I was standing on a bridge… in awe of the wonderful view. It was like looking at a postcard. The wind was blowing nicely and everyone on that bridge enjoyed the warmth of the sun. Suddenly, a dark cloud came in my head and my heartbeat became faster. I was glued in my position and my eyes were fixed faraway. My mind was somewhere else. *eerie music*
“From where I stand, I look into a distant past. And all the memories and terrible emotions flooded my entire being. It seems like I cannot run from it… especially if I am dwelling on a single one tied on a loop… A little hell. “
I wrote that years ago. Too dramatic. *laughs* We usually find ourselves improperly disposed in a situation. If you are in mass, instead of listening to the homily, your mind wanders. You read a book, and suddenly you find yourself, going back to the first page because you didn’t understand the pages you read. Another thing is when you decided to sleep early and you are still laying on your bed, wide awake at 3am. These kinds of situations happen typical to me and I believe other people experiences the same way too.
Our mind is too playful. I don’t know if it’s a defense mechanism against our fears, frustrations or something else but we experience it all the time. Sometimes it feels like being victimised by our own selves. We sit, lie or walk and our minds are traveling all over the place. We lack focus. In turn, we end up not being able to finish work, meet our deadlines, reach our goals and so on.
I remember a poster given to me back in college. To use the poster, I have to hang it in a wall, stand in front of it, close my eyes, turn around 3 times and point my finger on it. When I open eyes, my finger should be pointing at one of the boxes in the poster. Each box contains an advise. For some reason, I always end up reading “FIND TIME TO SMELL THE FLOWERS” It is odd because, for a very long time, I have been understanding these words as giving importance to the people and blessings we have and choosing not to be preoccupied by senseless things. Today, the statement teaches me to Breathe… to use all my senses without hesitations, anger, stress and doubt – TO LIVE.
As I start this year with new hopes and dreams, I promised myself to live fearlessly. I started by praying intently and building my relationship with God. I acknowledge that God is the source my my strength and leaning on to Him gives me courage to fight any battles. And then, I came across what most online ‘gurus’ and influencers are sharing nowadays – MINDFUL MEDITATION. They say that if it is done properly, it gives us mental clarity… providing us a sense of a deeper peace and happiness. I tried it step by step but I fail in the first three minutes of trying. I get easily distracted… paying too much attention to the wrong things. Maybe I am autistic – fixating too much on something, which doesn’t need attention. Probably, it is a reason why some people see me as too intense or emotionally disorganised. *nervous laugh* Whatever mates… I am too preoccupied with so many thoughts. Anyway, the experts are saying that, like a skill, it needs to be practised. It takes an effort to focus and refocus our minds during meditation. We need patience and we need to forgive ourselves to whatever is bothering us.
According to Mindful.org, MINDFUL MEDITATION asks us to suspend judgment and unleash our natural curiosity about the workings of the mind, approaching our experience with warmth and kindness, to ourselves and others.
Honestly, I have been trying to be mindful. Hence, that is why I try to write. It is a form or reorganising my thoughts and focus in a specific moment. However, I do not want to rely too much in writing because what happens after writing? I want to be mindful all the time because I know it will help me relieve anxiety, boost my concentration, cope with day to day stress, control my thoughts and emotions and fuel me to reach my goals for this year. Other people may have other reasons but I know these things will benefit me positively.
So, How do we practice Mindful Meditation?
The National Health Service (nhs.uk) website stated we need to notice things, whether big or small, around us. We need to make it a habit to explore everything around us as simple as the colour of the flowers on our way to work, the black cat under the neighbor’s car or the smell of different spices in the air as we walk along the streets. We need to watch our inner feelings and all stuff we process in our heads. In fact, it will help if we name our thoughts and feelings like saying,”This is frustration.” or “This is an unpleasant thought.” And lastly, it was mentioned that we need to free ourselves with the past and the future. It is not good to relive the past in our minds nor pre-live the future. It is torture and I seem to practice it more than being in the present. Mates, we all need to be mindful.
In the happy project website, the author Sandip Roy mentioned 7 steps to practice mindful meditation. The author summarised it using the following steps:
- Step 1: Take a deep breath and relax.
- Step 2:Close your eyes and drop all your concerns.
- Step 3:Bring your whole awareness to your breathing.
- Step 4: Start counting your breaths.
- Step 5: Get deeply immersed in your breathing process.
- Step 6: Bring your attention to the thoughts moving through your mind.
- Step 7: Let those mind-wandering thoughts fly away like clouds and keep settling into the breath with more focus
Now, when you are ready, I found a video on youtube from Goodful that will help us practise mindful meditation for a short time. Remember that it takes practice. Let us do it altogether mates.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inpok4MKVLM
How was it? I personally feel good after the meditation. It wasn’t perfect. Although there are thoughts going in and out, I was able to accept and forgive myself for letting the bad thoughts go in but then, I ignored the unnecessary and finally focused at my own centre. I focused in my breathing, my environment and feelings. It felt like acknowledging that there is negativity around us but I was able to release it all in the air. Freeing and fulfilling. I feel light and calm. Like all bags of dirt in my chest were flushed out. For me, it’s like praying… like having a conversation with God.
All in all, I realised that Mindful Meditation is not new to me. I remember doing it when I was in catholic school. Like I said, it feels like praying. However, life happens and we forget to meditate. We become distracted. So many things are happening around us and we instantly forget to slowdown. These distractions are usually the root of all the negative stuff in our lives. So, I am pumped to live with bravery this year with God’s guidance to block any distractions. For sure, practising mindful meditation is a key to be closer to Him because I desire inner peace. I desire to value my health… my entire self. Being mindful will give me a better picture of where I want to go in my own personal life. Gifting myself and everyone around me especially my family a quality way of life by being mindful of my actions and reactions.. As of now, I am convinced and I firmly believe that Mindful Meditation will prevent us from making mistakes and refocus on what really matters.