People often ask what is mindfulness, what is awareness what is it being present and how do you know when you are? It’s something I used to be able to really connect with and it was such a natural state for me. It was like I lived in it 99% of the time – unaware of it ironically. Me when I am being me, present, aware I can only describe as content. It’s like nothing matters in the world – and nothing does. You don’t react when someone annoys you – you slow down like, your at ease. There is just a pure calmness – there is a love, kindness and compassion that’s just there. You smile at strangers and see all the aliveness in nature. But holy shit did I let my thoughts run rapid which then took over all the calm and peaceful me. It was like layers and layers of noise – other peoples opinions, negative self talk, thinking of the future what I need to have, be doing. And bam it was gone.
How the hell do I dissolve all the loud noise and bring back that inner contentment that is me. This is how I’m doing it and it’s like a muscle – I know it’s there I just have to train it, give it time and space to grow and make it as natural as breathing.
It’s a big one for me – I always say I don’t have the time to meditate but I do. It’s just I haven’t been. There is no good or bad meditation. Sometimes my thoughts can run ramped and sometimes 20 minutes feels like 2 (which happened for the first time the other day – I still don’t believe 20 minutes went by). I like guided meditations. It gives me something to focus on right now so I stop thinking – if a thought pops in or I get distracted when I stop and listen again thats mindfulness for me. I use insight timer as my go to meditation and love my meditations from A–Space Manoj Dias.
You are what you cultivate – if you cultivate love, kindness and compassion that’s what starts to become natural for you. If you see all the good surrounding you rather then judgment, anxiety and fear that something did happen or might happen that’s what will grow inside you, you suffocate yourself. Surrender. Let shit go. There’s power when you write things down or say it out loud. For years I used to go to bed saying what good things happened in my day what I love in my life – family, friends, wine, good food. I’ve planted the seed again and nurturing it so the the trees grows and then the fruit will blossom. Time and space are beautiful things. Don’t think it will happen over night.
This is probably the easiest for me to drop into when I can start getting lost in my thoughts of what I should be doing, where I have to be, what I have to do next – all which are the opposite of be present. If you actually just sit down and focus on your breath – feel your lungs expand, the rise and fall of the chest, the breath going to the stomach – you will find there’s space – you’re nothing thinking your just being aware and feeling. The 4th one I am practising.
Feeling happens when your focus on your breathing – breathing is a natural – unconscious action but when you observe and feel it that’s when you’re not getting lost in thought. Another way I feel is I do a body scan. I send my awareness to one leg, the other, arms, hands, shoulders and I surrender. I relax. Usually my shoulders sink (a lot of my tension and stress is there) my legs mellow and if I am laying down I just let the floor catch me. I melt. I surrender. Today I caught myself reading a book and when I stopped and felt my hand holding the book relaxed – it was so tense but then it was like omg thank you for checking in on me I’ve been overworking here while you’ve been thinking.
There’s a lot of noise around us when your drop out of your head. That’s a different noise. But if any of the above methods of tapping into the present aren’t your jam – stop. Stop, close your eyes, and listen. There will be noises close to you, noises further way and noises that come and go, noises that are consistent – right now I can hear my heater going, fridge humming, birds chirping and the movement of my sisters dogs feet in the backyard. That’s happening right now and guess what when I was there I wasn’t thinking ‘oh shit what am I having for dinner, what’s on TV tonight because it didn’t matter, I couldn’t think of anything else or somewhere else I needed to be.
There’s a theme for me when I focus I become present even if it’s for 2 seconds or 20 minutes that’s what mindfulness, awareness is for me. It’s when I am still – there’s space – nothing matters. There’s an ease and contentment in all the feels. It feels good to connect with you again.