Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Small steps....

Today I woke at 6.30 am and had an idea that I could start the day with the 'Body Scan' technique from the mindfulness newsletter I got yesterday - sort of lying still on my back and going around my body thinking about all the different areas, bringing awareness to each area.

Then Mr D rolled over and flicked the radio on, then a little boy arrived to snuggle in the middle, then another not quite so little boy joined in.. and my moment was lost.

Doing anything before the house wakes up is going to require me getting up and out of bed before anyone else. Not sure I want to do that. I treasure my lovely long sober sleeps so much.

Then stuff happened and suddenly it was 11am and I was at a point in my day where I could have sat down at the computer to do some work - but none of it was pressing - so I thought 'nows my time!!'..

So I got my printed mindfulness newsletter and sat on the sofa in the living room. Then I changed my mind and sat cross legged on a cushion on the floor with another cushion under each knee.

I started with technique #1 which is just a 3-5 minute exercise. The newsletter told me that meditation beings and ends in the body, that we need to take the time to pay attention to where we are and what's going on and that starts with being aware of our body. "That very act can be calming, since our body has internal rhythms that help to relax if we give it a chance."

They told me to take a seat, straighten my upper body (not stiff, just straight), position my hands and arms comfortably, then drop my gaze and lowering (or closing) my eyelids, then relax.

That's it! Just taking time to settle into a good comfortable seated position and relaxing. The newsletter said I could stop then or move into some mindfulness practice.

Given I'd only been at it for about 4 minutes I thought why not move onto the next technique which is the body scan one. For this one it's just as I said before - sitting or lying comfortably so you feel supported and relaxed, then bring awareness to the body as a whole and then beginning to focus on different parts of the body. Toes, feet, legs, pelvis, abdomen, lower back, upper back etc etc right around. Linger on each body part and notice the different sensations. If you find your mind has wandered bring it back to the last body part you were on.

So I did that but my mind was wandering like buggery, so I tried to pull it back each time.. and I think I managed some nice thinking-about-nothing-but-my-belly-button moments. I did decide by the time I'd arrived at my back the sensation I felt was an ache so I lay down to finish the scan. I think I got all the way around (can't remember actually)...

Then I jumped up and felt proud and got on with my day!

Did it make a difference? Yeah later on I was getting in the washing and the stones were hot under my feet and I noticed that and thought about my hot feet as I worked - I think my mind was a million miles away thinking about other things but then I noticed my feet were hot and I remembered the awareness thing so I focused on thinking about my hot feet and feeling the heat etc (sounds weird but it was actually quite nice...).

And then later when I was doing the dishes I started really noticing how my hands looked as they worked in the full, soapy sink. I wash dishes with my bright green rubber gloves on probably 3-4 times a day yet I've never properly noticed how they look moving away in the suds, holding either a red dish brush or a bright yellow cloth. Sounds weird (again) but it was cool, they looked really cool.

Is this mindfulness? I think it is. It felt kind of nice. Hhhhmmmm... small steps but at least I'm taking them.

Love, Mrs D xxx

1 comment:

  1. If you get to take a shower alone, that's an awesome time for mindfulness meditation -- it's already involving your body, there are lots of sensations to notice, and they are mostly pleasant (unless someone runs the hot water in the kitchen and you get blasted with cold water!) But seriously, it's an ideal time to practice being aware.