Awareness - The silence can be life changing
How much time do we spend wondering what other people are thinking about us? Learning to cultivate a mindfulness practice helps us to remember that the judgments of others on how we live our lives is no business of ours. We come into this world alone and we will leave alone, not wanting to sound gloomy but as we go about our daily lives comparing ourselves to others, we waste the precious moments we must cultivate a deeper sense of purpose and belonging. The positive connections we make feed or soul, literally sustain us. Why you might then add, can a guru or a sage disappear into the mountains for years in solitude......? They are the most connected beings on earth, they are connected to the sounds, smells and breath of the universe. When they make the decision to spend such time in solitude, it is because their cup is so completely full, they can just breath and be connected to every soul, without the physical presence. They have reached a stage of ultimate connection, they are awake.
Meditation helps us to become truly alive, through introspection, looking at ourselves from the inside out. We sit, feel, the uncomfortable restlessness in our bodies and minds and we struggle and stop. If we could only sit a little while longer, the power of mindfulness awaits. As the space in our minds expand past our bodies, we can often view the miracle of the practice.
I am no expert and I often struggle to do five minutes a day. However, I have experienced the power it can offer me, and I am desperate to sustain a regular practice so I can continue to experience the insight it offers me.
In our meditation practice we learn to let go of that tension we carry in our bodies daily, come back to ourselves and focus on what is true for us. We tap into our creativity and find true belonging. Meditation soothes our nervous system which in turn allows us to heal our physical symptoms of pain, yes meditation can elevate physical as well as mental pain.
Start your practice with curiosity. Have no expectations, just an open mind. All your deepest fears might rush in, you may feel more anxious than you thought. You head might feel heavy or light. You can experience the sensations of your belly, the pounding of your heart. At first it will be anything but stillness and emptiness, in fact mediation is never really about emptiness. Stay curious and come back each day and you might be surprised as to what is hidden in stillness.
No one ever talked to me about mindfulness or mediation as an everyday practice that anyone can do. More importantly no one ever explained how powerful the practice could be in helping to manage our daily worries, anxiety, depression, self-doubt and ultimately the physical manifestation of such thoughts. Headaches, back pain, IBS, chronic fatigue, and eczema.
Teaching ourselves, children, and young people how to notice our thoughts and feelings as they ebb and flow through our stillness and breath could help to maintain an overall state of better wellbeing for the coming months and years ahead.
Before we begin to meditate, we are in this river of experiences, but absorbed and lost in it--like a fish, so immersed, we don't notice the water.
The first step is to get out of the river and sit on the bank, so we can observe, get some perspective, and respond consciously (witnessing).