Cultivating Acceptance through Mindfulness

It seems that the world around us is always in motion.  The internet buzz of social media, the twenty four hour news cycle, the glorification of multi-tasking, and the seeming abhorrence of boredom have all contributed to the idea that being busy is best - a badge of honor in some regards.  For many, the capacity to rest or relax has been lost or is avoided due to the discomfort that it may impart.  The constant stimulation in the world around us has have lead our brains to adapt to crave, seek out, and easily find stimulation that pulls us outside of ourselves.  It breeds a culture of comparison, competition, and perfectionism.

It’s no wonder so many of us experience anxiety, depression, disconnection.

If we are constantly attending to stimuli outside ourselves, how do know who we really are?  How do we determine what we believe, what we want to do with our lives, how we want to be in the world apart from what we are told and sold that we should believe, what life is supposed to be, and how we are expected to act?

Mindfulness gives us the opportunity to cut through the noise, calm our overstimulated nervous system, and access the wisdom and truth within ourselves.

Learning to be present in your own experience of life through a practice of mindfulness brings us closer to ourselves,  and closer to the core qualities that everyone can find in themselves:

compassion, curiosity, clarity, creativity, calm, confidence, courage, and connectedness

Calm your Mind

There’s a lot of talk about the benefits of Mindfulness and Meditation, but knowing where to start can be confusing or overwhelming.  And the image the Buddha sitting cross legged as he strives for enlightenment may not seem as approachable as it can be amidst our busy lives.

Thankfully, there is a much more adaptable approach to incorporating a mindful practice into our lives.

Start small.  

Consider transitions you have in your day: getting in your car, using the bathroom, even just walking through a doorway.  

Stop. Look around. Take some breaths.  How’s my body feeling?

Am I Pressured, Tense or Overwhelmed?  Excited, Nervous, or Numb?

When was the last time I stopped to take stock of the feelings in my body?

Bringing intentional presence and attention to our environment and our selves can happen at any moment of our day, if we make a practice of doing so.  

Expand your Practice

Try to carve our time in your day to practice focused attention on breathing.

Using a guided mediation through an app or Youtube can help your brain by giving it something to follow and focus on.

You can train your brain to focus by counting or narrating your breaths (“breathing innnnn, breathing ooouuuutt”),

or using a mantra (“I am open to what the universe offers”)

or bring detailed focus to an object (a flower, a gem, an image).

If your mind strays (and it will)

Allow the thoughts to leave your mind just as they entered.

Gently bring your focus back to your breath, your guide, your mantra, or your object.

Noticing that your mind has strayed is itself an act of mindfulness:

You are doing it right!  

Those that benefit are those that try.

Guided Meditation

This LovingKindness Meditiation by Sylvia Boorstein is one of my favorite go-to’s for a quick grounding exercise.  Start with “I”, then share this blessing with others, known or unknown.

“May I feel safe.  May I feel content.

May I feel strong.  May I live with ease.”

Human, Nature, & Where We Belong

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