Mindfulness Part 1
“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.”
I love this quote and for me it makes the racing horses that are my mind kind of cease. I release all the little things I get caught up in that I think are important in that very moment.
Perspective is such a funny thing. On a side note. You ever notice how if you’ve had too much to drink that, everything you say is so important and profound. I like to come up with business plans if I have a few drinks with my friends, I assign everyone roles, and it makes perfect sense and I’m like this drunken captain steering a hypothetical ship. But as many of us have experienced, when you wake up sober, you review what you once thought was important and realize it’s quite foolish.
I liken that to us in our everyday pursuits and affairs.
We get sucked into our heads and down the rabbit hole we go. A place of separation and isolation.
Don’t get me wrong, staying focused on a task is fantastic, but being able to detach from it with ease and grace is a skill we cultivate that will serve us well in all aspects of our lives.
I think of my doggy Cinnamon, which if you frequent my yoga studio, Thrive Yoga & Fitness, she comes to classes and licks everyone’s toes in Savasana. It’s the most adorable thing ever.
Anyways, whenever I come home, it doesn’t matter what she’s eating, or digging, or chewing, she releases it and greets the present moment with excitement and innocence.
Isn’t that a lovely place to be? Sigh.
Children are another great example. It’s so much easier to get them to be present and depending on their age before the form attachments and such, they are living in the present. Before the development of aversions or attachments was just living in harmony with what is.
At the time it seems so important. But when your child wants to look in your eyes, or your husband or wife comes home wanting a hug, we have an opportunity to drop into the present and rejoin into the flow of life.
In the Yamas and Niyamas, Deborah adele tells a story of A friend was relaying a story to me about a particularly busy day for her. Her 3 year old son kept asking for attention and her response continued to be: just a minute.
When he reached his limit of being ignored, he took his mother’s head in his hands, gently pulled it to his face, and looking directly into her eyes firmly said,
“You’re not recognizing me!”
If the present moment had a voice, I think it would say the same thing to us.
Why is it so hard to be pure with the moment, in the moment?
One of my prior guests on IJ was Frannie Hoffman and when I started that series, I knew I wanted Frannie as a guest. When you’re in the present with Frannie, everything melts away. Her eyes and energy is so filled with unconditional love and compassion that you feel safe to just BE.
Frannie always talks to me about surrender. Surrendering myself to the present moment and just being with it.
She says the struggle isn’t the Circumstance, right, it’s our thought patterns about it. We fixate and become stuck in this state of resistence.
I wrote an article recently about my past eating disorder which you can access at www.empoweredSerenityCoaching.com/Vulnerability-and-growth (I’ll include this in the show notes)
And I submitted to a national publication. I felt so vulnerable and naked. I was in a tizzy for days until my beautiful, wonderful coach, Beverly Avron, asked me, what’s so bad about being naked? What’s wrong with being vulnerable? A memory popped up and a belief system formed that more or less equated Vulnerability equals Rejection.
It was powerful for me to look at that belief and choose to release it. I instantly felt relief. I had to dig around for it a bit though, on my own and with a coach. So to answer my question from earlier, why is it so hard to be present?
We have these unaddressed underlying fears that haunt us unquestioned. It’s when we start to shine a light on them and understand them with compassion and curiosity that we can heal ourselves. I have found my resistance through this process of coaching frees me profoundly, and then I feel lighter and more able to engage in the present.
It is constant work though, but hey it’s worth it.
Another obstacle of staying present that I have found is when we do try to be still, our inner dialogue isn’t very nice. We are not our bodies, minds, or thoughts, we are that which is in the background of all of that, but we have these great tools, these advanced pieces of technology which if we haven’t been taking an active role getting to know, they start to really run themselves, and that’s when we get into patterns. We get kinda stuck.
When we take initiative to start to understand this beautiful vessel we are navigating, we have to deal with all the patterns that had formed when we were unaware and negative dialogue we picked up along the way.
It’s challenging to sit with someone who is constantly berating you or comparing you to others to put you down. So when we find stillness, if we have this negative chatter, we don’t really want to hang out.
This reminds me of my boyfriend and I when we went on a trip to Sedona, and we got sat next to, well, we nick named her Negative Nelly. Everything out of this woman’s mouth was an insult towards herself, her family, how miserable she was. Even when I went up to go to the bathroom, she said negative things to my boyfriend about me. It was crazy. Of course we were counting the minutes to get off the plane and away from her as fast as possible. But, what if we have our own Negative Nelly living inside of us? We can understand why we don’t want to spend quality time with her. Yea?
So once we understand what’s going on in our minds, and we know how we feel when we think that way we can choose to be without those thoughts.
Worksheet on Empowered Serenity Coaching.com
Positive Affirmations and I will talk more about that in my next podcast.
Go outside or in a space that you’re not normally in.
Count all your blessings. Allow the feeling of gratefulness to enter your body and reside there.
Breathe and connect with your body.
Letting go of layers
I am not my mind, I am not my body, I’m not my thoughts.
Try to adopt the mindset of curiosity, and fascination like a child. Try it for a day and notice what happens.