So picking up where we left of from 1st installment of this series, we discussed the importantance of presence, or becoming conscious in any given moment. So now that you can dis-identify with the mind and it’s entanglements you begin to see yourself as you really are, pure awareness; you are connected to your source.
Now you have opened up space for self-compassion to flow in. To be able to say, “There goes my mind again, telling myself some dreadful story that I bought into”. There’s no judgment, analysis, or resistance.
A simple way to invite self-compassion is by asking yourself, “What would I tell my dearest friend about this situation?”
I don’t imagine you would berate him or her for getting lost in the mind’s endless chatter. But you would offer acceptance and love and humility.
So how do you start integrating consciousness? The easiest place to start is with your senses. Observe nature without labeling everything you see. Your mind will love that!
Just observe a flower without naming the species of plant or labeling its color. Really taste your food slowly. What does it feel like on your tongue? In your mouth? In his book, Minfulness for Beginners, John Kabat-Zinn does a great food meditation with a raisin!
Really notice the smell of your perfume or cologne as you spray it on.
I am practicing mindfulness now as I feel the chair beneath me and notice how the keys of the keyboard feel on my fingertips while still attending to the practicalities of creating this message for you.
Even notice your feelings as they come up. Notice the restlessness you feel as the end of your work day approaches and you are eager to go home. Really feel the restlessness without trying to fix it, eradicate it or cultivate ways to make the time pass, which is really just yet another way we ignore our feelings.
As you do this scan your body for where you may be holding the feeling. Is there tightness in your chest? Knots in your stomach? Tension in your head or shoulders? Put all your focus and awareness into these sensations. Notice what happens.
Can you begin to see the shift from doing to being? Our natural inclination is to want to do something about the problems we have or just stick our head in the sand.
While there is a time and place for applying solutions to problems, much of the problems we think we have can be viewed through a different lens when we slow down and shift into consciousness.
The apostle Paul states in Philippians in the New Testament of the bible, “For I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances…I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation…”. Paul wrote this while imprisoned!
In the last installment of this series I will address how this all ties into emotional distress and how you can move through your feelings much more effectively instead of being ruled by them.
Hilary Akman, LPC