(I am doing the 8-week course in this book which includes these free meditation audio files).
I'm a bit on edge today because I am leaving the house tomorrow for 2 nights - a rare occurrence! - so I've got a bit to organise, but I am trying to breath and stay calm. I've just taken the time to read through my instructions for Week Two of this mindfulness course I am doing. I have to admit it's rather exciting to be moving on to the next stage!
So apparently Week One began the process of "building a capacity for sustained concentration and awareness", and Week Two is about learning to pay mindful attention to the body.
They write many pages about the body/mind connection - it's well worth a read. Bottom line is our bodies powerfully influence our thoughts, our bodies are acutely sensitive to the finest flickering of emotion that move constantly across our minds, the judgments we make can moment to moment can be significantly affected by the state of our bodies at the time that we make them, and by simply altering our relationship to our bodies can we profoundly improve our lives.
This is VERY interested to me because I have always known that I am quite disconnected from my body. I don't feel very in touch with my physical self at all (in a day-to-day way) and I know that my 20+ years of drinking has left me quite numb to not just my emotions but my physical self. It's hard to describe what I mean by this but I don't feel very 'in' my body.
Lucky I'm sober now and working on reconnecting myself!
So the tasks for Week Two are;
1) The second Guided Meditation twice a day which is in the link at the top
2) A new Mindful Awareness of a Routine Activity
3) A new Habit Releaser
I have just done the Guided Meditation. I chose my new spot (from yesterday) lying on the study floor on a rug with a cushion over my head and another rug on top of me. But they say you can lie on a bed if you like. It's 15 minutes long! My mind wandered quite a lot from about halfway through - I managed to completely miss the bit where he was asking me to focus on my hands and arms. But I will try not to judge myself for this and just keep going.
The Mindful Routine Activity I've chosen for this week is drinking tea (other options are walking from room to room, taking out the rubbish, emptying the washing machine). So every time I have a cup of tea this week I will pay careful attention to all the senses, smell, taste, the warmth, how it feels in my hand, entering my mouth, going down my throat and resting in my belly. (Update: I just had an instant decaf coffee and got halfway through gulping it before I realised I was supposed to be mindfully drinking - whoops!).
The Habit Releaser this week is to go for at least one 15-30 minute walk around the neighbourhood (or wherever you like). Apparently I have to try very hard to stay mindful only on my walk and what is surrounding me, not go off busy in my mind thinking, planning, worrying etc etc etc. Focus my awareness on my feet as they land on the ground, feeling the fluid movements of all the muscles and tendons in my feet and legs and pay attention to all the sights, sounds and smells around me. Am sure that'll be a doddle - not!
Actually maybe I'll try to do my mindful walk while I'm away down south. That way I'll be in a new environment which should help me stay alive and aware of all the sensations around me.
Love, Mrs D xxx