Week 3: The Mouse in the Maze
I’ve been traveling, working remotely and sleeping in a new place almost every night for the last 2 1/2 weeks. When it comes to my growing and somewhat regular mindfulness practice, this traveling certainly puts it to the test. Or does it? I’ve realized that it is not a test, it is not about being successful or being a failure with mindfulness meditation. It is not a to-do item. It is not something I do but rather who I am, even when I am not meditating. Just as we become **almost instantly** present once again as soon as we realize we are not, I have found myself also having these thoughts during the last few weeks:
I didn’t do my practice today. I’m driving in the car. OK, I can’t close my eyes, but I can take the next 5 minutes and concentrate on my breath. I’m waiting at the airport. I’m waiting in line. I can breathe. Hello. Here I Am. Breathe.
I have been reminded that a sustained mindfulness practice isn’t about crossing off each day and marking it as done and feeling guilty on the days I didn’t watch my breath. It is a practice, it is a way of being.
In this week’s chapter, my key takeaways include:
- Pushing and pulling in the direction I want to go is only one way. If I wait for things to work out, as they always do, just sometimes not in the way I want or expect them to, what other things change through this approach? For me, it is a sense of calm. Much less frustration and doubt.
- Remind myself of the sensation of feeling trapped and remember what this can create: exhaustion and helplessness. I am a Virgo and have a fair share of perfectionism (working on recovery from that one....) so this one hit home with me.
- The Three-Minute Breathing Space is the reminder and meditation I needed during these last few weeks. As in the book, it acts as a bridge between the longer and more formal meditations. 1. Become aware. 2. Gather and focus attention. 3. Expand attention.
How have your practices been this last week? Did anyone try the Mindful Movement Meditation? What was your experience?
How can you continue to have a mindfulness practice in your life amongst the everyday lives we lead which can sometimes pull us in another directions?
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