Mindfulness Activity #65

Mindfulness Activity #65

Loving Kindness for Moving Forward

Yesterday’s practice focused on identifying and moving towards one’s own deepest goals (values-based actions). It’s easy to be swept up in what others expect of you or what most people are doing. One can even be quite successful in things that don’t truly bring joy or move you closer to your authentic self. Even if you know where you would like to end up, it is difficult to know where to begin or how to connect your actions in this moment to the broader goal of moving towards your authentic self or your best life goals. We shuffle through the day without realizing that every moment is an opportunity to engage in actions that move us towards our personal goals. We can’t decide, so we stagnate, lay around, or watch TV. So, today, we will focus on using mindfulness to achieve awareness of what will make us well, whole, and connected to our own unique best life goals. Yesterday, we used the rational part of ourselves to reflect on these issues. Today, we will draw more on the emotional part of our mind. We will do this using a loving kindness practice for self.

In order to have wise-mind goals, you have to have some quiet space outside the shuffle of everyday life and you also need to accept where you are right now. If you set a goal and then beat yourself up for not being there already, the result is that it squashes all motivation for the goal. You feel unworthy, unlikely to succeed, and generally unmotivated. Sometimes, thinking about wise-mind goals sends us looking backwards. If only I hadn’t made these choices…All of these things are understandable tendencies, but they are unhelpful. Zen teaches us that who we are in this moment is the sum of all of our prior experiences, but that all we need to move beyond our past decisions and experiences is to realize we are free to change. The trick is not be overwhelmed with that responsibility and freedom.

I love logic and planning. I love to-do lists, but sometimes they are overwhelming. Sometimes you can make a list of everything you need to do, but what’s most important? Where should you begin? Recently, I have been planning a garden. I designed a map for where each plant will go in my little plot. I bought some young plants…but I did that a little too early. I was tending these little veggies in their pots, but what I needed to do first was to get the space ready to plant. I needed to build a fence to keep out the critters. I needed to pull the weeds and I needed to till the soil. While I tended the veggies in their pots, I did those other things and now–I am ready to plant…Planning to reach your goals is wonderful, but today’s practice is like preparing the soil in the garden. If you plant on soil that is not ready, nothing will grow. The weeds will kill your new plants. The soil will be hard and unhospitable. Your great plans will fail to move forward.
So… here we go with today’s practice. All we will be doing is saying a phrase designed to cultivate self-compassion and wisdom about what to do to in order to allow us to grow and change. Cue up this meditation timer if you are able.

 

 

The practice will begin with three chimes to begin. Then read the prompts aloud as directed.

Read: May I be peaceful
May I be safe and protected
May I know what I need to be well
Breathe

Read the following: You are inviting awareness of what to do in order to be more connected to your own best life goals. There is no logic required—just sitting, breathing and repeating the phrase. Do not struggle to know, just breathe, and read the phrase, allowing wisdom into your awareness…

Read: May I be peaceful
May I be safe and protected
May I know what I need to be well
Breathe

Now continue to breathe until you hear three chimes. If you get distracted, return to the phrase May I know what I need to be well.

What came up for you in this practice? You may need to repeat it a few times before you have a sense of clarity, but remember that the deep breath in what anchors you to this experience throughout the day. Try to connect your actions and decisions throughout the day to the awareness you allowed in this practice.

FYI: This practice was drawn from Dr. Elaine Smookler      https://www.mindful.org/being-gentle-with-your-feelings-in-lockdown/

Enjoy the day!
Michele

Michele-Galietta

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