You are already mindful.
You already have medicine for your messy mind.
Let's get a taste of it now.
Sit on a straight-back chair, a stool, or a cushion. Sit so your knees are level with or below your waist. Let your hands rest on your lap or on your legs. Sit comfortably upright so you can get a sense of your spine lengthened, with a natural curve at your lower back. You want to find a balance between upright alertness and relaxed comfort.
Take a conscious deeper in-breath, followed by a longer out-breath. Simply bring full awareness to the energy of the in-breath. Then notice the pause at the end of the in-breath. Then fully exhale, bringing full awareness to the energy of the out-breath. Notice the pause at the end of the out-breath.
Bring awareness to breathing in and out in this way for the next few breaths. Just bring an attitude of relaxed curiosity to the breath breathing for you.
Become aware of your body and feel the space around you. Notice how the space around you hugs and holds your shape. Notice the feeling of your weight pressing down. Feel the ground, the earth below you, pressing up, supporting you.
Now bring your attention to the very top of your head. Put all your focus there, noticing any sensations you have. Next, shift your focus to your eyes. Feel the tiny movements they are making.
Now notice sensations in your mouth. Sensations at the lips. Bring awareness to your neck. What do you notice here? Maybe tension? If there is tension, can you bring some curiosity to these sensations? Next, bring awareness to your chest and lungs. Feel your chest and lungs expanding and contracting with your breathing. Perhaps you can feel your heart beating, pumping.
Feel the heart's expansion. Its fullness.
Now send your focus down your arms, all the way to each fingertip. Feel the sensations in your fingertips. Then glide your focus to the belly. Notice how your belly feels. Maybe it’s digesting.
Notice your pelvis and hips and the sensations of your weight pressing down. Bring your awareness down each leg, over your knees, and down all the way to your feet and to each toe, and to the space between your toes.
You have now become aware of regions of your body.
This is mindful.
This is allowing yourself to experience what's already here for you.
See if you can relax into what’s already here for you, with full attention. See if you can allow yourself to non-judgementally experience what’s here for you, whether it be comfortable, uncomfortable, or neutral.
See if you can accept what’s arising for you in awareness. Awareness comes and goes. But that’s okay. That’s how awareness works. It’s how the mind works. Things come and go. It’s the nature of the mind’s design. The mind will carry you away, to the past, to the future, but you have it within you to remember to bring the mind back to this present moment, especially if it’s carrying you somewhere you don’t want to go.
A good place to remember to come back to is the direct sensations of your breath and your body.
Come back to this breath, in this body, right now.
It’s like coming home to a good friend.
When you remember to come home to this breath, this body, right now, you can find a slither of space to help you work through – or change your relational awareness to - problems such as stress, lack of confidence, procrastination, fear of failure, and much more. Every day, take several full deep breaths, allowing yourself to let go of anything that bothers you.
Every day, come back to this breath, this body, right now, and remember that you can be mindful..That you can:
pay attention with conscious choice rather than defaulting to reactivity.
come into the present moment rather than dwelling in the future or the past.
let go of things rather than needing things to be different
relate to experience through directly sensing it rather than through thoughts.
see thoughts as mental events rather than as events that are true or real.
approach unpleasant experiences with curiosity rather than shutting yourself down or running away from unpleasant experience
take care of yourself with compassion rather than treat yourself harshly.
Every day remind yourself that you already have the capacity within you to do this.
Every day, allow yourself to come back home to who you already are so that when you show up for your work you have a better chance to not only get the job done but also accomplish things that move you forward - that move you towards flourishing, thriving, optimal success - the success of service to others and interdependence with all things, all beings, all experience. Promise yourself that when you find yourself exhausted, frazzled - subject to the wayward meanderings of your impulsive, craving, messy mind - just simply take a moment to stop and bring awareness to this breath, this body, right now supporting you. Maybe use this awareness as an aspirational mantra:
For instance …
with this breath, this body, right now I can find the space to make better decisions
with this breath, this body, right now, I can be with this difficult conversation
with this breath, this body, right now I can express my needs
with this breath, this body, right now I can be present for the people I choose to serve
with this breath, this body, right now, I can be here for this person I love
.This breath, this body, right now is where the inward journey starts.
It’s the hero’s inward journey.
Essentially, it’s the journey out of the trance of reactivity and towards responsiveness, open-heartedness, receptivity, interdependence, self-acceptance, and inward and outward compassion. It’s the journey of taking care of yourself.
There will be obstacles along the way. The first and most obvious is the acceptance that mindfulness is not a quick fix, that its medicine can have an unpleasant, counterintuitive taste, precisely because it’s extracted from befriending and giving permission to what’s already here for you.
It’s not easy to do. It’s hard to relax into the taste of what’s here. But that’s what we’re being asked to do. We’re being asked to accept the taste of possibility. In particular, the possibility of accepting who you already are, rather than who you think, or who you have been told, you should be.
Acceptance is key. Accepting the design of your messy mind.
So welcome. Welcome to remembering who you are already are.
Welcome to reflections, meditations, and the practical wisdom of teachers, practitioners, and influencers who can help you find a mindfulness practice that makes sense for you in the life you are already experiencing now.
Thank you for your time. Thank you for your attention.
Your attention is precious to you.
I appreciate your placing here.
With warm wishes