to get stuck in my own head and tell myself that this fresh start was not going to have a good outcome.
I knew that to get myself out of this funk I had to come back to the present moment and accept things for what they were without being judgmental of my current situation. This is the essence of mindfulness, being self-aware of our emotions and our thoughts without attaching judgement to these things.
I decided to really apply mindfulness back into my daily life through practicing some daily mindfulness development techniques. These small daily changes for me have included:
I knew that to get myself out of this funk I had to come back to the present moment and accept things for what they were without being judgmental of my current situation
Listening to a guided meditation each night – guided meditations gently empower us to practice meditation daily and develop new meditation techniques, without placing pressure on ourselves to experience a profound sensation that might come through deeper meditations. There is nothing better I believe than falling asleep with an empty and untroubled mind.
Walking with mindfulness – by observing our surroundings, looking up to the sky, noticing the colour of the urban landscape, the other people, the sounds and the feel of the breeze or the rain on our skin we are learning how to observe and just be in the present moment.
Eating and cooking with mindfulness – When preparing a meal or eating take notice of the textures, scents, colours and the way the food tastes in the mouth, chewing carefully and observing the swallowing sensation. There is a certain satisfied fullness that comes from eating slowly and with attention.
Identifying and being with the present emotion – when a difficult thought or feeling comes to mind practice staying with the emotion (rather than pushing it aside) and label the feeling with a non-judgmental approach. Instead of shaming ourselves by labelling a thought as bad, practice acknowledging the thought and why we might be feeling that way. Notice how quickly the negativity subsides once acknowledgement is made.
Day by day and moment by moment I am lifting myself from the fog of uncertainty, reconnecting with the universal love I felt so strongly attached to when I made the decisions that have led me to the present.
Mindfulness has given me the reassurance that by myself and through self-awareness I can truly embrace the ebbs and flows of life for what they are.
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