Today, I started a class with the basics of mindfulness........we began with just breathing......hearing the breath, the feel of the breath, mindfulness of any movement in the body as you just sit and breathe. Then we took the mindfulness to sounds around us, beginning with the sound of the breath, moving to the soft sound of the music, any sounds in the room, then listening for sounds outside the room.
Next we took mindfulness to our bodies, being aware of pain, discomfort, any sensation good or bad. How it felt to sit on the yoga mat, the weight of the body, alignment of the body, awareness of the person sitting to our left and to our right.
Then we began to notice out thoughts, were some recurring, did we latch on to some and refuse to let go..... or were there hundreds of thoughts rushing through the brain like cars during rush hour on the freeway.
And finally I began to point out, that all those things we were mindful of at the beginning of class...... well, those were all part of our past now......no longer reality, no longer the present.
Watching their faces change as we progressed through this class was quite incredible. The group came in, loud, agitated, and stressed........within ten minutes, they were serene and peaceful.
This is the miracle of mindfulness. It is so easy to allow others and our surroundings to take us to a place where stress, fear and worry engulf us. But when we become mindful, of our breath,
of our bodies, of sounds, of surroundings, we allow ourselves to live in the present, in the moment and life changes dramatically.
So with holiday stress building to a crescendo, take a few moments for mindfulness. Start with breath, breathing slow, noticing the sound and feel of every breath you take. Become aware of the body, of movement, sensation, tightness, stress anything, pain, discomfort. If you are eating
taste your food, chew it.........sip your water, notice how the mouth and throat feel more comfortable. Listen to the sounds around you, some maybe jangling, but others may be very soothing, such as your breath, or the wind or music. Notice your thoughts, are you reinforcing negative thoughts and feelings, re hatching the past, bring your thoughts to where you are, the colors, smells, letting your thoughts just flow through your mind. Now smile, two or three minutes of mindfulness, will calm and energize and help you make it through this holiday season.
Stuck in traffic, breathe, sing out loud! This too shall pass......... let this season be one of mindful
transformation, not worry and aggravation.