Mindfulness can help us cope with intense social, political, and global issues to prevent overwhelm and burn out. It can also help feel our interconnectedness and cultivate compassion so that we’re ready and able to be a force of good.
Through mindfulness practice, we can learn to be with our emotions, to allow them space, and to also allow them to move through our awareness without becoming attached to them. In this video, I share how to mindfully work with repressed emotions and/or attachment to emotions. I also explain the concept of emotional back draft and how, once we learn to allow emotions to pass through our experience, we make more room for the good to grow.
In mindfulness meditation, we always have the option to begin again. Mindfulness isn’t a practice to master, it’s one to explore and it’s best explored with an open and pliable mind, much like the mind of a beginner. When we’re meditating and become distracted, we return to the breath and the body, and we do this with the humble awareness of a beginner. Every time we begin again, we create an opportunity to learn something new about the practice and ourselves. We set aside our attachments to figuring this mindfulness thing out, and we allow our curiosity to lead the way. How might practice be different this time? How long will I be able to hold my attention on my breath before it’s swept away with thoughts? Will a dormant memory or emotion surface? Will I start to get all numb and tingly and annoyed? If so, how will I respond this time? To be a beginner means to accept that we are learning, which is the optimal state of mind when approaching mindfulness mediation, for it has something new to teach us every time we sit.
Learn to connect with your heart with heartbreathing meditation from the HeartMath institute. It’s shown to improve heart rate coherence, and I also find that it’s helpful in approaching life with more compassion and heart energy.
This is a 7-minute guided meditation that I recorded to connect feelings of compassion with your body.
Find a quiet and comfortable spot. It’s ideal if you can lie down for deeper relaxation, but sitting is also okay. You may want to try it more than once and see how each session is different for you. Enjoy!
One of the benefits of a meditation practice is that you’ll begin to experience an overall increase in feelings of calm and ease. This doesn’t mean that you’ll become indifferent or numb to life, but that you’ll be more skillfully responsive and less momentarily reactive. You’ll notice some space around your thoughts and emotions in which you can pause. You’ll likely turn to the practice in moments of chaos, stress, and emotional upset as a way to move through the difficulty. Instead of getting knocked off center and spinning out into fear, doubt, or worry, you’ll maintain a feeling of being grounded and sure even as you are overcome with difficult emotions. There will be a still point within you that you can return to as often as needed. You can take refuge there to regain your strength, cultivate compassion, or rest your mind. Cultivating this still point is the work of our practice.
1. Start small with 2-8 minutes of sitting practice each day.
2. Orient your practice around something you already do each day, such as your morning cup of coffee, afternoon snack break, evening walk, etc.
3. Begin again every time. Embrace the fact that you don’t have to be an expert at this. Allow yourself to start fresh. There isn’t a wrong way to practice.
4. Keep trying. Keep trying, Keep trying. Day after day. When you feel the most discouraged is when you know you’re on the right track.