Beginning A Practice of Mindful Awareness
There is no secret to bringing non-judgmental, mindful attention and awareness to your daily life. Like many skills we want to develop in life, a mindfulness practice is simple, but not always easy to implement. By that I mean it takes time, effort and practice, but the task is simple.
*Please Read First: Some people are sensitive to this process. If this practice creates anxiety–STOP–and access whether you need to slow the process down into smaller, manageable steps; stop all together; or get help from a licensed practitioner or clinician. If you need help deciding, please contact me before continuing further.
Start by finding a quite place where you can tune in to your physical sensations, thoughts, and emotions for 5-10 minutes to start and add to the length of time as you are comfortable.
Get into a comfortable (upright, but not stiff) position and either close your eyes or softly gaze ahead.
Take a few deep breathes in and blow your breathe out. Then breathe comfortably and naturally through the exercise.
Adopt a compassionate, non-judgmental attitude toward yourself. The idea is to become a non-judgmental observer who takes note of emotions, thoughts, and physical sensations, but does not criticize or keep score.
Explore each area of your body: look for tightness, pain, relaxation, temperature. Note the sensations (without judgment) and use your breathe to let go of anxiety or tension that you notice. This may be enough for now, or you can move on to thoughts and emotions if you are comfortable.
Keeping the same non-judgmental attitude, and breathing naturally and comfortably, observe your thoughts. What messages are there? What is tone: supportive, critical, neutral? Note what you find and then let each thought go.
Again, keep the same non-judgmental attitude and breathe naturally and comfortably. Explore how you’re feeling. Can you name the emotion? Sit side-by-side with your emotion if it is strong and observe the intensity, the color, the shape. What emotions might be blended together? Examples might be: Grief and fear? Anger and sadness? Anxiety and excitement? Love and jealousy? What might these emotions be telling you? What might you want to tell your emotions?
When you’re done, take a few minutes (or longer if inspired) to write down your experience. Try writing without monitoring for grammar or punctuation. Let your ideas and experience flow.
For more information on learning to explore your feelings, or expanding your skill, you might try Focusing: http://www.focusingresources.com/