Moment’s Of Mindfulness Matter Week Three

Week Three – Personal experience of practising mindfulness

Just three weeks into this Mindfulness course and I am really feeling the benefits. I have completely committed myself to making the most of this “me time” and to try and get as much as I can out of the eight week course. I have a strong desire to feel better, to feel less stressed and to worry less. I’m starting to realise that all this is very achievable. I know this because I feel happier, I feel less stressed and more in control of my life. I get up earlier and I’m sleeping better at night. I look forward to my new morning ritual. I relish the quiet mornings, and the quiet space to be with just me. I’m no longer in such a hurry to do things, there are no distractions, no TV, no internet, no phone or radio…they are all off, and I love it!
I mean who was that person just a few short weeks ago, how could she not know she was unhappy, how could she not know she was suffering from long term stress and why, my goodness….. why didn’t she take care of herself, why didn’t she listen to what was really going on? She was lost, she had lost touch with her true self and she was on a downward spiral of chaos and destruction. To the outside world she seemed fine, she had herself convinced too that she was fine and she was playing the game of life. But on the inside, deep, deep within herself was her true self that had been suppressed so that she could cope with all the negative events in her life, to cope with all the stress and worry she was drowning in.
As I look back to just a very short while ago I can see how out of control my life was, I can see the many demands I had placed upon myself and I could see that most of the things I was doing didn’t really serve me and they weren’t actually in line with what I truly wanted anymore. During that time I realize I wasn’t fully accepting responsibility for myself, my life and my actions. Blame is a word that springs to mind, projection is another. In the chaos I was so out of touch with myself, I was out of whack, I was actually insane. I was blaming others for the circumstances I found myself in and then projecting my anger and insecurities on to them. At the time I was unaware of what I was doing, how I was acting and what I was becoming. I suppose the point I’m trying to make is that it can happen to anyone, sometimes life can just spiral out of control and if you don’t listen to that little voice inside your head, if you ignore all the warning signals, and believe me there are plenty, then you are headed for a fall. There is a reason why we feel unhappy, stressed, overwhelmed, depressed, worried, sad, out of control, angry, demotivated or disconnected with ourselves. To often we ignore these feelings because we don’t want to deal with them, or we simply don’t know how to, sure this is just life and that’s the way it is….we just have to get on with it, sound familiar? But it doesn’t have to be that way, and that’s what I’ve been learning over the past few weeks. If you are experiencing negative feelings it’s because something is not right, and that’s the time you REALLY need to check in with yourself and ask yourself, what is causing me this discomfort? If you know someone, or someone very close to you is acting out of whack or maybe seems to be a little bit insane these days, and they might even be projecting their drama, anger and blame onto you. Maybe think twice about getting involved with their drama and reacting to it. By not reacting and not accepting personal responsibility for their actions you can actually help those people face their inner demons. Because they have no other option then but to look within themselves for answers.

Meditation Practises

This week I am practicing “Yoga Floor” meditation as well as alternating it between the “Breath Awareness” and “Body Scan” meditations.
I am really enjoying the Yoga Floor meditation this week as it has brought a whole new experience to meditating. During the meditation I am guided through several different body postures and poses while lying on a mat on the floor. Almost like a moving meditation, but so gentle and peaceful. During the exercises I feel very calm and relaxed. I am more away of sensations in my body, especially the different muscle groups that I am using to perform each exercise. Some of the more difficult exercises where you are holding poses for longer periods of time, even though I felt uncomfortable holding them I was able to stay calm and focused and hold it for longer that I thought I could. Again my digestive system felt very energized during this meditation. (Anyone suffering from digestive problems or IBS problems should definitely try meditating). One particular morning in the middle of the week I hadn’t time to complete a full meditation so I decided I would do it later in the afternoon. I was feeling a little tired when I sat down to do it, and was thinking I hope I don’t fall asleep! But it was actually fine, I was very relaxed and felt extremely rejuvenated afterwards. I went to an exercise class later that evening and I had so much more energy for this class than I’ve ever experienced before, and I thought wow this is amazing!
As the week progressed I started to notice thoughts of worry creeping in during a breath awareness meditation. I noticed these thoughts creeping in and I brought them into my awareness. Christmas is coming up and I was experiencing worried thoughts about the extra expense and how I was going to manage it all. But as these thoughts came into my mind I found that I was actually aware that I was worrying. Usually I would allow myself to run away with all these thoughts and allow the worry to consume me, cause me stress and emotionally drain me until it spirals out of control. But I felt differently, and somehow in that calm meditative state as I was able to check in with myself and ask….did I really want to go down this road, is this the land that I want to be living in? Did I really want to start putting so much pressure on myself financially, I mean after all, don’t I have a choice? So I chose not to. 🙂
As this week comes to an end I’m feeling so much happier within myself. I am noticing my thoughts as they come into my awareness. Some of these thoughts are negative, some positive, some of past events and some of future events. But I am now experiencing the freedom of not having to react to any of these thoughts. I am now more aware that I am able to notice myself thinking these thoughts. Usually I would unknowingly run away with all these thoughts as they came into my head and experience all the negative thinking, stress, worry and self judgement that are attached to them. It is so freeing to allow myself to just let them go. I can simply come back to the breath, enjoy being in the moment, experiencing calmness and peacefulness…. just hearing the rain patter on the windows with the wind blowing through the tree’s, while I’m sat here on my chair.

Simple awareness practises

This week I am to practice how I experience and process unpleasant events. Funnily enough it wasn’t long before I realized I was experiencing an unpleasant event. 🙂 I noticed myself getting frustrated and annoyed, and then gave myself a wee pat on the back for realizing that I was getting frustrated in the first place! Even that realization was enough in itself to release some of the anger and frustration. The reason why I was so annoyed (it seems so silly now), but I was genuinely really p***ed off in that moment. I wanted to go for a run, and it was lashing rain outside. I hadn’t been out for a run in a few days and was starting to feel agitated, plus I was really looking forward to going for a run that morning. But when I woke up and looked outside I was instantly in a bad mood, and it was beginning to spiral out of control. I was pacing around the house, cursing the weather outside and my internal dialogue was extremely negative. But I suddenly realized that this was a perfect example of how something so small could effectively cause me a great deal of stress and sabotage my day. So I took out my Informal Log Practice worksheet and began filling it out. As I filled it out I realized that I was actually just feeling disappointed and demotivated.
Lets take a look at the “feelings of disappointment” first; When I go for a run I feel it enhances my energy and I always feel good after a run, which motivates me to have a productive day. So the reason I was experiencing disappointment (I think), is because I had an expectation that I was going to be able to experience those feelings and then when these expectations were not met, it caused me to feel disappointed.
Lets look at the feelings of “feeling demotivated”; Because I had attached feelings of “being motivated” after completing my run, I somehow made a concious decision that I could only “feel motivated” by participating in that activity. The fact that I could not do this activity (the run), that was going to give me feelings of motivation, I decided that I was going to feel demotivated instead, because I was experiencing negative feelings such as the disappointment and the frustration. It sounds kinda confusing I know, and I’m not even fully sure myself if I’ve hit the nail on the head, I’m no psychologist! But the moral of the story is that we do actually have control over our thoughts, and by completing the exercise I realized that just because there are things and events in our life that are out of our control, such as the weather, it doesn’t mean we have to throw our toys out of the pram because our expectations have not been met. There is always a choice available to us, we can chose to accept our reality, accept the here and now and what is happening in this precise moment and surrender to it. So in the end that’s what I decided to do, and it was a really good day too.
This is a lovely little poem, very clever but very powerful, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it

AUTOBIOGRAPHY IN 5 CHAPTERS
I.
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in. I am lost. I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.
II.
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I still don’t see it. I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in the same place.
It isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.
III.
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it there, I still fall in.
It’s habit. It’s my fault. I know where I am.
I get out immediately.
IV.
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.
V.
I walk down a different street.
[ Author Unknown

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog, I hope it was of some interest or help to you. I’m looking forward to taking part on week four of the Mindfulness Course and sharing more of my “moments of mindfulness”.

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