Each of us is different with our bodily connection, capacity to visualize, capacity for movement, ability for stillness and capacity to connect with our underlying stillness and spaciousness.
So this week I thought that I would make the newsletter very practical with some ideas and actions that you can take:
- The base: Mindfulness and mindful meditation are the basis for managing these moments. Before we change anything, we must become aware in the moment of what is happening. Many of us are aware of our bad mood, overreaction or harsh words often when it is already too late, and we look back with a sense of regret and frustration. It is great to be aware of your words and actions and the possible negative consequences, but the damage is already done. Practicing each day enables us to be more aware; it helps make us independent of our auto-pilot opening the way for responding according to our values instead of in auto-pilot.
- Attitude: your attitude is fundamental. It should be of open curiosity, a desire to understand rather than judge. Kindness to yourself because you will definitely fail sometimes. The best way to learn is with an attitude of kindness to yourself. It is much more effective than beating yourself up. A sense of humour will help greatly as we are all fundamentally absurd.
- Breathe, observe, explore: If you are able to catch yourself, don’t waste time berating or judging; simply bring your attention to your senses to centre yourself in the present moment and either take a couple of deep mindful breaths.
- Tonglen: taking this observation one step further, you could then use Tonglen exhaling tension and inhaling light.
- Music and movement: Sometimes physical activity is the way: put on your favourite dance music and dance for between 10 and 15 minutes. Dance your brains out; dance like no one is looking. Focus on the music and the movement.
- Hopping: Hop 100 metres. Hopping is a great antidote to anger and irritation. Try it!
- Visualization: You can imagine your special place for example on the beach listening to the waves, smelling the ocean, the breeze on your face, the warm sand between your toes. Breathe and return.
- Get a hug: Get a hug from someone you love.
- Take a mindful walk: In nature, in a park whatever you have available, keeping your attention on your senses and your breathing.
Everyone is different so why not try. Play, experiment until you find the right formula or practice for you.
May you be safe, happy and healthy.