I have successfully completed week one of my mindfulness journey. It has been amazing so far and I’m excited about learning more. This week I completed the following:
- Mindfulness awareness with a daily routine activity of brushing my teeth
- Mindfulness of Body and Breath meditation twice a day (click here for free mindfulness meditations)
- Habit Releaser – I sat in different chairs at the dinner table throughout the week to engage more of my sense and release auto-pilot mode
As I was reading about the Week one lessons in Mindfulness: An 8-week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World, I came across the following passage about our butterfly brains and it really put my thoughts into perspective.
“After a moment or two of clear awareness, you may find that you’ve slipped back into the stream [of bubbling thoughts] and become indistinguishable from it yet again. When this happens, the task is the same: just notice your thoughts as thoughts, and gently bring your awareness back to the breath, noticing any resistance to letting go, or a continuing wish to engage with them. You might like to acknowledge them by silently granting them names – ‘Ah, here’s thinking” “here’s planning” or “here’s worrying’ – before returning your awareness back to the breath. You have not failed. On the contrary – you’ve taken the first step back to full awareness.”
I really like the idea of naming my thoughts. This reminds me that my thoughts are separate from me and I get to decide if I want to listen or not. I have learned a lot this week and I’m finally tonight realizing that I really am in control.
When I first started mindfully brushing my teeth I had to pay attention to the whole process and it was actually a great experience. I felt like I was actually doing a good job and they felt cleaner than ever. I was paying attention to the whole process and it honestly felt like an altered state of consciousness but in reality I was simply conscious and not an autopilot. I actually enjoy brushing my teeth more now that I’m paying attention to what I’m doing instead of thinking about what’s next or thinking about my day.
I also enjoyed the 8 minute meditations twice a day. They allowed me to simply just breathe and be aware of various parts of my body. My week was very hectic and I think these meditations kept me somewhat grounded. Even though I was meditating, I was still having a hard time getting out of my head and into my body. I don’t think I was allowing myself to stop planning because I thought if I stopped thinking I would forget and something would get overlooked. Well by the end of the week I had a hard time focusing and didn’t even want to answer emails because I felt like my brain was just overloaded.
On Sunday I went for an amazing 5 1/2 mile run at South Mountain and it was the best thing I could have done. I told myself “no planning” “no thinking” I was to just be in the moment and enjoy the run. It was exactly what I needed. Not thinking allowed my mind to relax and after the run I was able to see things more clearly and was able to make decisions I wouldn’t have made had I not run. I took half of the day on Sunday to clean and organize. If I didn’t rest my mind I would have thought that I needed to just keep doing, doing, doing and wouldn’t have taken the time to organize paperwork or get things done that really needed to be done.
Now I feel more grounded and centered. I’m ready to take on another busy week but now I’m more committed to allowing myself to have down time. When I schedule down time it won’t include planning and thinking. And the funny thing is, we can do our best thinking and creating when we are preoccupied and relaxed.
Our minds need a rest in order to function their best and sleeping isn’t always enough. Sometimes we need to give our minds some time off during the day so that our intuition and knowing can come through and be heard.
If you’re interested in the plan I am following for my mindfulness journey you can buy the book on amazon by clicking here.
Love and Happiness,