I’ve decided to do a course mindfulness . I actually came across this course a year ago, but I didn’t have the time to do it. Being a Life-Coach I have always had an interest in holistic practices, and up until recently a lot of these practices would have been at the fore front of how I chose to live my life. Up until recently, as in the last 18 months or so I would have signed up to this course which is why it’s quite ironic to think “I didn’t have the time”. It’s funny how the days, months and even years can go by in the blink of an eye, especially when you are living your life mindlessly. That’s literally what I had been doing over this period of time,I thought I was in control of my life, especially being a life coach and being great at helping others sort their lives out. The problem was I wasn’t in control, and I was unaware that my life was controlling me. Even now as I type these words, it brings that realization even closer to home.
During this course, I will meditate for 30 minutes a day, I will practice mindfulness by bringing simple awareness into daily activities and I will log all these activities on a daily basis. I also have reading and video material. For most people I would imagine finding 30 mins a day to practice meditation would be difficult, even now I am noticing that the floor needs hovered and mopped, and that I’ve a million other things to be getting on with. I also slept in because I had an unexpected late night, so I’m already half a day behind on everything I need to do today. But there is a little voice inside of me telling me that I need to do this for me, and so on some level of consciousness I know that I need to do this for me right now, to fully commit to this course and embrace it, and that none of the other stuff really matters.
By the end of this course I hope that I will have more clarity in my life and that I will be more in control of my life. I hope that my creative energy will be flowing more freely. I hope that I will have more peace from within and that I will feel more centred and enjoy being in the moment. I hope it will open new doors of opportunity in my life and that I will be a much more positive and relaxed person. I would also like to learn how to slow down, to stop pushing myself so hard and placing so many demands on myself and others. I have a tendency to plan things in my head, I’m constantly in my head…planing, planning, planning. It’s getting to the point where all this mindless thinking is actually causing me stress, and I’m spending more time thinking and planning than actually doing!
Each week I’m going to post a blog about my progress throughout this mindfulness journey. I want to share my experience with others, and maybe my experience will help or be of interest to others who may be experiencing stress, or have a sense that their life is out of control.
Week 1 Personal Experience
The first things I noticed were my thought’s, my limiting beliefs niggling at me…telling me 30min of meditation a day is a long time, why couldn’t it be like 10 or 15 min? Christmas is just around the corner and I’m going to be busy, how am I going to fit all this in? My negative thinking patterns were already trying to sabotage this before I really even begun. It’s almost like I’m resisting, and I realized that it just feels a little uncomfortable now because I’m resisting to change. So I just allowed myself to feel these feelings, and just notice them and not react. Even that act made me recognise that I had a choice.
During the first couple of days I found it hard to let go of my thoughts, during the meditation and mindfulness practice’s as I tried to still my mind, I would find that thought’s kept creeping in and my thought’s were controlling my mind. One minute I would be feeling the sensations in my body through the guided Body Scan meditation and the next thing I would be planning the day ahead, what I was cooking for dinner, that I must not forget to do such and such, and then I would hear the voice of the guided mediation way in the background and suddenly realise my mind was drifting off with my thoughts AGAIN! There were even parts of the guided meditation that I had missed, then the next day I would think to myself, I didn’t hear that part of the meditation yesterday. I couldn’t still my mind for 30 sec never mind 30 minutes and this was a huge realisation of how out of touch I was with myself, and how my thoughts were controlling my life and ultimately shaping my future. I knew then in that moment that I didn’t want to allow this to happen.
Simple Awareness Practices Week 1
I was out running, and decided I might try the “simple awareness” exercise, so I stilled my mind as I ran along the country path. Almost seconds later, my mind had drifted off again to my thought’s, and planning my to do list. Then I would suddenly remember, I was trying to practice mindfulness. So I really focused my mind in that moment, and turned my attention to the outside world. As my mind cleared, as I focused on pushing each and every thought away from my mind I suddenly found myself with a greater awareness. I could hear and sense my feet pounding the road as I ran, I could hear the tree’s rustling in the gentle breeze, I could hear the birds, the streams, the rivers, the flutter of a birds wings as it was startled by my presence, I could sense the nature surrounding me and just for a few moments I felt at peace. It was beautiful, I felt more alive. I have been running this route for several years now and never noticed any of these things, I was always in my head. I felt a little sadness inside, the world has so much beauty and most of the time we don’t take the time to fully appreciate it.
Conscious eating was another “simple aware” exercise that I practiced this week. Now for anyone that knows me, knows that when it comes to my food I can be a bit of a gulpen! I don’t just eat my food really quickly, I more like inhale it. My close friends and family have teased me and told me off many time’s over the dinner table. So for some reason or other I have developed a habit of eating to fast, not really enjoying my food and usually watching TV or some other distracting activity as I shovel food into my gob. So during this particular meal I decided to totally focus on eating it consciously. The first thing I noticed was I was quite hungry and had to restrain myself from devouring it in seconds. So I slowed down the whole process, and focused on savoring every mouthful. I realized that I tended to chew on the right side of my mouth, so I deliberately chewed each mouthful changing from left to right. I could really taste the food, it was really delicious. I felt more satisfied with each mouthful, noticing all the texture’s as I slowly chewed and sensing my taste buds almost explode with excitement. After the exercise I felt completely satisfied, I felt calm and relaxed. I realize now that I don’t enjoy my food, and I eat far too fast. I want to enjoy my food more, it’s one of the greatest pleasure’s in life. It’s definitely food for thought!
So just to give you a brief over view of how the rest of my week progressed these are the findings that I have discovered as follows:
Day 1 Meditation: I felt aware of the different parts of my body, and I felt relaxed. My thoughts dominated the experience, and it was very difficult to still my mind during the whole 30 min. I had a great sleep that evening.
Day 2 Meditation: I could sense an energy throughout my body, and I could actually feel the sensations of the air as I inhaled running down my throat. I still struggled with my thoughts and trying to still my mind.
Day 3 Meditation: I could sense or I had a new awareness of the sluggishness in my digestive system, I had been a tad constipated, but suddenly could feel the energy moving into my digestive system again. I could sense the stress that I was holding there, and also in my left shoulder. I still struggled with my thoughts but the moments of mindfulness were getting a little longer and I felt more relaxed. ( I was less constipated after that meditation).
Day 4 Meditation: My digestive system came alive again, energy was rushing into this area. I was finding it easier to connect to certain parts of my body that I was finding difficult to connect with before. I felt more relaxed than before, but my mind still wandered off and had to bring it back. I felt an energy throughout my body. I am actually really enjoying the experience more, I feel less resistance.
Day 5 Meditation: There was some distractions in the space I had decided to do my meditation today, so I really need to pick a time with zero distraction as it takes away from it. But I’m enjoying it more and feel more relaxed about allowing myself and embracing the 30 min a day set aside to meditate. I’m starting to realize the many health benefits for myself.
Day 6 Meditation: I felt tired today, and it was late afternoon by the time I got around to my meditation practice. My mind was actually drifting off into sleep most of the time! But even as it was drifting off into a sleep, my mind was still active, it was floating now into dreamlike state with thoughts and images. It was very difficult to practice meditation as I was obviously too tired, but I did feel extremely rested after. Mental note to self, morning is the best time for me to practice meditation.
Day 7 Meditation: I had some longer moments of mindfulness during this meditation. Thought’s did come into my mind but I was more aware of them, and I was able to come back to a mindful state more quickly. I notice that every experience is different. I could sense the beating of my heart for a few moments which was interesting. I feel very relaxed now while I practice my meditation, actually so relaxed today that I feel asleep after the meditation.
That conclude’s my first week of mindful practices, thank you for taking the time to read this post. I’m looking forward to experiencing more moments of mindfulness during week 2.