I used to write a retrospective of the year’s blog each December. You can catch what you may have missed in last year’s blogs here. But come to think of it, this year is different. This year, you and I need something more potent aka calm.
If you look back at 2020 resolutions, you might have tried meditation or not. In this season of gift-giving, why not give ourselves the best gift of all: the life giving, life-gaining practice of serenity.
When we practice mindfulness moments or as I call it “catching myself”, we learn to stop feeding the monkey mind that can trigger stress. I care enough about how I feel to ask myself better questions. My clients know me as the queen of questions to unearth beliefs or thoughts pattern that their subconscious mind would rather keep secret. Questions without judgement are the best for helping us make lasting changes. The simplest one is: How am I doing right now? Check-in with yourself as to what feelings you are experiencing or where you are putting your attention.
But, Linda, I’m busy. Yes. I know. What if you’re in line to pay (which will surely happen this week) or while you’re washing the dishes or even driving back home.
There are three areas that can help you stay centered on the good.
1. Your thoughts are running the show?
The first mindful move should be to calmly acknowledge what is present in your mind. For example, paying attention to where you focus puts you in charge of your brain instead of crafting worst-case scenarios.
2. Your body will follow your mind, always.
You think a bad thought and inevitably your body will produce stress chemicals to meet you at that level. In other words, you physically experience your thoughts. Do you react to your impatience by tensing your shoulders or your jaw? Does anxiety cause tightness in your chest? Being aware of your physical reactions can shift your focus away from the stress that’s causing them.
3. Your environment affects you.
Yes, it does. Imagine cinnamon buns fresh out of the oven. Take a deep breath in. That’s right, it feels soothing doesn’t it? So, experience it now. Identify the sounds, smells, colors or even the atmosphere of the space you are in (tensed, wired or easy going). The key is to just notice, not judge. There, you just experienced the present moment.
Bringing that awareness back to your daily life can make any ordinary day feels like an adventure. Because the goal behind these three areas of life (interior, exterior and body) is to accept what is instead of getting caught up in your perceptions of what’s happening or what may happen soon.
The take-away: Resisting what is, as frustrating as it might be, only increases your stress and suffering. And we have had enough of those two cowboys this year. Suffering is optional. Choose your thoughts wisely.
My wish for you for the end of this year is simple yet powerful. Create memorable moments.
Talk to you soon.