Monday, September 12, 2016

4 hour mindfulness workshop..

I sat and meditated earlier. I casually sat on the edge of the sofa in the study with my back erect but not stiff and closed my eyes.

It went how it usually goes.. at first my mind is a jumble of thoughts and then slowly they start to calm down and come in easily distinguishable packages. I saw them clearly and kept bringing my focus back to the breath. Over and over again. As each minute passed I got a little bit calmer and then it ended and I felt calm.

Lasted about 10 minutes.

Last week I attended the Cutting Edge Addiction conference and on the final day was a 4-hour mindfulness workshop that I had signed up for. It was great. The lady running it was super smart and calm and lovely.

She talked to us about self-compassion breaks that we can take when we're feeling uncomfortable or realise that we're unhappy, stressed or being hard on ourselves.

Put your hands over your heart, feel the warmth of your hands, the gentle pressure of your hands and notice your chest rhythmically rising and falling beneath your hands. Now say to yourself...

This is a moment of suffering
This is a part of life
So may I be kind to myself
And accept myself just as I am

You can change the last two lines to suit yourself so use something like 'may I be safe' or 'may I forgive myself' or 'may I be happy and free from suffering' or 'may I be strong' or some such. My personal favourite is 'may I learn to live with ease and wellbeing'.

She also gave more information than I've ever heard before about why the breath is the anchor in meditation and mindfulness. Not just because it is always there so a handy tool to help ground yourself. It is also a great source of information about how we are (is it shallow? deep? slow? fast?), it is rhythmic like the ocean waves.. so has a soothing element. It can can connect us to the outside world in that we are breathing in oxygen and breathing out carbon dioxide.. (having that knowledge can particularly help us to break up a sense of isolation.. we are of a much bigger world of interconnectedness.

Also - we can think of the breath as being boring, but if you try to imagine not being able to do it then it suddenly becomes far from boring. It's vital!

She also went through a tool called the SOBER breathing space.

S- Stop
O- Observe
B- Breathe
E- Expand
R- Respond don't react

It was great. I'm loving my renewed energies in this direction.

Love, Mrs D xxx