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The New Self Care

The New Self Care

MINDFULNESS & MEDITATION

Many of us are looking for ways to reconnect with ourselves; to tap into the sacred, quiet place inside and feel the stillness that is there. Mindfulness and meditation are two of the most loving and renewing things we can do for our mind, body, and spirit.

Mindfulness and meditation are cost free and immediately accessible ways to feel and honor our internal state.

Whether we are jamming out at a Lady Gaga concert, sitting in traffic court or moving through an emotionally difficult time in our lives. It doesn’t require us to attend a class or sit in silence on a cushion, with our hands in a specific mudra.

What is mindfulness?

It’s a practice of being fully present in the moment. It’s simply noticing our thoughts, body sensations, and feelings without judgment. Mindfulness gives full permission to the range of emotions that march their way through our psyche on a daily basis. By merely witnessing our thoughts and emotions, we create distance between them and ourselves.

I learned a tremendous amount about mindfulness and meditation during a workshop with psychologist and well-known speaker and meditator, Tara Brach.

She said it simply, “thoughts are real but not true.” She describes our thinking mind as being in a trance. She posits that coming into mindfulness releases us from the trance. When we observe our thoughts, like a third person reporter, we can see them for what they are; often a conglomeration of ideas, fears, worries, and insecurities.

When we allow thoughts to enter without becoming invested in them, we start to notice ones we habitually think.

We all have thoughts or mind stories we’ve created based on our history and culture. Some examples of deeply ingrained stories are: I’m Inadequate/Unlovable or I’m Victimized by Others or I’m going to be a Bag Lady Under a Bridge. Start to be curious about yours. What do you hear yourself say aloud to your girlfriends regularly? Which ones have you hooked into an old version of yourself that may need to be challenged or updated?

See if your thoughts or stories mimic those of our caregivers.

You may notice a correlation. Why? In our formative years, we are taught what to think and how to perceive the world by the culture at large and by those who raised us. Thus, our thoughts are often not original and certainly not our own.

Training in mindfulness, reminds us we have a choice when these habitual thoughts or mind stories happen.

When a thought or mind story is causing suffering we can catch it and tell ourselves “this thought is not serving me” and then return to the present moment.

Years ago, mindfulness walked me out of a very dark tunnel of grief. It helped me learn to fully feel the raw and painful emotions that rose up inside me on a regular basis. I allowed the sea of deep emotions to have their way with me, to observe and feel them without changing them. It was certainly not a pretty process. (Insert, sad looking woman with frequent rivers of mascara streaming down her cheeks.) However, what I gained was invaluable and life changing. When we fully feel an emotion or notice our thoughts, they loosen their grip and then can exit the body/spirit. It was possible, albeit uncomfortable, to feel, deal and heal.

Meditation, on the other hand, is an intentional practice with the purpose to quiet our minds, relax, develop inner peace, connect to our higher knowing and live in a more heart centered way.

One of the goals of meditation is to find an internal state of awareness. To get there, many meditators concentrate on breath, sound, an image or a feeling.

There is a plethora of research on the benefits of meditation. How it relieves stress, boosts our mood, helps us build an agile mind and allows us to tap into our creativity with ease. This process of surrendering can assist our body by going into restful state, which ultimately feels calming and rejuvenating.

Some find beginning a meditation practice laborious.

At times, my clients who are curious about meditation return after a week to report they are “meditation failures” because they cannot make their mind stop. The goal is not to stop thoughts. It is to become aware of them and not get hooked by them. It’s a practice of noticing and releasing.

Using guided meditations or meditation apps can be a way to start with a metaphorical teacher. These apps make meditation available and easy. You can check out Insight Timer, Calm, Headspace or Simply Being.

What we find when incorporating the practices of mindfulness and meditation is a soothed nervous system, a releasing of old thought patterns and an entry in life’s flow; where we feel centered and at times, serene. In this place, we can more readily notice the evidence of life synchronicities. It is a way to access our internal guidance system in order to make clear, informed and intentional decisions for our life. There is nothing quite as delicious as sitting squarely in the center of our whole, radiant selves with a sense of clarity, purpose, and direction.

OM.

THE NEW SELF CARE

The New Self Care

MINDFULNESS & MEDITATION

Many of us are looking for ways to reconnect with ourselves; to tap into the sacred, quiet place inside and feel the stillness that is there. Mindfulness and meditation are two of the most loving and renewing things we can do for our mind, body, and spirit.

They are a cost free and immediately accessible ways to feel and honor our internal state.

Whether we are jamming out at a Lady Gaga concert, sitting in traffic court or moving through an emotionally difficult time in our lives. It doesn’t require us to attend a class or sit in silence on a cushion, with our hands in a specific mudra.

What is mindfulness?

It’s a practice of being fully present in the moment. It’s simply noticing our thoughts, body sensations, and feelings without judgment. Mindfulness gives full permission to the range of emotions that march their way through our psyche on a daily basis. By merely witnessing our thoughts and emotions, we create distance between them and ourselves.

I learned a tremendous amount about mindfulness and meditation during a workshop with psychologist and well-known speaker and meditator, Tara Brach.

She said it simply, “thoughts are real but not true.” She describes our thinking mind as being in a trance. She posits that coming into mindfulness releases us from the trance. When we observe our thoughts, like a third person reporter, we can see them for what they are; often a conglomeration of ideas, fears, worries, and insecurities.

When we allow thoughts to enter without becoming invested in them, we start to notice ones we habitually think.

We all have thoughts or mind stories we’ve created based on our history and culture. Some examples of deeply ingrained stories are: I’m Inadequate/Unlovable or I’m Victimized by Others or I’m going to be a Bag Lady Under a Bridge. Start to be curious about yours. What do you hear yourself say aloud to your girlfriends regularly? Which ones have you hooked into an old version of yourself that may need to be challenged or updated?

See if your thoughts or stories mimic those of our caregivers.

You may notice a correlation. Why? In our formative years, we are taught what to think and how to perceive the world by the culture at large and by those who raised us. Thus, our thoughts are often not original and certainly not our own.

Training in mindfulness, reminds us we have a choice when these habitual thoughts or mind stories happen.

When a thought or mind story is causing suffering we can catch it and tell ourselves “this thought is not serving me” and then return to the present moment.

Years ago, mindfulness walked me out of a very dark tunnel of grief. It helped me learn to fully feel the raw and painful emotions that rose up inside me on a regular basis. I allowed the sea of deep emotions to have their way with me, to observe and feel them without changing them. It was certainly not a pretty process. (Insert, sad looking woman with frequent rivers of mascara streaming down her cheeks.) However, what I gained was invaluable and life changing. When we fully feel an emotion or notice our thoughts, they loosen their grip and then can exit the body/spirit. It was possible, albeit uncomfortable, to feel, deal and heal.

Meditation, on the other hand, is an intentional practice with the purpose to quiet our minds, relax, develop inner peace, connect to our higher knowing and live in a more heart centered way.

One of the goals of meditation is to find an internal state of awareness. To get there, many meditators concentrate on breath, sound, an image or a feeling.

There is a plethora of research on the benefits of meditation. How it relieves stress, boosts our mood, helps us build an agile mind and allows us to tap into our creativity with ease. This process of surrendering can assist our body by going into restful state, which ultimately feels calming and rejuvenating.

Some find beginning a meditation practice laborious.

At times, my clients who are curious about meditation return after a week to report they are “meditation failures” because they cannot make their mind stop. The goal is not to stop thoughts. It is to become aware of them and not get hooked by them. It’s a practice of noticing and releasing.

Using guided meditations or meditation apps can be a way to start with a metaphorical teacher. These apps make meditation available and easy. You can check out Insight Timer, Calm, Headspace or Simply Being.

What we find when incorporating the practices of mindfulness and meditation is a soothed nervous system, a releasing of old thought patterns and an entry in life’s flow; where we feel centered and at times, serene. In this place, we can more readily notice the evidence of life synchronicities. It is a way to access our internal guidance system in order to make clear, informed and intentional decisions for our life. There is nothing quite as delicious as sitting squarely in the center of our whole, radiant selves with a sense of clarity, purpose, and direction.

OM.

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