Basic Mindful Living Practice
"One in-breath alone is a celebration of life and enough to set you free - from your regrets about the past, your worries about the future, and your projects in the present."
- Thich Nhat Hanh
The foundation of our mindfulness practice is a moment's pause. We stop what we are doing for a moment and check in- how are we feeling? What's happening in our body? In our mind?
We gently become aware of any areas of tension and soften.
We take 3 mindful breaths, feel our feet on the earth or our body's contact with the chair.
We then notice the sounds around us, look up and can continue our day with more presence.
It is wonderful how these little moments throughout the day have a cumulative effect in bringing more ease into our daily lives.
Use this 5 minute guided Mindful Moment to learn how to pause throughout your day
Our mindful breathing is our anchor. Taking time to be still with nothing to do and nowhere to go, we have a chance to really settle. Our body may have a chance to relax and our mind may have a chance to calm down. As thoughts enter our minds, we can observe them without judgement and then let them go and bring our attention back to our breathing. We give ourselves time to be with whatever is there; thoughts, emotions or feelings, without being carried away by them. We can feel free to be still and calm despite the storms that might arise within us.
Listen to a short 15 minute guided meditation on the breath here.
We spend so much of our lives walking. Taking each step with awareness, we are able to reconnect with our bodies and actually enjoy the simple act of walking. Feeling the contact of our feet on the earth, enables us to arrive in the present moment and be aware of the greatest miracle – that we are alive and walking on this beautiful planet. For many of us who may find it hard to sit still, walking meditation can be a great tool in developing our capacity to be present and aware of our breathing.
In our hectic lives and in the busy world of modern life, we often don’t stop much at all during a whole day! Our bodies are so amazing, they keep on functioning, but there can be a price to pay in terms of health or performance. Actually we don’t need to stop for very long to “reset” our system and provide some really helpful healing & nourishment; even five minutes can be enough. In deep relaxation we learn how to use mindful breathing and awareness of our body to let go of our tensions, anxieties, fear and excitement. We touch what is really going on within us and reconnect with our body, trusting it to find its own way to heal and refresh.
‘Sharing’ together in a group is a wonderful way of supporting one another in our mindfulness practice. We have the opportunity to bring mindfulness to the interpersonal world. Listening to one another, we realise we are not alone in our experience; both happiness and difficulties are part of being human. Being together enables us to benefit from the insight of others as well giving us a chance to work out and express what we are experiencing. When someone is sharing we offer our full presence, listening to what the words spark within us, and to what is beyond words. In turn, having the chance to bring our authentic self to the group provides us with an opportunity to feel seen and understood. Often all we need is to be really listened to and understood in order to feel much better right away!
Kindness & Self-Compassion
With the practice of mindfulness we are learning to turn towards our experience with an attitude of curiosity and care. Many of us struggle with touching kindness for ourselves, yet we may be able to care and give effortlessly to those around us. We can learn to incorporate self-compassion practices into our daily lives which allow us to begin befriending both ourselves, and our experiences.