Monday, December 7, 2015

From "Mindfulness for Dummies"

By Shamash Alidina. (Had to type this out in full because it is so freaking awesome)

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Mindfulness is simple but not easy. The simple bit is that mindfulness is about being aware and paying attention The not-so-easy bit is having the discipline to practise regularly and the ability to trust in the process, no matter how wild your mind appears to be.

Mindfulness has a sense of simple flow about it - doing less rather than more; thinking less rather than more; going with the flow of life rather than spending life wrestling with complications created by the mind.

Here's an example of the simplicity yet difficulty of mindfulness. Right now, if you're aware of the weight of the book in your hand, you're being mindful. If you walk out of the room you're in and feel your feet on the ground, you're being mindful. So mindfulness is simple. However, the difficult bit is overcoming your current habitual thought patterns, which have been strengthening for however long you've be on this planet, and are naturally very powerful. When you put this book down and walk off, notice how long it takes before you're lost in an ocean of thoughts, feelings, stories, frustrations and desires.

If you find meditating boring, you have a few choices:

* Reduce the length of time you meditate

* Become curious about boredom

* Let the feeling of boredom go, and re-focus on the present moment again and again

* Accept the boredom as part and parcel of life and keep meditating - the boredom will soon pass.

Ultimately, no matter how much trouble you have being mindful, and no matter how confused or bored you may be occasionally, you have a deep and powerful aspect of yourself that nothing can ever touch. Awareness is a mysterious aspect of being human that remains beyond the understanding of science. Awareness is always there, at the root of your being, ever shining, ever knowing. Even when you were lost in thought or caught up in the darkest, most frightening emotion or situation, you were aware, at some level, of what was going on, both inside and outside of yourself.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Mindful me!

Just because I am not updating here does NOT mean that I am not working on my mindfulness practice! I am!

I am having many, many informal mindful moments throughout my days. Regularly reminding myself to pull away from my thoughts and back into the present moment - look at the things around me, listen to the sounds. I'm much, much better at 'observing' my thoughts and not getting lost in them. Finally I am really adopting the 'I am not my thoughts' attitude, it's liberating!!

So so freeing! I feel like it's the magic ticket to managing life and our busy human brains. I have been trying to tell some people around me - who I know struggle with depression or get stuck in negative thinking loops - about mindfulness and how to try to break away from the over-thinking cycles. It sounds so easy but to REMEMBER to do it is half the battle.

But I'm telling you. The more you do it the easier it becomes. It's like exercising a muscle, and if you practice, practice, practice pulling away from your thoughts and into the moment (using the breath or your body as a simple grounding mechanism or anything that you can see or hear around you) it gets easier and easier to do.

I have also done a few more 'formal' meditations where I have sat at closed my eyes and really focused on what was inside.. observing thoughts, bringing the focus back to the breath. I did these when I was dealing with some tricky stuff and felt I needed a more formal reminder of not getting lost in my thoughts.

So I feel like I'm doing ok on my 'Going Within' practice.

Love, Mrs D xxx

P.S. Got a lovely email from this woman who sent me a link to her free e-booklet which I recommend reading, it has some great tips in it (and she's about to be published on Tiny Buddha!).