Recently I have been contemplating Mindfulness more than usual. Life has also taken a turn I was not prepared for or expecting.
I can really see how easy it is to turn to “good” practices (meaning practices that are healthy for you because they make you more content with all parts of life) when everything is going our way. But when the straight road we are walking on suddenly changes, how much do we really practice these “good” things? This is a question I had to recently ask myself.
It has been a while since I have been required to sit with a lot of emotions all at once, or rather an ocean full of uncomfortable emotions. I am sure that if this would have been years ago, before Mindfulness even existed in my life, I would have been running in any direction to not feel. The worst thing I knew when I was younger was to be in the moment. Perhaps because the moment usually consisted of past and future or pure present moments of uncomfortableness. That is what happens when you keep stacking on your emotions and thoughts. That is what happens when you live in a present you were not part of creating. Mostly I think I had no way of dealing with emotions and thoughts at that time. They would simply just run free inside making my life more turbulent than it needed to be.
Even though some habits and urges are still very much alive inside of me, Mindfulness has really taught me to recognize them, to not react upon them (rather act consciously) and to the best of my ability, gently let them go.
When I first started a Mindfulness practice, I had no idea of its many fruits. Although I am not able to fully embrace all moments of life just yet, it is quite obvious that something has changed. Somehow thoughts and emotions have become more calm and grounded–more whole. And I cannot help but to feel curious for more.
My absolute favorite Mindfulness practice is the Mountain Meditation (found in The Mindfulness App*). The reason I like this particularly is because it teaches you to stay centered and grounded no matter your circumstances. And somehow doing this practice, it has also brought me closer to that.
- Take a seated position. Close your eyes and take your focus to your own breathing. Notice your inhales and exhales without trying to change anything.
- Sit with a feeling of dignity and determination. A feeling of being whole.
- Now induce an image of a mountain. It can be a mountain you have seen or one that you are creating in this moment. Give it some time. Let it become more and more clear.
- See the mountain in front of you. The top to the roots and it´s sides. Notice how unwaveringly and beautiful it is.
- See if you can keep this picture of the mountain within you.
- Now move the picture of the mountain into your body. Let the mountain and your body become one. Become one with the mountain.
- Feel the mountain in every breath. Feel it´s steadiness, unwaveringness and calmness.
- No matter what happens around you. You stay grounded, centered and still. In an unshakable presence. Nothing outside can change that.
- Become and Stay one with the mountain.
- Feel the stillness in every breath. Bee the mountain.
Note: the above practice was taken in parts from The Mindfulness App‘s Mountain Meditation guided by teacher Catherine Polan Orzech.