Mindfulness Activity #85

Mindfulness Activity #85

Mindfulness When You Don’t Feel Like It

Good Morning. Lots of times I feel like I don’t want to practice mindfulness. There is too much to get done or I don’t feel like it. It is easy to practice when the sun is shining, you don’t feel rushed, and you make time for yourself. It is those times when we feel rushed or when we least feel like practicing that we often derive the most benefit from mindfulness.

So, first let’s get rid of the idea that there is no time to practice mindfulness. You do not have to stop your day to practice. If you are very busy, you can take one deep breath in and out and focus…15 seconds. There-you did it…In this way you can organize the things you do based on what’s most pressing or most important to you and avoid making a mess of your day. If you are completely sure you have no time to practice today, then just take a breath…breathe while you are getting ready, while you are preparing or eating food. Just breathe deeply once at the start of every activity you do during the day and you have practiced. If this is you today, close this email and set this intention and you are done. If you have a few minutes more, keep reading or listening.

Another reason people often do not feel like practicing is when they don’t want to be with themselves. One reason we do not want to connect to the present moment is that we sometimes want to avoid ourselves like we might avoid an annoying person we don’t like at a party. When you are feeling irritable or tired or cranky, you can’t even stand yourself or the prospect of the day ahead of you. In times like this, we often just feel like stewing or just pushing through the day while staying miserable. You might have thoughts like, “it’s too hard, I don’t feel like it” or “I won’t do it right today anyway.” The solution for times when we feel this way is a little gentle self-compassion.

Leaders Read ( or read to yourself if alone):
Today’s practice is a self-compassion practice drawn on loving kindness. First, take a deep breath and imagine a toddler that is cranky and emotional and overtired. You would not be harsh with a child, you would probably hold them, give them a bottle and let them have a rest. This is the attitude you want to cultivate towards yourself right now.

Now, call to mind some aspect of your personality you do not like, or some mistake you made, a failure, that has been bothering you lately. Something that perhaps you’ve been criticizing yourself for or that has made you feel inadequate in some way. Whatever this trait or action is, try to get in touch with your feelings about it. The idea that we are inadequate can cause many feelings: guilt, shame, sadness, fear that we are flawed. How do you feel when you think about your mistake or the trait you seem to have? See if you can locate the sensations of the emotions in your body. Perhaps it’s a tightness in your throat, a heaviness in your heart, tension in the shoulders. Allow the feeling to be there without pushing it away. Just observe the feelings.

Much suffering is caused by our own self-judgement and our fears of not being good enough. Remember that everyone makes mistakes. We are all human. Rather than be harsh with yourself, try to see if you can tell yourself that life can be challenging, and no one is perfect. Instead of judging yourself, be gentle with yourself. It’s okay.

Now repeat to yourself the following phrases, breathing in and out after each phrase:

May I be safe
May I be peaceful
May I be kind to myself
May I accept myself as I am, even as I strive to grow
May I feel joy and gratitude for the possibilities before me

May the planet and all its inhabitants be safe
May all people be peaceful
May all people be kind
May all people be accepting of themselves, as we strive to grow
May all people feel joy and gratitude for the possibilities before us

Remembering that change is easier with acceptance, breathe in and say

May I be safe
May I be peaceful
May I be kind to myself
May I accept myself as I am, even as I strive to grow
May I feel joy and excitement for the possibilities before me

(inspired by MindfulnessExercise.com)

I hope you are excited about the possibilities today offers. Be well.

Michele

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