“Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.”Thich Nhat Hanh
What comes to mind when you read that quote? Does it make you giggle or settle a little more deeply into your chair? Bring to mind your favorite trail or perhaps a memory?
This is mindfulness. It is the sweet sensation of attuning to ourselves in the moment that we are in. Right now. In the present. Honoring our thoughts, sensations, and emotions. The felt sense of returning to yourself. Often, we can be pulled forward by anxiety or pulled backward into rumination. While these skills are important for making sense of our experiences and planning for the future, I’ve found that they can also rob us of our presence. It can cause us to lose sight of the gift that is today.
A large part of what I work with my clients on is balance. While we must inevitably return to our past in order to grieve what was lost and realize what lessons were gained, we also talk about practicing gratitude and meditation. This allows us to integrate our past with our present. Provides an anchor as we wade into the depth.
What are your thoughts on this?
Does balance come easy to you or does it feel elusive?
If balance feels like something that is always just out of reach, you aren’t alone. Balance appears to be something that is a universally challenging. While we all want to honor ourselves we get caught up in our jobs, bills, and expectations we place on ourselves. We push off vacations, hikes, and self-care activities in service of our jobs, families, and appearances. And yet, we can miss the beauty of our work and loved ones, if we aren’t paying attention.
So what do we do?
While this can feel overwhelming and hopeless, the good news is that there are plenty of ways to exercise our mindfulness muscle every day. Regardless of how busy you are or challenging this may feel, there are ways to build mindfulness into your schedule. Some of my favorite ways to practice brief mindfulness is to run through the five sense (aka, what can you see, smell, feel, hear, and taste), walking barefoot on grass, scanning my body for tension, and enjoying my morning coffee outside on my porch.
If you are just starting your mindfulness journey, I hope you honor yourself along the way. There is no wrong way to be mindful. It’s a space meant for self-compassion as you allow your thoughts to settle enough to wade through them. However you do that and whatever comes up is exactly what is supposed to happen.
Wishing you sunshine on your journey,