I have mindfulness on my mind tonight but find I can’t immediately see what it is I really want to say about it.
Probably because I’ve gotten out of my regular daily 10-minute app-supported mindfulness meditation practice following the shock of my bereavement at the beginning of the summer. Makes me wonder (once again) how come it’s so easy to pick up bad habits (that we may have worked very hard to lay aside) and it’s so difficult to pick up good habits that we know are good for us, after any sort of break from them.
I guess getting back on it would begin with a decision. Like I started with a decision when I embarked on my daily practice last September. And the decision would be underpinned by a commitment. When I started last year, my commitment was to do a 10-minute practice daily, until I was very comfortable with that; and then the plan was to increase it to either 15 or 20 minutes, depending on how much stretching I felt I needed or wanted…
At first it was an effort: I had to remind myself to practise. As time went on, it became almost automatic – there was no leaving home without it! And although I did miss it occasionally, it wasn’t for long periods and I easily picked it up again pretty quickly. I soon extended the regular practice to include challenging myself to be mindful while doing other things like walking and eating. (It’s interesting trying to eat mindfully when you are very hungry! Good experience!)
Those ‘extras’ weren’t regular: they were occasional stretches, and I loved them. I then dotted yellow post-it notes around the house with the words: Take a Mindful Moment. These reminded me to be mindful, even if only for a few seconds, in the course of the day.
I still have the notes reminding me. I just haven’t paid them much attention. And I know it’s because I haven’t yet made the decision so to do. The interesting thing is that I know the benefits of being still, being quiet, being aware of me, my body and my physical sensations; of me, my mind and my emotional sensations. And that might actually be root of the difficulty.
Maybe I don’t want to be so aware of my emotional sensations right now (it doesn’t stop me from feeling them though) … and that’s ok. I can accept that… and be gentle with myself, until I’m ready to pick it up again.
What about you? What is it that know you want to be and /or do but are not getting around to?
How are you planning to get to it?
How are you relating with yourself in the interim?